Viva Questions

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Viva Questions

What are viva questions? A viva simply means a university examination during which students answer questions in speech and these questions are commonly based on a particular project or discipline. Viva questions are an important part of an academic program and often take place at the conclusion of a semester/year. Although viva questions can vary, they commonly focus on four aspects: “What the project is about?”, “What were the key findings or observations?”, “What was the process?” and “Why do the observations matter?”. However, in some cases, these questions can be more diverse. If you want to know how to tackle these questions properly, then this blog is a must-read for you!

10 Most Important Viva Questions with Answers

Whether you are a PhD or school student, viva exams are equally tough for everyone. But don’t worry, we have a solution to calm you down! Here are 5 commonly asked questions with answers:

1. Summarize your project/thesis/research in 3 minutes

To answer this question correctly, you need to be well versed with the entire project. Start with an answer by explaining why did you select the topic of your project/thesis/research and close your explanation by providing an optimum solution to the problem.

2. What is the strength and weakness of your research?

Carefully analyze the strength and weakness of your research and while answering, make sure you talk about your weaknesses also and not only your strengths.

3. What makes your thesis work original?

While answering, keep in mind what was known before and what you have added as part of being awarded your PhD is to contribute novel knowledge.

4. Elaborate on how your findings relate to literature in your field

Explain how your findings connect with the literature review of your project and what its contributions are in terms of the field of your research. Does it further expand the literature? Does it highlight some new observations? Does it add to the literature in this field? Answer these main questions.

5. Tell me about yourself

Talk about yourself and your areas of interest. Focus on the areas you are extremely positive about. Talk about your past achievements and what brings you to this position. Keep it professional.

6. Summarise your key findings

For this common viva question, focus on what you observed and found through your research project, how it connects with your hypothesis as well as what concluded through this research.

7. Highlight the strong and weak areas of your research

Mention the strengths first and elaborate on how they connect with the key findings. Then, you can underline the weak areas and the factors that could have been transformed into strengths.

8. What were the major motivations behind this research?

Focus on what inspired you to carry out this research, and cite certain instances which helped you select this topic as well as field for your project.

9. Elucidate the process of evaluation

Elaborate on how you evaluated the key findings in your research, what were the key factors involved, whether the evaluation process faced some obstacles, how it could have been better and what was the reason you choose a particular process of evaluation.

10. What is the key focus of this research?

While answering this, keep a summarised version of your research in your mind and then talk about the area of the primary focus of research. In order to demonstrate that your research is viable, it is essential to identify some of the key questions that it addresses.

50 Common Viva Questions

Mostly research-based viva questions are asked in case of a doctoral thesis wherein the key aspect of the process is to identify the thought behind the development of the specific paper. It is done to determine the knowledge and originality of the researcher and to assess their further interest in the field.

Below are some of the most common viva questions.

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. Summarise your research/thesis in 3 minutes.
  3. Tell us how your research contributes to knowledge discourse?
  4. What are the practical applications of your research?
  5. What is the strength and weakness of your research?
  6. How does your research help solving the underlying problems?
  7. Can you explain your thesis in a sentence?
  8. How did you come up with the subject of your research/thesis?
  9. What was the source of inspiration behind this thesis/research?
  10. What is the key idea that is unexpendable to your thesis?
  11. What contributions are you looking forward to making in this area of study?
  12. What is the key focus of this research?
  13. Where can we locate the originality in your paper?
  14. What are the core areas of debate in this paper?
  15. What research methodology have you applied to address this issue?
  16. What were the alternative methods you could have used to address the subject matter of concern?
  17. Why did you feel it necessary to spend your resources in this area of study?
  18. What aids did you use to support your research?
  19. Which pertinent research papers did you use in your research?
  20. Can you name 3 remarkable research papers in this stream?
  21. Explain the recent developments in this field.
  22. How did you come up with these questions you have discussed in your paper?
  23. Describe the necessary decisions taken in your process.
  24. Elucidate the process of evaluation.
  25. Ponder over the strong and weak aspects of your research.
  26. What is the relevance of your research in the current scenario?
  27. Where do you think your research can be practically applied?
  28. Which aspects of your research are you looking forward to being published?
  29. Give us some insights into the references in your thesis.
  30. What have you achieved in the process of this PhD?
  31. Elaborate on how your findings relate to literature in your field.
  32. Highlight the strong and weak areas of your research.
  33. What were the major motivations behind this research?
  34. How would you propose future research as a follow-up to this project?
  35. Who will be more interested in this research project?
  36. How is your research project relevant to your fellow researchers?
  37. What was the process behind the research questions you selected?
  38. Name some alternatives to your chosen research methodology.
  39. Which of your research observations are you most interested in/curious about?
  40. Name some prominent achievements of your research.

