Viva preparation

posted
28-Sep-12, 21:21
edited about 21 seconds later
Avatar for yamamoto
posted about 7 years ago
Hi Nearlyfinished,

I strongly suggest that you and other PhD students who are about to finish listen to an expert advice titled : "The Perfect Oral Defense" available on the Web site "Academic Joy".
Follow the path with links: Main page --- PhD Candidate --- Resources --- (middle of left column). I wish you good luck.

Yamamoto
posted
29-Sep-12, 11:35
edited about 2 seconds later
Avatar for nearlyfinished
posted about 7 years ago
Hi Yama: I've had a look at the Academic Joy website but when I press on the Dissertation Defense recording I can't get it to start playing. I just get an empty box.
posted
29-Sep-12, 11:59
Avatar for stressed
posted about 7 years ago
Be careful NearlyFinished - a lot of these people come on and spam viral links - not saying that that's definitely the case here, but seen it happen so often and this is a new user - first post....

PinkNeuron - wow your room will be full - my sup won't even be on campus and we don't have chairpeople :-/ I wish my sup could be there, I'd feel a million times more confident but its not allowed, I've not even been allowed to fully discuss viva prep with him since submission. We had a chat yesterday as I went into complete meltdown over one chapter, but things have to be fairly neutral now - its not 'done' for the sup to interfere once the submission is made - isn't it weird how different unis have such different rulings? I think I prefer yours :-)
posted
29-Sep-12, 12:00
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for stressed
posted about 7 years ago
Oh, and mine is quite a bit longer - 364 pages in total - I think it was 84,000 words then appendices and stuff - its quite sizeable! I've finished the read through now, so today I'll begin working out responses to standard questions :-)
posted
30-Sep-12, 13:51
edited about 7 seconds later
Avatar for PinkNeuron
posted about 7 years ago
======= Date Modified 30 Sep 2012 13:52:50 =======
Hi Stressed
My supervisor was in my viva upgrade too but I am not allowed to see him. He has to sit behind me and he is not allowed to comment at all. We are given a choice to have them in or not. I have heard that if you say yes, it helps with corrections afterwards as they are allowed to take notes.
I have not seen him since a month before I submitted, he went on two holidays back to back and wasn't even around when I submitted, so I had no llast minute questions. I asked him a few days before I submitted if he would like to see the layout or appendices or anything like that and he said no! He won't even look at the pdf. I sent him, he wants me to bring him a hard copy next week. So, it might sound very supportive him turning up at the viva etc. but I have had my fair share of non-support over the years. He was a throw you in and watch you drown/swim person. Then, when I handed him things, he would either scrap it or want it re-written....I could write a book!
I am now writing out my understanding of complicated concepts to make sure I have them in hand....
Not long for you now.......thinking of you.
posted
02-Oct-12, 00:00
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for Swetchha
posted about 7 years ago
Hi NearlyFinished and all,

I am also nearing my viva and thought to join this thread. I have submiited nearly 2 weeks back. viva is likely to be either in the first or third week of November. still have not got the fixed date. Currently, I am reading the book by Tinker and Jackson. Have not yet opened my thesis after submission but planning to start reading my thesis from tomorrow. Do you read or plan to read all the papers referenced? Or, papers by examiners? I look forward for your suggestions and ideas. Thanks, swetch
posted
02-Oct-12, 11:07
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for DocInsanity
posted about 7 years ago
For those people that really do find themselves overwhelmed with panic in vivas, consider taking beta-blockers (you have to get them from your GP). I did that for a set of postgraduate medical exams where each time I could feel the adrenaline surge turn my brain to mush - I knew my stuff but the panic would stop me coming out with it on the day. The first time I took them I passed - possibly coincidence of course, but if I was in the same situation again I would consider taking them.
posted
02-Oct-12, 13:33
Avatar for nearlyfinished
posted about 7 years ago
======= Date Modified 02 Oct 2012 13:41:13 =======
Welcome Swetchha. I think you have to pick the key papers out of your PhD and know them well. If you have hundreds of references it's clearly not possible to re-read them all or even find them all. But knowing the key facts about the top 10 or 15 papers (e.g. most cited), plus perhaps any others that may match the research interests of the examiners, is helpful I think. One suggestion made earlier in the thread was that you could make a crib note to take in with you of a few points on each of these key papers.
posted
02-Oct-12, 14:06
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for PinkNeuron
posted about 7 years ago
My prof. said to me in the beginning that I will always have 10 to 15 key papers that will form the backbone of my research. It is these papers that I am making sure I have on me as a security blanket if nothing else. I find I know them so well in any case as a lot of my research was based on them. There are a few new ones since these but these new ones are even based on these key ones. When I am doing other mundane things, I run through all the important authors in my field and their particular subject, in my head. I am finding I know more than I thought, so this is confidence building, if nothing else.

