Before your viva takes places there are important steps you can take in preparing yourself for the examination.

The Graduate School has put together a series of videos on the viva process, from both a student perspective and an examiner's perspective. 


Anticipate questions that will be asked

Test yourself by doing some practice questions. Ask your supervisor to provide you with a list of questions that they would anticipate may be asked. Identify areas that you are uncertain about and discuss further with your supervisor if you have concerns about what you could be questioned on.

Mock viva

You may find your supervisor or department will automatically organise a mock viva. If not, ask your supervisor if they will conduct a mock viva with you, perhaps including another member of the research team who is familiar with your research work and could ask you relevant questions.

Review your material

Review your knowledge as you go along. Make sure you have not missed anything along the way. If there is anything you are unsure of, make time to focus on that area again. Mark up key parts of your thesis. Remember you are allowed to take a copy of your thesis into the examination. You can refer to it if needed, such as when discussing key figures and tables in relation to the data that you have generated.

Some time may have passed since you submitted your thesis, so make sure you are up to date with relevant publications published after your thesis submission. If you don't you may find that your examiners are more up to date on relevant published research findings than you.

Keep calm, relax, sleep well and eat well

When re-reading your thesis and revising for your viva do not let yourself get too stressed. Allow yourself plenty of time to prepare for the examination. Do not leave things until the last minute - especially not the night before the viva.

Allow yourself time to relax, eat properly, and sleep. You will function better in your viva if you are not tired, hungry and grumpy - and you'll make a better impression on your examiners.