Ahead of my viva I wrote in my thesis margins to simplify jargon. I checked my maths to convince myself I was right. I found an unclear explanation and rewrote it so it made more sense to me. I wrote notes on my external’s research interests to understand why my work was incompatible.
I made a lot of notes before my viva – and I read none of them in my viva, even the margin notes.
I was asked by my examiners to prepare a presentation to start the exam and I don’t think I read those notes either!
The notes were to help me get ready and they did.
All of my notes helped me to feel that I was doing or had done everything I could to be ready.