It occurred to me recently that the viva is a little like flat pack furniture: a wardrobe or chest of drawers that you have to assemble from eighteen pieces of wood with three kinds of screw and two very similar looking types of dowel.
There are clear instructions for the viva, like flat pack furniture, but that doesn’t guarantee that it will be easy. It’s a challenge to get it done, takes a few hours usually and benefits from having others present to help – examiners in the case of the viva!
Like all good analogies, it breaks down when you stretch it too far. The viva is far more like a piece of bespoke furniture, one of a kind even if it follows a type or form. The viva is always brought together by very skilled people.
To bring it back to flat pack furniture, the viva is better when it’s assembled with care. Take time to know what you need to do and how you can do it well.