If you could click your fingers and make your viva better, what would you do?
- CLICK! You don’t feel nervous!
- CLICK! You have a perfect memory!
- CLICK! Your examiners only have praise for you!
- CLICK! You have a picture in your mind of the viva and it plays out that way!
Of course, none of these are realistic, but that doesn’t mean that the complete opposite is likely either!
Perfection is unattainable, but your efforts can help. You can’t click your fingers and feel no anxiety, but you can build your confidence. You can’t have perfect recall, but you can prepare with your thesis. You may not have ultra-nice examiners, but you can think about who they are and what they do – and explore how they might feel about your thesis. You can’t click your fingers and have your viva follow a script, but you can ask others about their experiences to guide your own expectations.
You can’t click your fingers and have your viva arrange itself according to your desires. But you can do a little work and steer it toward your preferences, whatever they may be.