Pre viva

27-Oct-10, 22:49
Avatar for Pineapple29
posted about 10 years ago
Hey all,

I submitted in mid October and I have my viva scheduled for January. Has anyone felt like pulling out before the viva?! I have my viva scheduled for January and I feel like pulling it from the examination :( I'm probably just having a bad day with it but I feel as if it will take a miracle to get through my viva in one piece! I just seem to have lost all motivation for it and defending it in an examination is the last thing I want to do right now! I feel embarrassed more than anything as I know 100% my thesis was not my best work :(

It just feels painful to pick up my beast of a thesis and look through it! However painful it is, I intend to start working through spotting errors and updating my reference list so I can present a document of corrections in my viva to show them that I've recognised my errors. I don't know why, but I keep fixating on the negatives!!

My supervisors feel it will be a revise and resubmit because my thesis was far too long (ie 110,000 words) and incomplete sections (discussion and references) but despite the above, I would love to come away with minor corrections

I HATE THIS WAITING!!!!!!!!!!! What will be will be I guess!
27-Oct-10, 23:43
edited about 7 seconds later
by Cakeman
Avatar for Cakeman
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Pineapple

Try and look on the bright side, at least the hard work is mostly over. As far as Viva preparation goes I would'nt try and do too much, especially this early, Just try and relax and enjoy life for a bit........... or spend time looking for work. Remember that you wrote your thesis, so when you open it up to read in a month or so's time it will all come flooding back to you.

Regarding the outcome, it seems there are some problems with the thesis, so expect more than a few minors, but the examiners may view this as a positive as it could be seen as a sign of effort and hard work. Try not to worry too much, you can't change any of it now, so worrying will not get you anywhere.
27-Oct-10, 23:57
edited about 7 seconds later
by PS
Avatar for PS
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Pineapple,

Well done for submitting!
I felt that I had submitted a substandard thesis earlier this year. A week later, I started reading it to prepare a conference paper proposal, but had to abandon this as it was too upsetting to read the thesis! I didn't tell my supervisor about this reaction, but in any case she advised me to wait a few weeks before reading it through to prepare for the viva (I had 2.5 - 3 months, like you). When I dared to open it again a month or so later, it was possible to read it a lot more objectively and this helped with preparing to defend my research in a more positive way. The viva was fine. The examiners asked me to expand some very incomplete sections but I still passed with minor corrections.

No wonder you do not feel motivated to defend your thesis right this minute, but you must still be quite tired from the final push. You have a couple of months or so to build up your reserves again. Good luck

28-Oct-10, 12:13
edited about 6 seconds later
Avatar for psychgirl
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Pineapple

Reading your post is like reading my mind a few weeks ago. I think what you're going through is entirely normal and common. Reading my thesis after I submitted has been one of the most painful things ever, and it is so hard to properly describe how it feels to people that don't know.

But time away from it has definitely helped me to gain some perspective. I have also been told by my supervisor that I am very likely to receive major corrections. This has been horrible to come to terms with because I know absolutely that I could have done a better piece of work. But this is what has helped and what I advise you:
1. Take time away from the thesis; after time away, when you come back to it, although you may still spot mistakes and be unhappy with some sections, you may be able to be a bit more balanced and defend some parts of the work well
2. Realise that actually, nothing is set in stone yet, and you may well surprise yourself. in any case, see the viva as a way to show the examiners how much you know and how passionate you are about the work. Highlight the areas in the thesis that you are not happy with, and practice talking about these parts in a way that you are proud of. If in the worst case you get resubmission, you would have passed the viva
3. You've got through the hardest part - well done!! One day, in the midst of my pain and distress and disappointment in what i submitted / what is still left to come, this dawned on me and it has been a great feeling.

good luck!
30-Oct-10, 10:42
edited about 2 seconds later
Avatar for Pineapple29
posted about 10 years ago
I just wanted to say thank you for your responses :)

It's such a comfort to read that what I'm not alone with my feelings.

I definitely relate to the substandard comment noted below- perfectly describes how I feel about my thesis :( Last thing I want do right now is celebrate, especially over a thesis that I know will be pulled apart. I know its an achievement to submit, but as I'm supervisors are preparing me for major corrections (due to length of my thesis and my writing style) I know theres still a long way to go before I'm finished :(

I think next week I'm going to 'bite the bullet' and look at my thesis and start drawing up a list of errors (ie minor typos, missed references) I've spotted so I can take them with me to my viva. As well as studying the viva books and recommendations outlined on this forum of how to prepare for the viva.

I know my PhD is completely unique, extensive and basically extends and validates the work of my external examiners work using different methods, different population groups and a larger sample size. So all in all (despite my supervisors criticisms) perhaps there are some good things about my thesis! I just can't see them right now because I'm fixating on the bad things about my thesis (ie typos, incomplete summaries, incomplete discussion), perhaps as a result of my supervisors conditioning- ie they almost always focus on the bad things and never(or extremely rarely!) focus on the good things!

Perhaps this is something I could start working on in order to build my confidence, ie cognitively redefining the whole PhD process (ie what will be will be) and redefining about the good things about my thesis and also how I think about my thesis (ie my PhD includes new measurement tools, uses methods and approaches that no other researchers have used in this area, includes a content analyses of 6 peer reviewed journals to highlight the unexplored nature of my thesis area and also includes a new directory of services across the UK for future studies)

Thanks for the support everyone :)
31-Oct-10, 12:25
edited about 5 seconds later
Avatar for TaffyGirl
posted about 10 years ago
Hi Pineapple,

Congrats on submitting. I too have just put my thesis in and am being viva'd in November. I am being re-examined as I had a poor examiner selected for my previous viva who focused on his own work angle (completely test-tube and theory based), and struggled with my very practical and human based study, therefore we never got round to talking about my work and all his questions were focused on the lit review. This time I have a MUCH better selected examiner, so hopefully all will be better. The only advice I can give is to leave your thesis alone for a bit so that you read it fresh, and then only go back to it about a month before viva. Read it a fresh. If there are typo's note these all down and take them with you as a page of erratum correction. That way if these have bugged the examiners it will completely diffuse this and they will not therefore be drawn into commenting on these, as you have already made it clear that you are aware of these and will correct. Then remember to try and enjoy the viva. Take a pen and paper in with you. As they ask a question note down the key words, then take a breath to construct your answer and then answer, making sure you answer what they actually asked (henced why jotting a note is completely accepted). The examiner will be nervous too, so concentrate on what they ask, not on their tone of voice or body language. There is a very good 10 tips on the times higher website that you may find useful called 'Take the heat out of trial by fire'.

Enjoy your Christmas and then calmly prepare.:-)


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