viva preparation


Hi guys, my viva is in ten days. Can you please give me tips on how to prepare for the viva?
I was counting on powerpoint presentation but I was surprised to know that PPT is not allowed.
I am not sure how I am going to prepare for it? Should I write main points as guidelines or write a complete text of intro, body and conclusion?

thanks in advance


Not sure I can help, we don't give presentations just sit there and go where the examiners want to go, answer their questions and defend our methods. What country are you in?


If you're in the UK, try googling 'PhD viva questions'. There is plenty of advice out there about the types of questions that examiners commonly ask, but you can never be absolutely certain about what will come up.


Hi skyhoo,

A link to my viva experience, which I posted about a few months back:

All the best and good luck!


I would prepare a short talk (a few minutes), as even if they don't want you to do a Powerpoint presentation, they might ask you to give an overview of your PhD at the start of the viva. Not all examiners do this, some like to jump straight in with their questions, but it's good to have something prepared just in case, so you can get off to a confident start.

I went through my thesis making sure I understood all the examples from the literature I'd mentioned, and making sure I could clearly explain everything I'd done and the results I'd got, and that I could justify all the decisions I'd made (including experiments and analyses I'd decided NOT to do). I found a few minor mistakes so I noted these down so that if the examiners mentioned them (they didn't in the end!) I would be able to say I was aware of them and what the correction should be.

I found the questions were generally very specific to my work, so not sure lists of generic 'viva questions' would have been particularly helpful in predicting what they'd ask, but there's no harm having a look through such lists to get you thinking critically about your thesis and how someone else might view it.


If I were you, I think that I would prepare a presentation of my phd journey.... How I chose the topic, why there research questions, how smooth (or not) was the whole thing....
The examiners have your thesis in their hands and have already read it, so they know what's in it. Why tell them again? If they have quetions regarding your thesis they will ask, but they don't know the whole journey....

Good luck!!!