This question has been rattling around in my head at Viva Survivor sessions lately. If someone says they’re not ready for their viva when they submit their thesis, gently challenge them with this question.
For some it will be a little nudge to think, “Oh, there’s still time. I’ve submitted, but I can take time over the coming weeks to get prepared. I’m not ready now… but I soon will be!”
For most candidates, I hope it would be a little nudge to think, “Oh… If I’ve got this far, there must be a reason… My work has to have something, or I wouldn’t have submitted…”
If you’re unsure whether or not you feel ready for your viva, gently challenge yourself with the question, and see how that nudges you.
Practically, when candidates submit their thesis they are capable of meeting the challenges they’ll find in their viva. There’s a big difference between being ready and feeling ready.
So, if you don’t feel ready now, when will you? More importantly, what could you do to help you find that state?