What’s your vision of your viva?
Lewis Carroll is misquoted as having written, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” He didn’t write that, but it’s a neat way to summarise a short exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I think there’s a lot in there, when you reflect on it.
It’s really a warning.
If you don’t know what you want your viva to be like, it doesn’t matter what you do to prepare.
If you don’t know what vivas are like generally, you can’t know if your preparations are really useful.
If you don’t know what examiners are generally interested in, you can’t be sure you will be able to engage with them well in the viva.
Find out about the viva. Build a vision, then decide what you are going to do to make that vision a reality.
Perhaps, from another perspective – through the looking glass? – we can see Lewis Carroll’s unquote as,
“If you know where you’re going, you can find a way to get there.”
I’m convinced that’s true for the viva.