Six Half-Hours Of Prep

Thirty minutes is a meaningful block of time to move you closer to being ready for your viva. There’s lots you could do. Set a timer and then:

  1. Read your thesis. Focus on a particular section to help you think and remember, or just go gently through your big book of good stuff to help you remember the flow of your work.
  2. Bookmark important passages. Take a dozen Post-it Notes or sticky tabs and go exploring. Find the best bits and make them stand out.
  3. List ten important references. Capture the papers that have helped your work the most. Write down title, author, journal and year of publication – as well as a few sentences for why each reference has helped you.
  4. Explore your examiners. Check who they are. Check their interests and make notes. Check their recent papers and make notes. Look for common threads or ideas.
  5. Write a 1-paragraph summary of your research. Condense it down to a few sentences. Can you think of three keywords that you would have to use in any conversation to describe it?
  6. Zoom with a friend. Give them a 5-minute overview of your research, then ask them if they have questions.

Half an hour might not be long, but it’s enough to make a difference to how ready you are for your viva.