Top 10 tips for Viva Success

There’s nothing better than a written theoretical exam where you can take your time, gather and remember the points you’ve learnt and write them down. But then there come the viva test, the practical or oral parts of the exam.
All of us begin to feel worried about how our presentation is going to go and what the external examiner is going to ask and how you are going to perform. Handling a viva with success if you know the basic rules of how to give the presentation.
Here are 10 tips for Viva success…




1. Submitting your thesis


                Most of the viva examinations requires the submission of a thesis or report. Make sure that that this is well presented and neat. Make all necessary corrections beforehand so that the examiner does not spot any mistakes as spotting mistakes in your report can lead to reduction of marks. Keep submitting proof copies and getting corrections from your professor so that mistakes can be found beforehand. Do not attempt to go for direct submission on the day of the viva without submitting soft copies.

2. Mock Viva


                You could ask your teacher to organize a mock viva in class as a mean of practice, so that you are ready for the real deal. Take the mock viva as serious as you would for the real one and prepare for it well. Ask your teacher for corrections and suggestions once the mock viva is over. You can also do mock viva’s with your friends by asking them to go through your report and asking you questions based on it.

3. Confidence


You must speak with tons of confidence in the viva session as the external will be expecting it from you. The slightest doubt or hesitation will lead to the examiner questioning you even more. Speak loudly, clearly and boldly without fear or nervousness. If you are confident about your answer, then answer it confidently no matter how much the external questions you or tries to confuse you. Never doubt yourself either, it is the job of the invigilator to test how confident you are and how well you know you answers.

4. Do not attempt relfex answers


            Some of us tend to get excited and jumpy during an exam and give out reflex answers as soon as the external has placed his/her question. This is not encouraged and can often lead to wrong answers or wrong understanding of the question itself. It will sound rushed and hurried to the external as well. Listen to the question placed carefully, think about the answer without taking too much time. Once you are sure of your answer, you can then proceed to answering the placed question.

5. Answering irrelevantly


One thing that an external examiner hates and finds irritating is spinning yarns and answering irrelevantly. If you do not know the answer to the question asked, then do not hesitate in saying you don’t know. It saves time as the examiner will move on to the next question which you can continue answering. Instead of doing this if you give out an answer that isn’t relevant to the question, it will show that you have not prepared well and that to are trying to answer just for the sake of answering.

6. KISS


            ‘Keep It Short and Simple’. This is the basic rule to be followed not only in a viva but in a speech or presentation as well. When answering a question, try to keep it as short and simple as possible without elaborating too much. After all, the examiner is going to listen to your answer rather than reading it off from a piece of paper. There is no need to mention every fact and detail but explain it crisply and neatly. Do not talk for more than 1 minute as this is the standard time allotted for most questions asked during a viva.




7. Look formal and presentable


Try to make an effort to dress neatly and as formally as possible on your viva day. This not only gives the examiner a good impression about you, but also makes you feel more confident and brings up your self-esteem. Sit up straight without slouching with your hands placed neatly on your laps after placing you report on the table. Be polite without arguing to try to make your point clear.





8. Have a clear head and don't be nervous


              There is no need to feel stressed or worried about a viva examination nor thinking of the examiners as enemies. Thinking negatively results in you becoming defensive over you answers when the examiner questions you further. They will try to confuse you and make you doubt yourself but you should keep a steady head and press your point without sounding to defensive.





9. Don't be afraid to say you don't know


            Once again this is one of the most major mistakes a student makes during his/her viva. Fearing that they must answer all the questions in order to get marks, they attempt to answer questions that they do not know the answer to or are sure of. This results in wrong answers or unnecessary chatter that has no relation to the question asked. This makes sure that the examiner no that you have no idea what you are saying and that you are unaware of the actual answer. Instead of wasting time as such, tell the examiner that you are sorry but you are not able to recall the answer. Simple. They will move on and you can answer the next set of questions. Do not try to answer questions you do not know and admit it to the examiner. It will do you good.

10. Be well prepared


Go through your report now and then so that so are familiar with it, its your work after all. Try to do external research about your report so that you will be able to answer any questions put forth by the examiner. Ask your teacher beforehand on what to expect from the viva and what is expected from you. Your teacher will be glad to help out. Drink water before you enter the viva room and be relaxed. Enter with a confident smile and a clear mind and you will do just fine.

Attending a viva isn’t as hard or nerve wracking as it might seem. Be confident in yourself and stay positive all the way through. Once the viva is over don’t spend too much time worrying on how you think you’ve done because you are sure to have done well if you followed the above tips.

Be well prepared for whatever might come at you and do your viva splendidly.

Last but not least….All the best for you Viva!!






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