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This Category: > PhD Advice / Support


PhD viva tomorrow can’t get myself to do a thing

User: wekkies - 04 November 2020 15:13

I have my viva tomorrow and I was hoping to check atleast somethings today. But I simply can’t get to even open my thesis. I feel fed up with this whole thing and actually looking forward to tomorrow (just to be done with it)
Is this normal or should I be scared of my attitude?

User: Sam66 - 04 November 2020 19:18

It's normal. You will be fine and every thing is as it should be :)
very best of luck!

User: Em89 - 05 November 2020 12:57

Hey! I hope it's gone really well. Sometimes I think not over thinking it the day before is the best approach. Let us know how you got on

User: wekkies - 05 November 2020 19:41

Passed viva with minor amendments. I never thought this would be real for me to say- I did enjoy the viva. Both the examiners were very good and kept reassuring me. I did feel more like I was having a discussion than an examination. Wau I don’t even know what to feel

User: wekkies - 05 November 2020 19:42

Thanks Sam66. It went fine

User: Em89 - 05 November 2020 22:13

Congratulations Dr! Amazing news. I hope you are celebrating, well deserved

User: wekkies - 09 November 2020 22:06

Hi Em89, I expected to be all emotional but I still feel numb of emotions. My partner was very emotional- he still is. My amendments have arrived. Eager to start working on them. Any tips?

User: abababa - 10 November 2020 00:38

Read them carefully; then do them.

It's simple advice, but you're in a position now where it's (statistically) hard to *not* get a PhD.

Your examiners will be faced with the simple option - is this a PhD, or a fail. It takes a really harsh examiner to fail a PhD after minors. What you don't want to do, is give them the impression you don't care about the corrections, or haven't listened.

In general, you should always submit a secondary document explaining how you've addressed each correction you received, with a page reference to the thesis. This helps examiners massively, as they don't have to then trawl through the thesis trying to find if the correction was addressed. I'd wait until you get the list of corrections, tabulate them, then work through one-by-one, adding to the table how you addressed it.

If you find one you strongly disagree with, you could instead provide an academic argument in this table as to why, on reflection, you've not undertaken the correction, but this is one to be super-careful with, as the academic argument you provide needs to be pretty water-tight.

You can do additional corrections outside of this, but bear in mind what an examiner really cares about is a) did the candidate listen, and b) did they undertake the correction - and if not, why not. It will be - very likely - extremely painful for them if they fail you after a successful viva, so provided you show genuine effort listening to where they're coming from, and addressing the corrections, you will, almost undoubtedly, be Dr. wekkies very soon :)

User: Em89 - 10 November 2020 10:03

Take some time away from them, then when reality has sunk in, get stuck in! Corrections can be back breakingly boring to do. I started with the very minor stiff first - typo's etc, and marked them off as I did them, then tackled the next minor issues (the odd sentence clarification) and checked it off, I then worked on the bigger stuff in order of my thesis, making sure I noted what had changed and where as part of my notes back to the examiner (a bit like a response to reviewers).

I used tracked changes to help my examiner int he first instance, but on the understanding I would sort any formatting issues afterwards (dyslexic and working with tracked changes in challenging). It made it easier for them to see what I had done. There were a couple of points I didn't agree with so I explained my reasoning, but also made sure to include if they still felt those changes would strengthen my thesis, I would do them. My examiner accepted my responses.

Congratulations once again Dr! One last tiny little hill to climb over after conquering that giant mountain!

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