Describing Viva Prep

Viva preparation is not a production line. It doesn’t follow anything as neat as moving from one task to the next, finishing one component and moving neatly on to the next. Prep does not follow a flow diagram: it’s not reading followed by notes, checking papers and then a mock viva at the end.

Viva prep is a series of workouts. You practise various activities to feel ready. You read your thesis to help your memory; you read more later to build on that feeling. You make notes in your thesis, then review them to check they are sticking – and to find out how you think now.

Viva preparation is personal. It involves exploring. There are things you need to do, but many ways to do them. There are lots of steps, but some are steps to the side and some follow path you’ve already been down before.

It all helps. In some ways, viva prep is work to help you realise that you’re ready: you really did the work and you can go succeed in your viva.