T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E L I N E O N
H O W T O S U R V I V E Y O U R
V I V A V O C E
S P S , U T MCONGRATULATIONS!
F F F Fiiiin n n na a a alllllllly y y y,,,, you have submit your thesis after going through the most
challenging journey of your educational life.
C C C Co o o om m m mp p p plllle e e em m m me e e en n n ntttt yourself for the effort and hard work ending with a thesis
to be examined and defended during the Viva Voce.
N N N No o o otttte e e e that Viva Voce is an oral examination and, like any other
examination, you need to be well prepared.WHAT IS A VIVA VOCE ?
• An oral examination of an expert. A
defense, thus an academic
conversation among peers.
• A platform that allows the examiners
to see you in person.
• A verbal presentation that permits you
to explain to the examiners the new
findings of your study in your own
• A closure to your research. ELIGIBILITY FOR VIVA-VOCE (IN UTM)
• Your viva voce session will be set once the School of Graduate Studies
received the report from external and internal examiners.
• You are not called for the defense if you get an E grade or the examiners
found that you plagiarized.
• If you got a C or D grade given by one of the examiners, a representative
from SPS will attend your defense. THE VIVA ROOM SETUP AT UTM
Drawing courtesy of PM Dr. Ismail Said, FAB. W WH HO O W WI IL LL L B BE E P PR RE ES SE EN NT T? ?
W WH HO O W WI IL LL L B BE E P PR RE ES SE EN NT T? ?
• For most candidates, an internal and an external
examiner will be present.
• For UTM staff candidates, Industrial Doctoral
and Eng. Doctoral candidates, an internal and
two external examiners will be present as well.
One of the external examiner is occasionally a
professional with expertise in your area of research.
• Others include:
– The supervisor(s)
– A Chairman to manage the viva session
– An assistant chairman to assist the Chairman
in preparing the report. PREPARATION OF PRESENTATION
• Background, Research problem and Gap
• List of your papers
* You are given 15-20 minutes to present your slides. How many slides that you
should prepare for the presentation?SOME OF THE FAVOURITE QUESTIONS
1. In a sentence, what is your research?
2. What is your research underpinning?
3. What is main contribution of your study?
4. If I were to conduct the same research method in
another setting, would my result similar as yours?
5. How your findings be applied for the benefits of
6. Where do you go from here?PREPAREDNESS AND ETIQUETTES
• Introduce yourself.
• Be smart and humble.
• Address the chairman and the examiners politely. Say thanks to your
• If you don’t know always say that you are do not know or not sure – it
is quicker and much safer
• Request for a short break if you feel so.
• Don’t get defensive
• Memorize the authors of seminal references.
• No pledging from your supervisor to assist you in the defense.
• Pay careful attention to the questions.
• Walk your audience through a story.WHAT TO BRING INTO THE VIVA VOCE
• Bring pen and paper – take notes on long questions
• Take your own copy of the thesis into the viva. It is useful to
annotate your thesis with post-it notes so that you can find
particular sections of your work on points that you anticipate
wanting to elaborate.
• Sometimes, examiners request to see your data. So, have it handy. MISTAKES OF VIVA VOCE -
• No interaction with panel.
• Badly prepared slides.
• Presentation not focused.
• Talking too softly or too fast.
• Presentation too long.
• No flow.
• Language problem.
• Monotonous.MISTAKES OF VIVA VOCE – Q&A
• DO NOT SAY, “I do not know. My supervisor ask me to do …”
• DO NOT ARGUE OR BE SO DEFENSIVE. Accept criticism.
• DO NOT ANSWER “YES” OR “NO”.
• BEING EVASIVEOUTCOMES
Duration of Thesis
Grade Certification of the
No correction; 3 weeks
submission of bound thesis to
B1 Maximum 1 month
Either Internal Examiner or
Maximum 6 months
External or both Examiners
Maximum 12 months; Thesis External and Internal
Maximum 12 months; Thesis External and Internal
reexamination and reviva Examiners
Not be awarded a PhD but a
D Lower Degree will be awarded Supervisor
(Master); Maximum 3 months
T T T TH H H HE E E ES S S SI I I IS S S S C C C CO O O OR R R RR R R RE E E EC C C CT T T TI I I IO O O ON N N NS S S S
• The extent of your correction can range from a few spelling
mistakes (grade a) to rewriting (Grade B1 and B2) or adding
chapters and resubmit (Grade C1 or C2).
• In order to be sure that your corrections make the right changes:
– Take notes during the viva and write them up immediately after
– Meet with your supervisor (s) to discuss the corrections and prepare a table listing down all the
– Analyse the examiners' report carefully to make sure that you have dealt with all of the issues that
– Is best to proofread your work again.
– Ensure that your supervisor (s) have read your corrected thesis before submit to SPS.CONCLUSION
• Practice makes perfect.
• I heard this somewhere ...
“... During your presentation, you are the KING. And if you show the panel you are KING
during the presentation, you will remain KING during the Q&A. Otherwise, the panel will
become KING and you will be eaten by them ...” anonymous