• 3-minute read
  • 23rd April 2020

7 Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Viva

You’ve finally submitted your thesis! Your viva will probably be 4-12 weeks away now and, if possible, you should give yourself a month off from thinking about it. If time is a bit tighter, take a couple of weeks off and then begin preparations. Here are some vital points to consider.

1. Your Examiners

Make sure you have chosen examiners who will be sympathetic to your research, but who will still challenge it. You should familiarise yourself with the work of anyone you’re considering as an examiner.

2. Know Your Argument

Think about the questions the examiners might ask and prepare answers for each one. This will give you plenty of scope for describing your thesis in different ways. It can also help to practice explaining your thesis in under a minute. The more you can distil it, the easier it will be to explain it to others.

3. Know the Weak Points

The examiners will certainly pick up on any flaws in your argument or research methodology, so try to get there first! You won’t lose any points for explaining what you wish you had done differently. In fact, this can be a great springboard for talking about the research you would like to carry out next.

4. Relax!

The night before the viva, don’t cram. Put aside the work and relax. Have a light meal with friends, go to the cinema, meditate, or just have a calm night in.

In the morning, drink lots of water and have a banana for breakfast. Fluid and protein are the most important ingredients for a working brain!

5. Present Yourself Well

It can help to dress well for your viva. You don’t have to, but it may make you feel more confident if you smarten up a bit. This can also make a good impression with your examiners on the day.

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However, the most important thing is that you are comfortable and relaxed on the day. And this this means wearing a baggy jumper, so be it.

6. Listen to Advice

You may be asked to make some corrections or changes to your thesis after the viva. This is a normal part of the process, so don’t worry about it. All you need to do is take on their recommendations and make amendments accordingly in the coming weeks before your final submission.

Even if you pass without revisions, the examiners will, no doubt, make recommendations for how to improve your work in the future. And if you are hoping to work in academia or publish your thesis, you should listen carefully. Examiners who feel you have listened to them will be more likely to write you a reference or even help you get your work published.

7. Above All, Enjoy It!

This is the culmination of years of hard work. Enjoy the feeling of having experienced academics considering your ideas! Relax and breathe deeply; after years of research, you should be ready to defend your argument.

For help with proofreading your thesis, moreover, why not check out the services we offer at Proofed? That way, you can relax in the knowledge that your work is typo free and focus on preparing for your viva.

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