Viva prep is the set of tasks and activities related to your research and thesis that help you be prepared for meeting with your examiners. You feel comfortable responding to their questions and engaging with the discussion. Viva prep involves reading your thesis, making notes, checking papers and rehearsing.
Getting ready for the viva requires viva prep, but also preparing oneself emotionally for the viva. It involves feeling confident. It involves reflecting on your doctoral journey to realise that your work has value and that you are talented. Getting ready is a lot of practical work and a lot of hidden work.
Viva prep is something that you do in the weeks leading up to your viva, but getting ready for your viva is something that you start when you begin your PhD – if not earlier.