It’s important to reflect on how you feel about your viva. It’s not enough, I think, to just feel nervous or worried or happy or unsure. Ask yourself WHY you feel that way: dig a little deeper to see what you could do.

  • Feel nervous? Why? What does that tell you?
  • Feel worried? Why? What could you do to feel less worried?
  • Feel happy? Why? What could you do to build on that feeling?
  • Feel unsure? Why? What could bring you greater certainty?

Remember that while it’s your viva you’re not the only person present.

Try to imagine how your examiners might be feeling. Nervous, maybe, because they want to do a good job. Pressured, perhaps, because of how busy they are and what’s happening in their lives. Impressed by what they’ve seen in your thesis? Certainly. And maybe a little excited at the anticipation of a good discussion.

So: how do you feel?