Your examiners are important elements of your viva. Whoever they are, however much influence you have over their selection, it’s worth spending a little of your viva preparation time exploring what they do. Build your confidence for the viva by knowing who is coming.
As with any task, potentially this could become all-consuming, particularly if there’s stress and worry bound up in thinking about them. Fortunately, we have our old acronym friend SMART – Specific, Measurable, Advantages, Realistic, Time-bound – to help shape the task at hand.
- Specific: What are you looking to find out? (general interests, specific details)
- Measurable: How will you measure when you’re done? (reading three papers, writing a page of notes)
- Advantages: Why is this going to help you? (better informed, more confident)
- Realistic: Do you have the right resources to help you do this task? (access to literature, supervisor to talk to)
- Time-bound: How much time are you going to spend? (a number of hours, a deadline place)
The five prompts from SMART can help shape any project or task into something achievable, rather than an overwhelming to-do list. Use it to help frame your preparations for the viva.