Pre-empting Questions

You can’t know what your examiners will ask you at your viva.

You can have a good idea of what topics they will be interested in. You can make reasonable guesses. You can expect certain lines of questioning. You can look at past patterns, vague or clear, from what others tell you about their experiences.

And while all that is useful it is still very different from knowing what questions you are going to be asked.

It’s important to prepare for the viva – and necessary your focus doesn’t skew towards pre-empting particular questions. Don’t prepare only for questions you want, questions you expect or questions that you simply have a hunch about.

Prepare for the discussion by engaging in discussion. A mock viva could help set the tone and help you to find the balance between expecting topics and being prepared for questions that arise from what you’ve done.