Good luck for tomorrow, Stressed. Please post back and let us know how it goes....
posted
02-Oct-12, 14:52
Avatar for stressed
posted about 7 years ago
Thanks PinkNeuron - I will... whether it will be tomorrow or Thursday will kind of depend on the result and how I'm feeling I suppose - I hope tomorrow :-) I'm not planning on actually taking the articles with me, and am now wondering if I should.... I certainly wouldn't say that I know them inside out, but I know that so and so thinks this, and he thinks that and blah blah - I certainly do have a core group of articles/books that feature throughout and form the backbone of the lit reviews :-) The last couple of days have been awful - I spent nearly the whole of this morning in tears - not about anything in particular, but anything and everything set me off. First the report of that little girl missing made me cry (????!!!! I don't cry!) and then its been downhill from there - I even welled up reading your message - mad huh?

I'll certainly be back to give you a debriefing - I've been here since I first started this journey and will be here for the end. I've read so many viva stories, so many lovely ones, so many heartbreaking ones and never really thought, I don't think, that I'd ever get as far as having my own! This time tomorrow it'll all be underway, it starts at 14.30!
posted
03-Oct-12, 16:59
Avatar for Swetchha
posted about 7 years ago
Hi Nearlyfinished,

Thanks for your suggestions. Yeah, definitely its not possible to read all the references. I got my viva date today - it is on 2nd November. It's scary to think of the viva day. When is your viva? I have now started re-reading my Thesis from today. I plan to finish the first round in 5 days and underline the key points. I will be also reading the key references from tomorrow every evening. After re-reading once, I am going to compile all the questions I collected from various sources - viva workshops, forum, books, friend's list and try to fit my answers. Thereafter I will be writing answers to the questions...then practice. Swetch.
posted
04-Oct-12, 10:34
edited about 7 seconds later
Avatar for PinkNeuron
posted about 7 years ago
I was given two possible dates for my viva, the 17th or 19th October due to them having to find a new chairman. Now, I have just received an email saying that these two dates are proving problematic and they are trying to arrange another date, so unsettling and I am already so nervous...:-(

How is your preparation going, NearlyFinished?

PN
posted
05-Oct-12, 10:03
Avatar for PinkNeuron
posted about 7 years ago
My viva has been set for 14.30 on Monday the 15th October.....
posted
06-Oct-12, 03:07
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for nearlyfinished
posted about 7 years ago
Hi PN: I find that when I've read through the thesis I can think of answers to the common questions, but then a few days later I've forgotten all the detail of the thesis! So that makes the answers a lot less detailed and useful. I think I'm going to have to read through the document several times in the next couple of weeks! It's good that you have your Viva date confirmed, but not so good that it's a bit sooner than you thought! Take deep breaths, I'm sure it will turn out well. :-)
posted
07-Oct-12, 14:58
Avatar for PinkNeuron
posted about 7 years ago
======= Date Modified 07 Oct 2012 14:59:41 =======
Yes, indeed Nf. it is a little sooner but in a way, I am relieved. I have a meeting with my Prof. next Friday to go through the thesis, first time for him. He has not looked at it in its entirety yet! I structured it and put it together all myself. I have also arranged a meeting with a business savvy friend who is interested in my research, to quiz me in a mini viva on Wednesday, which I am hoping will help too. The thing I am most worried about is not the content, I am very good with that but the stats. I used structural equation modelling and hierarchical regression analysis and I have fMRI analysis, which is another language. To me, it all makes sense, I am geek. But to explain it to others.....a whole different ball game. I believe neither of my examiners are SEM or fMRI savvy but they may have studied up since 27/07.... ooh, I wish it was over. I have been through all the questions suggested on this forum, written them out, practiced them in my head but I read a piece of good advice, 'what will be will be, just do your best and leave the rest to fate'!

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