20 PhD Viva Questions 

  1. What is the area in which you wish to be examined?
  2. What have you done that merits a PhD?
  3. Summarise your key findings.
  4. What’s original about your work?
  5. Which topics overlap with your area?
  6. Where do current technologies fail such that you (could) make a contribution?
  7. Who are your closest competitors?
  8. Can you summarise your project in 2 lines?
  9. How can this research help other students working in the same field?
  10. Which of your findings is your personal favorite?
  11. Is your research inspired by some incident in your life?
  12. Why did you choose this method to conduct this research?
  13. What motivated you to conduct this research?
  14. What was the biggest challenge that came your way?
  15. What were the alternatives to this methodology?
  16. How would you evaluate your work?
  17. Were you short of any resource while conducting this research?
  18. Can you tell me about the strongest point of your research?
  19. What is the weakest point of your research?
  20. . How did you deal with the ethical implications of your work?

Viva Questions on Research Methodologies

Preparing for an interview for the Statistician or a Survey Specialist role? Then worry not! Here are the most important viva questions on research methodologies:

  1. Under which circumstances are quantitative as well as qualitative research methods fruitful?
  2. Could you distinguish between case-based and observational-based research methods in a few words? 
  3. What is a scientific study and what are its essential features?
  4. You must have faced some ethical issues while conducting research. How did you handle it? 
  5. What method did you use to collect data?
  6. Was there any other way in which you could have assimilated the data? If yes, then how?
  7. What are the main achievements of your research?
  8. What advice would you give to a research student entering this area?
  9. What is the relevance of your work to other researchers?
  10. How did your research questions emerge?

Also Read: Research Institutes in India

Analysis and Research Findings: Viva Questions

When it comes to a career in Research, the outputs which you obtain are assessed on multiple factors. Enlisted are some viva questions which will help you prepare in advance:

  1. How would you summarise your findings in a few words?
  2. You have used 3 different techniques to analyse the final results. Could you elaborate on all of them?
  3. Was there any chance of implementing a different type of analysis technique? 
  4. Apart from the topic, you selected, in what other applications can your research findings be used? 
  5. Out of the given results, which of the findings, according to you, can be beneficial in the near future?
  6.  is the problem you have tackled worth tackling?
  7. What would you have gained by using another approach?
  8. Which are the three most important papers that relate to your thesis?
  9. What would have improved your work?
  10. What are the main issues and debates in this subject area?
  11. What motivated and inspired you to carry out this research?

Subjective Questions for School 

Be it for Chemistry or Biology practical, from 10th standard onwards, students have to appear for vivas. The concerned viva questions pertain to that subject that the students have studied in the course of the entire year. The viva that one appears for in senior secondary level is based on the experiments that the students perform to test their understanding of the research. Apart from those experiments, the students are also asked several questions to estimate their practical understanding of the key areas of study. 

Viva Questions for Physics

Viva questions for Physics are mainly based on concepts and topics from Physics textbooks. Here are the most common viva questions for Physics Class 11 and Class 12:

Viva Questions for Class 12 Physics

  1. What is Ohm’s Law?
  2. What do you mean ‘interference’?
  3. Define tangent law.
  4. Name the type of motion shown by the Torsional pendulum?
  5. What happens with resonance in the LCR circuit?
  6. What do you understand by the order of spectrum?
  7. How is Wedge Film Experiment useful?
  8. Define parallax and how it is removed?
  9. How does the emission of light is carried out by LED?

