We can say doctoral defence and thesis examination, but those four letters are enough. Two syllables capture a lot of meaning: it’s the end, an exam, requires prep, carries a lot of emotional significance and a certain degree of mystery.
There are questions in a viva and questions about the viva. There are experiences that lead to expectations and regulations that require reading-up. It’s the final big thing of a PhD but not the end.
Viva is a small word that looms large for a PhD candidate. Figure out what it means to you, what you need to know and what you need to do to be ready for yours.
It’s a small word but not a small thing.