Can hardly believe it, but I passed my viva!!!


======= Date Modified 17 Apr 2012 10:04:13 =======
Hi all,

Just wanted to let you know that I passed with minor corrections today! I want to say a massive MASSIVE thank you to everyone who contributes to this forum - you have no idea how much this forum has helped me over the last couple of weeks!

So, on to my viva story. When I woke up this morning, I was more nervous than I have ever been in my life! I went to see my supervisors before my viva, and they were pretty relaxed, which made me feel a bit better. We had a brief chat, and then I went off to sit on my own and read my notes for an hour or so.

As soon as the viva started, the examiners told me they found the thesis to be well-written and had a good structure, which I think might have been their way of telling me that the corrections they had in mind weren't major. They then launched straight into the middle of my thesis, with no introductory questions about the topic in general, which threw me a bit! But most of the questions were very general, and only occasionally did they ask something quite specific. Even then, it felt more like a chat than a grilling, and at times they even said they didn't expect me to know the answer, they were just wondering if it was something I had considered. They did ask me about what I might do in future if I had more time to work on my research, but by that point they had already told me the 'exam' part was over, so it didn't matter what I said!

The viva only lasted just over an hour (a record in my department apparently so I felt very lucky!), and then they sent me outside to wait. I was only there for about 2 mins before they called me back in for the results - they even apologised for making me wait, and were sorry if it made me more nervous! After telling me the results, they asked if I had enjoyed it - I had to be honest and said no, but that it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. And then that was it, all over! I think I was very lucky with my choice of examiners - they were both very laid back. My external hasn't done many vivas before, so that may be why mine ended up quite so short!!

In terms of preparation, it turns out I did way too much, as they never asked me about any of the things I thought they would. I spent hours learning equations and checking my stats, but they never came up. I did a lot of reading of new literature, which was quite useful as I managed to bring one paper into an answer, and one of the examiners mentioned another. I had read my thesis 2-3 times which obviously helped, but they totally ignored one of my results chapters!

In summary, although I know I was lucky and not everyone has such an easy ride, I would say to try and relax - it probably won't be as bad as you imagine!!! I was convinced before I went in that I would get an R&R. I'm very relieved it's all over and I'm off to celebrate with a takeaway and a LARGE glass of wine! ,-)


WOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!! Congrats Smoobles!! (up)


Many congratulations - well done!(up) Makes for great reading at the start of a week:-)


Yay Dr. Smoobles, many congratulations:-)



(Only 1 glass of wine?) ((:


Congrats Dr Smoobles!


Well done with the viva. Congrats Dr. Smoobles.


Congratulations, Dr Smoobles!! It sounds like the perfect viva (apart from one where they don't come up with any corrections at all, of course...)

Avatar for Batfink27

Ooh congratulations, thast's great news! Hope you enjoyed your celebration last night! And really interesting to hear another person talking about overpreparing for the viva - maybe it really won't be as bad as people say?!


Thanks everyone! Yes I was definitely over-prepared, but if I had to do it all over again I wouldn't do any less work, as feeling prepared did help to calm my nerves a little bit in the week or so running up to the viva. And I did manage to mention some obscure facts I had picked up from the all the reading around the subject that I did, which I think earned me a couple of brownie points!

Should have mentioned in my first post that there were a couple of questions I couldn't answer - once I tried to fudge my way through it and another time I was just honest and said I didn't know, and then the examiner guided me towards an answer. So it wasn't a total breeze as I may have implied!! But it was definitely a lot less scary than I had built it up to be in my head.

Felt very weird this morning waking up and knowing that for the first time in about a year I didn't have to think about my thesis :-)


Congratulations, Dr. Smoobles! Glad you had such a positive viva experience. Enjoy your celebrations!


Yay! Congratulations and thanks for the tips. I'll try to remember them for this time next year. :)


Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your experiences too!