Lots of questions have answers.
Answers are things that are known: factually accurate, true or perhaps established as a logical argument with sufficient supporting reasons and information.
If you were asked a question and needed to find an answer in the viva there are lots of things you could do or try:
- You could stop and remember the answer, or at least attempt to.
- You could use a piece of paper and calculate something that leads to the answer.
- You could stand up at a whiteboard and draw while you talk to explain the answer.
- You could check your thesis to look for a piece of information that holds the answer.
- You could ask a question of your examiners to help explore the situation.
Lots of questions have answers and if you are trying to find an answer in the viva there is a lot you could do to find it.
But not every question has an answer.
Some questions seek opinions. Some are hypothetical and explore a scenario – or how someone thinks about it. Some questions have an answer – and you might not know it. Some questions don’t have answers, but they are worth exploring all the same.
If a question has an answer you might be able to find it. If a question doesn’t then you can still engage with it.
Not every question has an answer, but every question asked at the viva is something you can engage with and respond to. If there’s an answer there then there’s plenty you can do to find it – and if there isn’t you still have an opportunity to demonstrate your work, your ability and your knowledge.