Three Prep Sketches

A period of viva prep could be lots of things depending on your circumstances. You might not be able to control your situation entirely, but the direction of your work can be chosen. You could decide to have:

  • A few busy days: many hours a day of reading, noting, reminding – emailing your supervisor – checking the regulations at the last minute, unsure and perhaps worrying over what your examiners might ask or do.
  • Two weeks of prep: an hour or two most evenings. Reading your thesis, making notes, a mock viva to be scheduled and had, and a bit of a chance to sit with your concerns and do something about them.
  • A month of small tasks for the most part: thirty minutes most days. A week to read your thesis, a week to make notes and check details. You already know the regulations before you start preparing. Plenty of space to reflect and do what needs to be done.

Three sketches, but you can probably tell by my word choice which I favour!

Of course, different situations can drive different needs. Your situation could require you to squeeze your prep into the few days leading to your viva. That said, if you can space out your prep over a month you can take your time to be sure you’re ready. You don’t need to over-stress because you’re doing the long, slow approach to your viva which leads to confidence – confidence through regular, deliberate actions that highlight your talent and your knowledge.