Working for comprehensive viva for your PhD? Keep in mind these 7 must do's

The PhD viva indeed is the defining moment in the doctoral journey. It is the platform where the research thesis of the scholar is assessed.  It must be taken as a wonderful opportunity to talk in detail about your passionate area of research to the group of people who have the interest and intellect to listen and understand what you are saying.

The viva is surely an intellectually grueling hurdle as it incorporates a lot of probing questions, theoretically intricate debates and it surely is infamously petrifying for the scholar. That's why most of the students looking for PhD consultancy services.

What is the way in which PhD students can best prepare for the last but terrifying stop in their doctoral journey? Some of the important but crucial tips are:

  1. Confirm the policies and practices of your University/Institute:  The policies and practices of institutes are often subjective on various intricacies. There could be variation in the role and presence of the supervisor and other members chairing the panel.

  2. Abreast yourself with the latest research, even with the one after your submission: You must never take for granted the amount of homework that the examiners may do on your topic before presenting themselves for the VIVA.  Being an expert in your own area of research, ensure that you have updated yourself with any latest additions of relevant research papers related to your research topic.

  3. Know what you have to defend and what you can let go: What is most important is to ensure that you can defend the originality of your thesis and the amount of constructive contribution that it is making in the field of research. Accept that there will be limitations in every study and you have to be open to accepting opinions that things could be done differently or better.

  4. List out the most expected questions: Though it is difficult to accurately predict the direction of questions for your viva, it is always better to list down the most dreaded questions for you and prepare your answers for them. Whether they are asked or no, you would surely be more confident and less anxious in the process.

  5. Get to a great start: Make sure the first 15 minutes of your viva are directed by you in such a way that you get the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in your area of research. This would relax the examiners and not raise doubts about your potential, thus making the remaining journey more comfortable.

  6. Prepare well with the basics: The opening of every viva is with the icebreaker questions. These are some basic conceptual questions and often scholars tend to forget preparing for them. If you are well prepared for the fundamental questions there is no stopping to a kick start to your day.

  7. Never speak out your own weaknesses: Don’t try to help the examiners by talking about your own weaknesses or the flaws in your research without them having noticed it. Let it be there job. You never know they may get completely unnoticed.

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