Also Read: Physics Project for Class 12: Top 50 Ideas & Experiments

Viva Questions for Class 11 Physics

  1. Name the units of vernier scale.
  2. What do you understand by Zero Error (Z.E)?
  3. What are the two parts of the Screw Gauge?
  4. Name one mechanical advantage of a Screw Gauge.
  5. What is Focal Length?
  6. What are the factors that impact surface tension?
  7. Define time period of a bar.
  8. What is Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM)?

Viva Questions for Chemistry

Viva questions for Chemistry are mainly based on concepts and topics from Chemistry textbooks. Here are the most common viva questions for Chemistry Class 11 and Class 12:

Viva Questions for Class 12 Chemistry

  1. What is Valency?
  2. What is the value of Avogadro’s number?
  3. What is the monomer of Polyethylene?
  4. What are polymers?
  5. What is the IUPAC Name?
  6. Differentiate between addition and condensation polymer
  7. What is the oxidation and reduction reaction in the electrolytic process?
  8. What is Titration?

Also Read: Chemistry Project for Class 12: Topics & Sample Projects

Viva Questions for Class 11 Chemistry

  1. Define the term ‘crystallisation’
  2. What is solubility?
  3. Why is crystallization done?
  4. What is Kipp’s waste?
  5. What is a Saturated Solution?

Viva Questions for Biology

Viva questions for Biology are mainly based on concepts and topics from Biology textbooks. Here are the most common viva questions for Biology Class 11 and Class 12:

Viva Questions for Class 12 Biology

  1. What is litter?
  2. What is the shape of a pollen grain
  3. What is tectum?
  4. What are pollutants
  5. What is hummus
  6. Define Mitosis
  7. Why is Mitosis called Somatic Cell Division

Also Read: How to Ace Class 12th Biology Practical?

Viva Questions for Class 11 Biology

  1. How many types of proteins are there
  2. What are enzymes
  3. What is nucleic acid?
  4. Examples of high protein food
  5. Full form of DNA
  6. Full form of RNA
  7. What are Mendelian Laws
  8. What is placentation?
  9. What are monoadelphous and diadelphous stamens?
  10. What is flower’s importance to plant?
  11. To which family china rose belongs?

Viva Questions for Higher Education

Admission tutors at the postgraduate level conduct viva or interview to establish whether graduates are committed to and prepared for studying the master’s or PhD level courses. These are less formal than a job interview, but you still need to take them seriously – your aspirations to pursue overseas education could depend on your performance.

Let say you come from a Mass Communication background and you’ve made a documentary on “underprivileged sections of society”. Then you might be asked about the process of the development of the movie, how long did it take to gauge the key aspects of the film or the perspective behind the direction process.

Tips and Tricks to Ace the Viva

Though the research you do in your PhD is a massive achievement, you need to be prepared for the exhaustive viva session with the experts. This oral examination is a chance for students to discuss their work with professionals. Its formal purpose is to ensure that the student understands and can explain their thesis. It involves lots of stinging questions and conceptually complex debates. How can PhD scholars best prepare themselves? Let us take a look at the different tips for getting through your viva questions:

  • Calm down and breathe
  • Believe in yourself
  • Do something fun
  • Go in with a good attitude
  • Look presentable
  • Read your thesis
  • Know the rules
  • Make a list of your own corrections
  • Make plans to celebrate
  • Try to enjoy it

Preparing for the viva questions beforehand helps you confidently answer them in front of the panel of experts who not only test your subjective knowledge but also do grading on the basis of your level of confidence. If you are looking for admission to a university abroad and want to impress the admission committee, Leverage Edu experts can provide you with tips and tricks to ace the interview.

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    1. Hi Shreya

      There is no ideal answer to the question ‘Tell me about yourself’, as it is very subjective and depends on your career trajectory. But the best way you can answer it is by covering the following points:

      1. Share your background
      2. Tell them about your education
      3. Share any volunteer, internship or work experience you have
      4 You can also tell them about your hobbies

      It is advisable that you share your experience chronologically so it does not get confusing for the interviewer.

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