20 Small Steps To A Better Viva

Your viva can’t be the best, but there are many steps you could take to make yours better.

  1. Proofread your thesis before submission.
  2. Read your institution’s thesis examination regulations.
  3. Take a break after submission.
  4. Put Post-it Notes in your thesis to mark the start of chapters.
  5. Do a little research on your examiners
  6. Plan how you will get to the viva on the day.
  7. Have a mock viva.
  8. Talk to PhD graduates about their viva experiences.
  9. Talk to your supervisors about the choice of examiners.
  10. Annotate your thesis.
  11. Read your thesis carefully at least once between submission and the viva.
  12. Take steps to boost and maintain your confidence.
  13. Reflect on your research contribution.
  14. Explore your bibliography a little.
  15. Re-read any sections of your thesis that are conceptually difficult or tricky to explain.
  16. Figure out why you’re stressed (if you are).
  17. Help your friends and family to understand what the viva is all about.
  18. Take a bottle of water to the viva.
  19. Remember how much work you’ve done to get this far.
  20. Plan how you will celebrate passing your viva.

How you feel in your viva is not down to luck. Do everything you can to make your viva better.

Little things add up.

The Best Viva

Not just a good viva: the best.

Make a list of all of the conditions of the best possible viva for you. However long it is, now make another list of the things you could do to help it turn out that way.

You can’t control everything, so try to stop worrying about the things you can do nothing about. There are plenty of things you can do to help yours be the best viva for you.

Make your lists and get to work.