Counting Down The Days

Advent calendars are neat ways to lead up to Christmas. A little fun, a little reminder that something nice is coming. A way to build up excitement.

Often viva candidates do the opposite when leading up to their viva. Where an advent calendar increases – 1st December, 2nd December and so on – candidates count down. Only three weeks left. Only ten days left. Only two days left. For most, probably a way to build up discomfort or worry.

It is important to keep track of the days if you’re preparing. There’s no need to rush preparations, but you still need to get what you need to do finished. Instead of marking days down though – seven left, six to go – write down what you did each day. Like an advent calendar, reveal the gift you’re giving to yourself.

Every day, as you lead up to the viva, record what you’re doing to get yourself ready. Provide evidence for yourself that you are a capable, talented researcher, not just someone counting down the days.