I am a completing Ph.D student. I submitted my thesis 4 months ago and have recently received the comments from the examiners. But to my surprise, two examiners have provided entirely different comments. One of the reviewers has appraised my thesis and congratulated on my work while the other has given intense/critical and harsh comments saying that the thesis may need some more work to be of a standard quality. I learned that the second reviewer who has provided extended comments will be attending in person for my oral exam. Could you please give me tips on how to appear confident and prepare in the best way possible. Most of the comments seem genuine but there are comments where he is beyond the objectives of my study.
Your help would be highly appreciated. Thank you.


You talk to your thesis advisor and do what s/he says. S/he'll be responsible for leading (or at least framing the) oral examination and working with the examiners to make sure that you get final approval.

None of us know you or your research or the needs of your university or department, the character and reputation of the examiners involved, and so forth -- you need a local expert.

  • Yes, I had a discussion with my primary supervisor and it looks that keeping calm and providing justification with confidence is the way to deal during the defense. However, I was wondering about some of the starting phrases while responding to the examiner's questions. Especially, when the it is a difficult question or the examiner identified something that I missed to include in my thesis. – visresearch Jan 24 '16 at 23:00

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