The viva voce is a crucial assessment of the progress of your dissertation. It is an oral examination that can be stressful and intimidating, but it can also serve as a great opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in a field and build your confidence. The purpose of this article is to help you prepare for the viva exam by providing tips on how to tackle the process head-on without fear. To help you along, we’ve come up with a few tips that might be able to help you get ready for your viva.
Before you take the viva, you need to revise your dissertation. This means revising all the chapters from the introduction to the conclusion.
If you are asked a question about your literature review, then show that you have read widely about this topic and can explain how previous studies relate to yours. If you are asked whether there is sufficient evidence for or against a particular theory or model, then analyze each study carefully before making any judgment about its validity or usefulness for further investigation.
If asked about how long it took for data collection and analysis (and which was longer), be prepared with some examples from each process.
Rhetoric is the art of using language effectively in order to persuade or inform. You’ve probably noticed that some people are very good at this and others less so. It’s not just about knowing how to use rhetoric, though; it’s also about knowing when and how to use it.
For one thing, you should be able to recognize when your argument needs support from another source. If you’re trying to prove a point but can’t answer questions like “why” or “how,” then those points might need some extra support from outside sources.
You should also know how different types of rhetorical arguments work best in different situations—for example, sometimes statistics are more effective than stories when making an argument because they give people more information than just a personal anecdote would provide them with (that said, don’t ever rely solely on statistics).
Be familiar with the format of the exam
As a prospective researcher, you’re probably used to sitting in front of your computer and writing long papers. But a viva is different. In fact, it has two parts: the presentation and the questions. The presentation should be about ten minutes long and the questions are usually about 20 minutes. Instead of wasting your time on making the presentation, you should focus on the question-answer session.
Know the examiner and their interests
A common mistake is to imagine that the examiner has nothing but interest in your work and will be thrilled by it. You should assume that the examiner has no particular interest in your field or method of research, and they may even have an aversion to them. The best way to prepare for a viva is to know what interests the examiner and how these interests may differ from yours.
This means knowing their favourite subject area, methods of research, discipline (e.g., economics vs political science), and so forth—and not just because you want to impress them with how much knowledge you have about them! It’s important because it can help predict what types of questions might come up during your viva.
We hope you now feel a little more prepared to go into your viva. Remember that it’s not just about being ready with the content of your dissertation and the ability to answer questions on it. It’s also about being comfortable in front of an audience; whether that audience is one person, or many doesn’t matter. So, if possible, try practising presenting before heading into this final examination!
This article is written by Phil Williams. He is an academic writer having experience of more than 8 years. His core competency is in dissertation writing. Furthermore, he also provides dissertation proofreading services to students from different universities in the UK.