At last my viva will be soon, I thought of making a thread for my self, similar to those made by previous students (it might be good to de-stress).
Any suggestion from previous students?
any advice will be much appreciated?
To be honest am much worried about the fact that I don't have a job yet and it is killing me, but i thought for now it is better to wait till i pass the viva, any tips for finding jobs?
there is one position in which i really like the subject but, it is in Glasgow, which I don't like to live in, as am international student and there is not much people from my ethnic background there, do you think am making a mistake?
My viva is soon as well. What are you doing to prepare for it? I probably should be stressing about various things in life, but honestly just cannot work myself up to be stressed again...rather am in some kind of shock of relief of simply having submitted. Jokingly I said I was going to become illiterate and forget how to read and write once I turned in my thesis. It still seems like a good plan on some days...
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well i have not looked at my thesis since i submitted, which is about one and half months now, but I'm planning to start tomorrow.
my plan includes the following:
1-find typos (the easiest).
2-read again the whole thesis and study what might i have forgot.
3-list and answer common viva questions.
4-make a list of weak parts in my thesis (although i have no idea on how to do that)
5-Defend the practical/statistical methods i have used, also i have no idea how exactly i will do that.
6-may be a mock viva.
Olivia, do you want to exchange ideas and support each other?
Glad to hear from you, as I was writing to you an idea come to my mind to make a new thread named real life viva questions, my point is to collect as much real viva questions as I can, hopefully it will give us better understanding of the type of the questions and how to respond.
Keep in touch please
I just read your thread again. I'm going through the same problems, I was not able to look at my thesis and got really fed up, but now when I have a fixed date, I thought OK I need one more step to fight this PhD and I will be finished. I don't want to destroy the hard work of four years in one day (for me that is a good motivation, besides there is not any other option, so the sooner it is done the better).
thanks for that information, someone!
Well here is what I did today to prepare for my mock viva this week....
had conversation with colleague who is going to be part of mock viva and talked with her over some chapters. This was just one of those unplanned conversations that began in the lift. I was rattling off this that and the other, to her, without the thesis in front of me to tell her where things were, but almost could recall the very page number of things...
which made me think any further preparation was not needed. At least for now the thing is branded into my brain almost like a photographic image. I KNOW my arguments inside and out, have read some current literature, but its not a very rapidly changing field, so not a lot new to have happen...after my mock viva I will judge where I felt I had some stuck points in answering and use those as a guide for futher prep.
In a way its not fair that so much of the viva turns on the ability to think on your feet and be at ease with this...I don't think that is a measure of anything but that skill. It really DOES not measure depth of understanding, in many ways. I say that as someone who has Gemini Rising, Mercury in Gemini ( Mercury is the planet of communication, Gemini a sign of communication, very glib and chatty and able to talk off the top of their head---just for anyone who puts any stock in the stars, not sure I do, but whatever!) ( star sign comment offered a bit tongue in cheek)--the point being I am quite fine just answering off the top of my head, it comes easily to me, and I also had exposure to this kind of viva grilling in a way when I practiced law...also had to think on your feet, know complex law and facts off the top of your head in some instances because there was no time to look it up in court, you had to KNOW ( so you burned that knowledge into your head) etc...which does not mean my thesis is higher quality than someone who is more thoughtful and slower to form answers than me.
I am rambling...
so anyway, I got some post it notes and scribbled some things on them, and stuck them on the thesis so it looks like I did something when I go into the mock viva, (honestly I am relying on my detailed table of contents to locate things, not random post it notes, in the actual viva) and called it good.
That is all I am doing. It feels like all I can or need to do at this point...somehow I feel like I SHOULD do more, but I am not.
Some of the prep work that is suggested places almost feels like busy work. I have read where if you do too much prep or review of material too close to a test or whatever, you over ride a lot of what is in your long term memory and you can only recall the most recently reviewed information, suggesting that cramming and reading too close to the viva could impair recall....I don't know.
I will let everyone know how the mock viva went! I feel like I SHOULD be stressed over it, but I am not. I am just like whatever. The only thing stresing me is my lack of stress!
My mock viva went fine. It was easier in a way than I expected. I liked getting to talk to a captive audience about my work! On the other hand, they did ask me some questions about methods and etc that forced me to work more than other questions, but the panel felt I had done a great job in defending things and answering. They said I knew my thesis inside and out backwards and forwards. The few criticisms were on the need to not talk so much when I answer open ended questions :$:$ and to maintain better eye contact with examiners.
I am now reading through my thesis at a gentle rate, making notes for myself, here and there...more to jog my memories than to refer to for anything. The sticky notes I put on the thesis were USELESS in the mock viva. If anything, they were an annoyance. They are coming off for the real thing.
I am stressed but in deep denial over it--so am not acting too stressed--am plannig a few days of sightseeing and etc to get away from my desk and the university, etc, just to rest my brain. I am trying to do little with my brain...just let it rest and relax and let little bits of information seep in as needed. If people want much more from me I just tell them to wait until my viva is over. If they don't like the answer, well too bad...its the way it is.
Good luck to you--have you had a mock viva and how is your prep going along?
Mostly I just want it over with as I feel like there is little more I can do to get ready, in all honesty, the reading through the thesis is more like busy work so I feel like I am doing something as opposed to nothing...so its a matter of counting days and just wanting the thing behind me.
I basically read through my thesis, carefully annotating with either typos or where I felt I might have to clarify and what I could say.
I also was told to read recent papers of the external examiner and any related papers to my thesis subject.
I reread key papers.
My viva was quite long 3 hours (my thesis was very long though), I found it extremely boring and I was very tired from lack of sleep. The external kept making points that I though were only slightly related to my subject. Most of my corrections (minor) were due to gaps from literature dated 50's 60's - I wasn't impressed but was glad it was over and done with and fell asleep on the way home.
I wouldn't worry about not having a job yet, it's not that great. It took me so much longer to submit etc because I basically had a job before I had even finished writing up.
Maybe I am just being thick, but I soooo don't get the reasoning behind writing up one line summaries of pages, or summaries of chapters separate from what is already in the thesis. What is this supposed to help? I am going to re-read two key papers...and have looked for updated papers, but since I just submitted recently, and had updated within a few weeks of the submission, there really is not much ( and my field moves like a glacier if it moves at all). Frankly, I just want to be done. If someone knocked on my door and asked if I minded if we did the viva right now, I would say, lets go!
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