Clearing Out Viva Doubts

Viva doubts thrive in wondering whether or not you really have made a contribution. Viva doubts prosper in worrying that you’re not quite good enough. Viva doubts linger around stories and what-ifs, concern that things aren’t going to go well or that others’ experiences won’t match your own.

Viva doubts are cleared away by knowledge. Asking questions leads to information that helps remove them from your mind. You can ask your supervisor about your research to gain certainty that you’ve made a contribution. You can ask yourself questions to reflect on your journey and see that you’ve become even better than you were. You can ask friends about their experiences to really see a set of good expectations for your viva.

Ask the right people the right questions and there’s no home for doubts about your viva.

Breaking Up Your Viva

Breaks are an important part of the viva process. For length, for comfort, for medical reasons – there are lots of situations where a break is needed. It’s right to expect your examiners to offer them; it’s right to ask for one if you need one.

Concerns about long vivas often stem from a candidate wondering how they could perform well over long periods of time. Breaks help. Perhaps lots of worries about “what happens in the viva” follow from missing pieces of information.

You can ask for a break if needed, so that aspect no longer needs to be a worry.

What other worries do you have? Who could you ask to help you with them? What could you do?

How can you break up your concerns so that they become something you can resolve?

Cloud on the Horizon

Off in the distance, on the edge of a clear blue sky is a single cloud. Something to be aware of, but not something that needs to be acted on. The wind may never blow it your way, and even if it does, how could one cloud spoil a beautiful day?

That’s one way you could think about viva worries.

  • There could be a particular question you’re worried about.
  • A piece of the viva process could make you feel unsure.
  • The uncertainty of whether or not you have done enough could make you doubt.

But what are the chances that one little worry is going to ruin everything? Like a single cloud on the horizon, it’s really not that likely.

If you feel worried then figure out the root of your concern, why you feel worried. Then see what, if anything, you need to do as a result.