I had my viva two weeks ago and it went really well ending in a pass with minor corrections. However, when I got the corrections list I also received the examiners' reports. The internal's report was positive and only mentioned a few areas that he thought needed clarification. The external's report, on the other hand, was very very critical and negative. It even started with "At present, I am not convinced that this submission is of doctoral quality, although it would make a very decent MPhil" and ended with "At the moment, I am inclined towards MPhil, or resubmission with substantial amendments." So how the hell did I pass? What happened between writing that report and the end of the viva? I'm glad I had no idea of how they felt beforehand or I would have crumbled.
Also, interestingly, the external was lovely during the viva and I felt like it was an enjoyable chat with no harsh or aggressive questioning, so I was expecting to read some complimentary comments in the report. I feel a little deflated now and that I only just scraped through.
We don't get our reports after the viva, probably could, but I'm too scared to ask! I have a feeling my internal and external had a battle between minor and major corrections for me and luckily my internal won out.
If this report was written before your viva, then maybe they didn't rate your thesis, but you did extremely well in the viva, so they changed their mind in the end? I've heard examiners make comments like this.
Hi, in my institution the report is written before the viva. The fact that you passed is what mattered. It sounds as though you must have defended your thesis superbly and changed that examiner's mind. It is weird though. Could you chat to your supervisor about it just to get their take on it (e.g., maybe they'll say it is something that happens commonly, or that they'll find it equally odd but will reassure you about your work anyway - so you can put any doubts to bed).
Yes - and also there is the fact that there is a huge element of subjectivity... one examiner can think one thing, and another something entirely different. The viva obviously dissolved any questions that one examiner previously had for whatever reason.
Congratulations and all the best finishing off the amendments!
Congratulations Dr Drew, well done on achieving your PhD and completing an excellent viva!
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