I've read lots of very useful advice RE viva prep. In particular a lovely person on this forum recommended Murray's chapter in How to write a thesis and a first read of that has proved very reassuring.
I now have 4 weeks and 4 days until my viva. I haven't looked at the thesis since submission but feel the pressing need to start preparing.
My question is... how many hours do people spend/have people spent preparing for the viva? Murray's book talks about starting to prepare one month before but I also need to consider that I work 35 hours a week.
I am planning to begin spending an hour a day every day on viva prep and possibly a little more in the week before. I'm finding it really hard to know how much preparation to do (eg. how well should I know every paper cited and how much wider literature should I read). Some of these things are hard to measure in hours.
Any advice is much appreciated.
I don't think that anybody can tell you that you need X hours per day. It depends on a lot of things, i.e. how productive you are, how fast/slow reader you are etc.
When I was doing my viva prep I read my thesis 3 times, made a list of possible viva q&a (and almost all the questions I got were from there) and read 3 or 4 of the main papers I had cited (two of them just before my viva and I got 2 questions out of them!!!!).
In total I don't think I spent more that 4-5 full days of preparing, spread into 4 weeks, as I was also working full time and I am not a native speaker of the language my thesis is written in.
I'm not at that stage yet, but I think that since you are working full time it would be good to dedicate a certain amount of time each day to it, or whole weekends (or both - remember to take some time out though). You want to feel as prepared as you can in the given time available. I think in a sense without knowing it you would have already been preparing for the viva - writing the thesis, reading the literature, reflecting in the discussion will all feed in.
Personally I think I will spend more time being extremely familiar with what I have done and the literature I have referred to rather than reading more widely at this stage (within reason - you can't know every study inside out - but at least be familiar with the kind of study it was if you've referred to it - and more specific details if it is one that you elaborate on or place a lot of weight on in the lit review). I wouldn't do it in hours per se, but I'd divide the time I have into covering sections of my thesis.
I'm sure people who have already prepared for theirs will have more useful advice. This is based on my continuation report viva which went well.
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