Taking your QE soon? …

Your examiners WANT to pass you

Yes they do! So long as you can show them you have been working (well, at least 50% of the time) and you’ve got plans for the next half of your PhD, they want to let you continue. They understand the failed experiments and the meandering journey you’ve been on: they too were once PhD students not so long ago! So don’t be too stressed, your examiners are on your side, really!

Sell your story

No one knows your PhD like you do, not even your supervisor. Take time to think (and convince yourself) about why what you are doing is important. As you prepare your presentation, keep these two questions in mind: (1) Which part of humanity’s bubble of knowledge are you expanding? (2) How do you plan to do this? If your presentation answers these questions, you’ll be okay.

Practise, practise, practise

All that being said, don’t take a ‘pass’ for granted. Once you’ve got a presentation, practise it to the point that you are presenting it in your dreams. Especially make a point to do a dry run (at least a week before) to your lab mates so they can give you suggestions.

Have some beer!

(after it’s all over)