Viva tip: Reset and forget

I am sure most of you are aware of the format for the vivas, but just in case you are not, it’s:

2min reading, 20 mins viva (4×5 min vivas), 2 min reading, 20 min viva, 2 min reading, 20 min viva, done!!

Each of the sets of vivas will be conducted  by a different pair of examiners who have no idea how you have done in any other part of the exam – you are a blank canvas to them.

You have 3 chances to completely reset during the 66 mins. Make a conscious effort to calm yourself and refocus. Could you capture this feeling of freedom (not the sense of free falling)?


Leave the previous viva behind as you leave the little black cubicle.  Take it consciously from your mind. Only 3 people know what happened and the two of them who are still in the room, will be resetting themselves ready for the next candidate.

Within each 20 mins, there are also 4 separate and independent questions, each marked on their own merit. The examiners will mostly indicate when you are moving to a new topic ( it is a give away when the second examiner starts asking questions 😉). Take these transitions as another opportunity to reset yourself – perhaps have a sip of water.

You cannot alter the viva once it is finished. Undoubtedly you will have given it your best effort.

So when standing outside a black cubicle, with a bunch of other terrified looking individuals, in the second week of April, reset and forget…..

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