7 Tricks That Can Help You Avoid Failing Your Dissertation Defense

If the prospect of your dissertation defense is not only looming but keeping you awake at night, then you seriously need to consider how you are going to not just survive the experience but ROCK IT! Really, you have done the hard part simply by researching and writing your paper. You should celebrate your achievements and be proud. Hiding away is not the way forward! Still not quite convinced? Here are 7 tricks that can help you avoid failing your dissertation defense:

Put yourself in the panels shoes

I know that it might seem hard to believe right now, but that panel of people sitting in front of you right now is human. They have also been in exactly the same place as where you currently find themselves. More than that, there is a strong likelihood that they are all seeking to get the competitive edge over each other. If you are able to put yourself in their shoes the whole process will not be so daunting.

Draw up a list of likely questions

There really is no need to go into this situation blind. The advent of the internet has made prepping for dissertation defenses so much easier. You can simply conduct a search engine search to bring up a whole list of questions and then some. You could also get together with some buddies and thrash out additional questions that you may be asked.

Role play

My last point leads me nicely to this – role play. Get together with some friends and act out the different roles. Alternate between being you and being a panel member. Trust me, it works!

Chill out

It is understandable that you are most likely completely wired right now. However the best way to approach this is in a calm manner. Although it is not the desirable outcome, it won’t be the end of the world if you do fail. So, go in, do your best and chances are you will be fine.

Don’t try and be clever

By this, I simply mean don’t try and be something that you are not. Don’t try and give a ridiculous answer when a straightforward one is required. Answer clearly, and as concisely as possible.

Maintain eye contact

You are aiming for decent career eventually, you are not interviewing for a cashiers job. Think, look, and act professional. This means maintaining eye contact!

Be prepared for the unexpected

While it is highly unlikely that a panel member will deliberately throw a trick question into the mix, it is of course, still possible – by being prepared for the unexpected you will increase your chances of success rather than failure. Of course, the very best way to ensure success is to use this service who will be able to coach, and mentor you through the whole process. Good luck!


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Tricks and tutorials for students getting their doctoral level degree.