Certainly, submitting your thesis is a big triumph but you also need to be prepared for defending your thesis. Ultimately, this will decide your feat! A viva voce examination is also known as the viva. It is an oral examination at the conclusion of your doctoral. Viva exams are equally tough for everyone.

The viva voce exam is consisting of a committee of both internal and external examiners. They will look through your work and, basically, decide whether you pass or fail your doctoral. It is a kind of interview and there are different ways that a viva can be directed. Needless to say, every doctoral viva examination is different. However, there are some similarities in the types of questions asked at each.

Tips For Your Doctoral Viva Voce Exam

Here are some of the most helpful tips and tricks for your viva:

Learn about your examiners' own work

Your examiners will certainly have their own ideas on conducting doctoral standard research. Try to look at their online academic profiles to learn if there's any connection between the research they've published and your own work or not. From this, you will be able to understand their probable views on your thesis.

You should also research up-to-date concepts, read recent papers on the subject and speak to others who've just had their own viva exam. In many cases, doctoral students can select the examiners conducting the viva. Additionally, prepare yourself well to provide any supporting evidence asked of you by the examiners.

Arrange a mock viva (if possible)

Even if you have directed high quality research, always make sure to practice your presentation in front of friends, family members or anyone who is eager to listen. A mock viva will not always boost your confidence in the authentic thing, but it will also deliver you some valuable feedback about your performance.

You can even video record your performance on your phone. While watching yourself might sound throbbing, it could show you your performance. It’s a methodically proven approach.

Identify the weaknesses in your doctoral

It is important to be equipped enough to justify your approach. Certainly, no one has the perfect research tool, isn’t it? There are and there will be some limitations. As the researcher, it is your responsibility to enlighten why you chose to conduct your study using the methodology that you did.

Generally, you can ask your supervisor(s) to aid you with this as they can be a very valuable resource. They will also give suggestions about what questions the examiners are probable to ask.

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Research Your Potential Questions

Try to consider the potential viva questions to maximize your success. Nowadays, there are an ample number of websites that deliver you sample discussion points. Considering the questions in advance will add to your self-confidence. You may consider these types of questions:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your thesis?
  • Summarise your research/thesis in 3 minutes.
  • What are the practical claims of your research?
  • How does your research support solving the fundamental problems?
  • How did you come up with the subject of your thesis?
  • Where can we locate the originality in your paper?
  • Give us some insights into the references in your thesis.


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It is important to think about your project, you need to be able to justify your answers and arguments. It can be accommodating to practise your answers in advance.

Read your thesis well

Reading your thesis, a week or two before the viva is always a good idea. Concentrate on the quality of your argument. Highlight some parts of the texts and prepare notes. Reflect on the potential shortcomings of the research. But at the same time, don’t over prepare! You have already done the foundation. Be confident in your knowledge.

The Bottom Line

And finally, enjoy it! Make the most of the opportunity it provides, and enjoy yourself as you do. If you don't know the answer to a question - admit it. No research is perfect. East Bridge College offers Professional Doctoral Certificate in Business with professional one to one guidance and support.      

Did you follow any specific tips to ace your doctoral viva voce? Let us know how you prepared for the viva voce in the comments section below!




Written By : Elizabeth Garcia