The Sixth Activity

There are six main types of activity that make up viva preparation.

Five of them are, in a strange way, quite similar. Candidates can prepare for their viva by:

  • Reading their thesis;
  • Annotating their thesis;
  • Creating summaries;
  • Reading recent publications;
  • Checking recent papers by their examiners.

These are quite different at first glance. They are all essential, helpful activities for viva prep – and also completely unlike what a candidate will do in the viva. That’s the strange similarity: they are essential for viva preparation but practically unlike what someone will do when they meet their examiners.

The sixth essential activity is finding opportunities to rehearse. Mock vivas, seminars, conversations with friend and more. Work that is much, much closer to the work you will do when you meet your examiners. Deliberate practice that helps you to be more comfortable for viva day.

The other five activities make a difference. They are essential, but they are not the same kind of actions that you will take in your viva.

Find opportunities to rehearse.