First Five Top Fives

To date I’ve written five “Top Ten Top Fives” posts! These are preparation icebreakers useful for getting started with valuable viva preparation. I have ideas to do more in the future, but for today here are links to those first five posts, plus my favourite prompt from each!

Viva prep is more than making lists, but you can use any of these fifty prompts to make a start on useful reflection.

Ten Quick Top Fives

Viva preparation is not about speed, but sometimes a quick task is useful to break the inertia. I’ve shared a few “top fives” posts before, but here are ten quick tasks to get things moving.

  1. Top Five Places To Bookmark In Your Thesis!
  2. Top Five Useful References For You!
  3. Top Five Academics Who Could Be A Good Examiner!
  4. Top Five Questions To Ask Your Supervisor!
  5. Top Five Friends Who Could Help Your Preparation!
  6. Top Five Definitions To Remember!
  7. Top Five Expectations For Your Viva!
  8. Top Five Details To Check!
  9. Top Five Things To Boost Your Self Confidence!
  10. Top Five Preparation Tasks!

Little lists, quick tasks, quick questions – they won’t be the most useful things you could do in preparation. Sometimes you’re not in a position to do the most effective task. Sometimes you’re not building a wall, you’re placing a brick: little by little, adding to your sense of being ready for your viva.

Ten New Top Fives

If you only have a few minutes spare, but want to do something to help your viva prep, you could start a list. I’ve shared a few ideas on this topic before. Here are ten more:

  1. Top Five Fascinating Things About Your Field!
  2. Top Five Developments In The Last Year!
  3. Top Five References In Your Thesis!
  4. Top Five Pages In Your Thesis!
  5. Top Five Confidence Boosts You Can Use!
  6. Top Five Questions You’d Like To Ask Your Examiners!
  7. Top Five Tricky Concepts You Need To Remember!
  8. Top Five Things You Might Do In The Week Before The Viva!
  9. Top Five Interesting Ideas For Continuing Your Research!
  10. Top Five Reasons You’ll Pass Your Viva!

It’s really useful to have a starting point. You could spend an hour exploring any of these topics, but it will only take two minutes to begin.

Start now!

Ten More Top Fives

Earlier this year I shared a list post, Top Ten Top Fives, that had ideas on how to get started with thinking about the viva and viva prep. A simple setup, prompts to get ideas flowing and start making notes.

Today seemed like a good chance to add some more prompts:

  1. Top Five Academics Who Would Be A Good External!
  2. Top Five Tips You’ve Heard For Viva Prep!
  3. Top Five Expectations For Viva Day!
  4. Top Five Questions You Think You’ll Be Asked!
  5. Top Five Help Requests You Can Make!
  6. Top Five Questions For Your Supervisor In Preparation!
  7. Top Five Challenges You Overcame In Your PhD!
  8. Top Five Annotations You’re Going To Make In Your Thesis!
  9. Top Five Unanswered Questions From Your Research!
  10. Top Five Things You’ll Do To Celebrate Passing Your Viva!

There’s inertia to overcome with thinking about different aspects of the viva. A little nudge, a good prompt, can get things moving.

Top Ten Top Fives

I often encourage people to use “top fives” to start a summary or reflection. Get a list of five going and you have something to build on. There’s a lot you can think about when you’re preparing for the viva, so here’s my top ten list of top five topics!

  1. Top Five Contributions To Your Field That You’ve Made!
  2. Top Five Papers That You’ve Referenced In Your Bibliography!
  3. Top Five Questions You Might Like To Ask Your Examiners In The Viva!
  4. Top Five Pages You Want To Find Easily In Your Thesis!
  5. Top Five Things You Really Need To Remember!
  6. Top Five Questions You Don’t Want To Be Asked By Your Examiners!
  7. Top Five People You Can Turn To For Help!
  8. Top Five Steps You Need To Do To Feel Prepared!
  9. Top Five Proudest Moments Of Your PhD!
  10. Top Five Things You Can Do To Be Confident On The Day!

Lists are fun. Structure helps. What makes your list(s)?