Anxiety - Scared of VIVA


I am two weeks a way of doing my VIVA. I am in an Irish University, my PhD is on Literature. Although the head of the school and my supervisors say I should try to enjoy the opportunity to discuss my research with specialists on the topic, I am really scared and feeling extremely anxious. Can anyone give me some advice on how to deal with this situation? I have been reading about other people having dreadful experiences in their VIVAs. I should not have done that, I guess.


One hint I found helpful in presentation and might help in viva is to admit that your research is not the end and there is a room for improvement. Agree with examiners for some shortcoming but not much. Defend your work but do not be too solid.


Yes, the problem is that I am finding myself suffering from Impostor's Syndrome. God, I rather not do this. :(


Aw :( I can sympathise with this feeling of not wanting to do it. I would remind yourself that whilst the next 2 weeks are gonna be a bit uncomfortable as you dread the viva, that's all it is - 2 weeks of your life to go through the motions until it's over. Then it'll be behind you and you'll feel amazing and strong for having the courage to face it and get through it!

It should give you somewhat comfort to admit that there's always room for improvement, so there's nothing the examiners will throw at you that you can't handle - simply thank them for the insight and admit it's a good suggestion.

Keep us updated on your feelings about it and how it goes.


Thank you, it’s true. I will keep you posted and try to share my experience after it’s done.


I just found this thread and was wondering how it went, if it’s happened yet? Hope you’re well and feeling relief!


I passed my VIVA. I was told before it started that I had passed. The whole process lasted around one hours. They were happy with the methodology but they asked me to re-write the introduction to give more context. They gave me 6 months to do that but I already done it and the changes were accepted so I am due to graduate now.

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Quote From mpolotto:
I was told before it started that I had passed.

Look at that, told beforehand! Nothing to worry about all that time! What a weight off your shoulders that must've been. Congratulations on completing and completing painlessly!