I don’t know what I will do if my viva is four hours long!!!

You could ask for a break… And most vivas aren’t that long.

Ahhh, but when the examiners ask me really mean questions what if they won’t give me time to think???

They’ll ask questions but they won’t be mean. Questions might be tough, but they will definitely give you time to think.

And another thing: I’ve spent three years on this, what if they ask me to complete corrections????!!!!

Most people are asked to complete corrections. Most of the time they don’t take too long to do.


I’m not being flippant: viva worries and concerns are legitimate and they need to be addressed. In my experience a huge part of worries about the process of the viva comes down to a mismatch between personal expectations of candidates and general experiences in the viva.

You could have an idea about what the viva is like that is radically different from the experience of the viva. You won’t know until you find out more. If an expectation for your viva is troubling you then check it with some friends, colleagues or your supervisor.

  • They may simply say, “That’s not so common.” That won’t dismiss the worry completely perhaps, but it will start the process of working past it.
  • They might say, “Well, actually, yes, that does happen a lot.” In that case you can still start the process of working to where you need to be.

Being worried won’t help you though. Worry is the first thing. You have to work your way to a better place.