Throughout the course of my PhD the viva stayed in the back of my mind as being something that sounded vaguely scary, but that by the time I did it I would completely ready for. Because, of course, when I had spent three years or more studying full time I would surely know everything there was to know. After all, aren’t you supposed to (briefly) become the world’s foremost expert on your topic?
Three years and five weeks in, I submitted my thesis. Suddenly, the viva loomed. No longer a vaguely scary event located somewhere in the future when I would be ready for it, it was now set to take place precisely six weeks and two days later.