Some parts of the viva’s expectations and experience are subjective. Is two hours a long viva or a short one? Is it better for an examiner to be an expert or not? Should you have a mock viva, yes or no? These can vary by circumstance, by preference, by perception even.
Some aspects just don’t have neat answers, but they invite questions that can help people to decide for themselves.
Is two hours a long viva or a short one?
- What makes you feel that might be long?
- Do you have needs that would require breaks over that sort of length?
- What could you do to help your concentration?
Is it better for an examiner to be an expert or not?
- What do you think you’d look for in an examiner?
- Who have you cited, and how would you feel about them being an examiner?
- Are there any experts in your particular field of research?
Should you have a mock viva?
- Do you feel anxious at the thought of being in the viva?
- Do you have time in your schedule to have a mock?
- (actually, they’re generally regarded as helpful, so unless you either have lots of practice already or you are just too busy it will probably help!)
Lots about the viva comes down to individual circumstances, but there are objective elements.
You did the work. You can prepare. You’re there to pass.
If you get caught up in wondering about maybes or trying to decide on what could be best for you, then stop and try to find the solid ground underneath first.
The subjective elements of the viva come second.