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LTC Diana Herr
LTC Diana Herr
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WHAT IS THE THESIS DEFENCE?
When most students hear the word "thesis", they get chills. Preparing for a thesis can be a nerve-wracking time. What is the right way to face the exam board calm and prepared? We're going to help you with that...
Know how the exam is done!
The format of the exam may vary, and the expectations and requirements may be different. So the first thing to do is to be
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aware of this, and then start building your presentation: do you even need a presentation? How long will it take? How many people will be there? Will there be items? Are you taking the exam alone or in groups? Will you have time to prepare?
Preparing and practising the exam
It is important to know how much time you have and to prepare your presentation accordingly. It can be awkward if you only have 15 minutes for your defence but your presentation consists of 100 slides, or conversely, if you have prepared 10 slides for a one-hour defence.
It is very important to rehearse your presentation well, it is best to know it by heart. After all, the exam is about the essay you have written. When you are practising, time yourself, know where you are, how much time you have left, and if you practise these things, you will have no problems. Present your paper in front of an audience (family, friends). Outside observers may have some constructive criticisms, questions you don't address, but the examiners may also ask.
The dreaded "awkward question"
You are not expected to know everything. However, some examiners like to ask questions during and at the end of exams. This may be because they are genuinely curious to know more about the subject, or because they want to know if you, "as an expert", know the answer. In such cases, you often do not know the answer, even though you have prepared questions. You would
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prefer to just say: I don't know. This answer would probably not be so appealing to the questioner. Instead, try something like: 'I don't know, but I think/ in my opinion.... "or "This would require further research on ... using ... methods" This shows that you understand what is at stake, that you are thinking rationally and that you would be able to solve the problem posed, or that you have researched the topic enough to at least be able to say in which direction you would look for an answer.
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