There have been a few discussions giving different views about it on here.
I was in the mock viva boat. I thought it would be a good idea to experience the pressures of the day and be able to critique my performance.
But now as I approach my submission, I'd rather sit down with my sup (and possible another member of staff) to talk through potential questions and issues. I do think of it as something to be navigated in my overall 30 year career rather than an all encompassing eternal judgement of the true academic value of this unique contribution to the world of research. At the end of the day a PhD is merely a 3 year apprenticeship and if an academic (or 2) really has the time (or interest) to make sure a Viva is a living hell for me then it doesn't say to much for their professionalism (imo).
I didn't have a mock viva and don't think it would have helped, or made a difference really. I did talk things over with my supervisor a couple of times (as LarryDavid suggests). I also emailed my supervisor a few times in the days leading up to it. That was enough - for me, anyway!
I had a mock viva out of choice. My sups offered it and I accepted it as I'm not confident in interviews and I thought it'd help.
During the mock itself, I had a sup and another member of staff (same dept though) as examiners and found this very helpful. Not only in terms of having ideas of the possible questions, but also got me thinking more about my thesis. Their feedback was invaluable and I was able to identify areas for further work.
I don't think many people have mocks but it's all down to personal choice. If you'd like one, then press the sup for it. If that fails, you can always get a peer to go through your thesis and think of possible questions.
I didn't have a mock viva - I would've taken it if offered as they are common in my department. The person before me had a mock viva and then I heard that my supervisors did a mock viva for another colleague and I htought that perhaps they just weren't interested in me (cue violin music ;-) Anyway, I'm now glad that I didn't as I think it would've freaked me out too much - I just collected viva questions from this forum and looked them over - I didn't prepare answers for them at all as I wanted my answers to be fresh and conversational.
I had a mock viva with my sup and found it really useful as others have said, to get me thinking about my thesis/argument etc. My sup also advised talking about my research as much as possible in the time between submission and viva to practise articulating my ideas out loud (rather than on paper as we have already spent years doing!).
As I live far from my uni and don't have many PhD peers that I felt I could ask to mock viva me I actually asked my hubby and dad to mock viva me in the days beforehand! Although neither are academics, I just printed out a list of common viva questions and gave it to them to ask me in 'viva conditions' (i.e. no laughing!). It may sound a little strange to do that but I found it really helped me learn how to speak about my research in the best way. Good luck :-)
I am near to submitting my phd, so have been thinking about this myself. On balance, I think I would prefer not to have a mock viva, as I find it hard enough to talk to my supervisors about my work as it is, as they can be quite intimidating! A friend who works in recruitment gave me a mock interview a few weeks ago and I found that excrutiatingly embarrassing and not particularly helpful! I find it easier to talk freely in front of strangers, so I think I will be ok in front of the examiners, weirdly. I have ordered a viva preparation book from amazon, and I will be doing a lot of googling to make a list of the sort of questions that might come up. I may ask to have a meeting with my supervisors about the sort of questions I am likely to get, and discuss some possible answers, but it won't be a mock viva.
I didn't have a mock, I did have a lady who kind of asked me some questions so I suppose it was mock-ish, but her questions were FAR less sophistocated than the ones asked in my viva. It made me feel more confident that I did know my thesis, but it didn't prepare me for the types of questions - I just got hubs to grill me on the ones I thought would come up and that was more useful IMO
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