Take a single sheet of paper, your thesis and half an hour to an hour and you can make something really useful for your viva prep. A summary of something, answers to a few key questions or thoughts on what makes your thesis special. Here are seven one-page ideas for viva preparation:
- Write “What’s important?” at the top of the page. Answer the question on the rest of the sheet. You could do this for your whole thesis or go chapter-by-chapter if you want to have room for more details.
- Write a page about your examiners and their interests. What do you know about them? What have they published recently and how might that connect with your work?
- Use the VIVA tool to analyse a key chapter or your whole thesis. Explore different aspects of your work to bring useful ideas to the forefront.
- Summarise the tricky parts of your research. Create a cheatsheet that details how you can explain difficulties.
- Write “What’s my contribution?” at the top of the page. Answer the question on the rest of the sheet.
- Create an edited bibliography. This might be a little tricky on a single sheet of paper, but could be done!
- Write out responses to a mini-viva! Select a set of questions from here and divide your page up as directed.
One page of A4 and an hour isn’t going to be all you’ll need to get ready for the viva. You can use it as a helpful exercise one day though. Structure helps get the work done!