Because cheatsheet sounds a bit wrong, how about you make a keysheet for your PhD? One page capturing all the things you need to know.
Success in the viva is more than rote memorisation of details, but there are some that are worth seeking out and listing. A little search before the viva, either through your thesis or through your memory, can give you a helpful boost. You can be confident the important facts are filed away where they need to be. Facts like:
- a short list of the most important references in your bibliography;
- a one-paragraph summary of what your thesis is about;
- a few details about each of your examiners’ interests;
- several key questions you’ve explored in your work;
- a list of the contribution(s) that your research makes to your field;
- the talents you have developed over the course of your PhD.
Don’t forget the last one, whatever else you add to this single page. It’s important to remind yourself of how you’ve been able to achieve everything.
It’s not a cheatsheet, because you didn’t cheat. A keysheet captures the essential components of your thesis and research.