I've finally got a viva date... it's in 2 weeks eek...


Hi guys,

I just want to scream right now. Having submitted mid-Oct last year, I've finally been given a viva date, in just over 2 weeks time.

Great news but... not so great considering I haven't been revising as much as I should have. All hands on deck for the next 2 weeks now! I shall have no life but it'll all be worth it!


Good luck Skig! Will be thinking of you, fingers crossed it all goes ok and will be looking forward to hearing all about it after (up)


After sooooo long waiting, that's terrific news Skig and two weeks for preparation (imo) is perfect. Read your thesis, know your thesis and be ready to defend it and the decisions you made.

Nearly there...:-)


Thank you for the support Linda and Ady!

I'm excited at the prospect of finally finishing but also slightly scared at the possible outcomes. Reading my thesis has been helping though as I'm realising that, although there are a few things I'd already forgotten, the bulk of it is still there. I'm planning on doing a decision making tree sort of thing to help me with defending my decisions. I know that everything I did had a rationale behind it so I'll just have to remember it all.


Hey Skig, the final journey is in sight!! Two weeks is good, as previously said, just know your thesis and your rationale for everything. Go through Bilbo's 5 areas to give yourself some revision on your work and how it all fits in the wider context. I also found it helpful to ask myself Qs and to actually answer them verbally. This was I could practice talking about my thesis!

Good luck with the prep, perfect timing to remain focused :-x


======= Date Modified 17 May 2012 16:33:38 =======
All the best Skig with your viva :-)

Have a look at our website, we have a collection of PhD viva stories and advice: http://phd-viva.com/


Congratulations! That must be such a great relief! You probably won't read this until you're done preparing...but good luck!!

Avatar for sneaks

I won't say 'you'll be fine' because that peed me right off before my viva - as after all, every viva has a life of its own. But just do the best you can do, no one can ask for more! and remember, bigger fools than you have done this! (i.e. me :-p )

Good luck!


Thank you all for your support. I'm finding difficult to find to motivate myself as I've read the thesis so many times already that it all sounds boring and obvious to me :( - I know it isn't either, maybe I've read it too many times.

Anyway, I'm working M-F 9-5 and they won't give me any time off to revise so every minute counts. It's Saturday night and I'm going back in time thinking about everything I've done and why I chose to do what I did. It beats reading the thesis once again ;)

Thanks, Dunni, I've got Bilbo's 5 areas written down, they're next on my to do list :)

Sorry phdviva, but I can't risk reading any stories in case they're horror ones. that would so put me right off...

Sneaks, I know what you mean about the 'you'll be fine', I'm getting that quite a lot. I don't think people really appreciate how big and nerve wracking a viva is. I'm not good at interviews at the best of times so an oral exam is not ideal for me really. Thanks for the advice! I hope all is well with your new job and the new place:) btw, you did really well on yours, I see no fool ;)


If too feel uncomfortable in interview-type situations, so I prepared by presenting to a friend, and answering his questions. Although he didn't have the same expertise as the examiners, I found it helpful just to verbalize my ideas, and get my cerebral juices flowing, so to speak. I recommend it if you can find a willing victim - er, I mean friend.


Thanks Dalmation. Thats an excellent idea but unfortunately I haven't got anyone who could help me. I moved away a few months ago and I don't know anyone in my field around here.

I had a mock viva a few months ago so I have that to look at. I'll be talking to sups regularly as well till viva so they can help me with potential questions and answers.

I know that I'll do my bestest ever, it's very likely I'll pass, that I know more than my examiners, etc but still... it's a viva!!!

I need a chill pill. Maybe I should just stop for today and start again tomorrow....



You may have received a lot of advice but I strongly suggest that you watch the video
"The Perfect Oral Defense of the Dissertation" at "Academic Joy", section "Resources"
of the "PhD Candidate" page. Good luck.


Hi Maria,

Thanks for that! I've just checked it and I've watched that video already ;) good video though, very helpful and definitely a good tip for anyone who hasn't watched it yet!

Avatar for sneaks

definitely practice verbalising your answers - even if its just you sat on your own talking aloud. Its amazing how a perfectly formed answer in your head can go to pot when speaking it out loud. I did a lot of practice to my dog!


Will do Sneaks. The dog is bored by my feet anyway so I'm sure she'll appreciate the sound of my voice :)