Defining Effective

I was helpfully challenged in a recent webinar to define what I meant when I talk about effective viva prep. It was a great provocation to help me unpick what I think.

  • Effective has to mean that it benefits the person doing the prep. They do the work and are prepared.
  • Effective has to include some idea of working smart: not starting early, not rushing or stressing while doing the work.
  • Effective viva prep must also help the candidate to feel that they are working towards being ready (and that ultimately they are ready for the viva).

Let’s define effective viva prep as a set of useful tasks and activities that help a candidate become ready for the viva in as organised and stress-free way as possible.

It’s a bit of a mouthful! Maybe there’s more we could say or a more concise framing but it’s not a bad start.

A definition doesn’t tell you what to do exactly for your situation though. For your circumstances consider:

  • What do you think you need to do?
  • When do you think you need to start?
  • How can you help yourself to see your progress to being ready?

We can usefully define what effective viva prep means generally, but you have to realise what that means for you specifically.