March 4, 2019

Do not panic before defending your master thesis!

So you go quite relaxed in the exam

It is finally finished: your master thesis! After months of drudgery, nothing stands in the way of a successful end to your studies – except for the defense of your master’s thesis. Do not worry, with our tips and advice, you master this last hurdle with left.

The defense of the Master Thesis: The same as in the Bachelor

Were you already in the situation to defend yours? Then you already know the whole procedure. In fact, most exam regulations cite both under the same point because there are so few differences between the two tests. But even if you have not been in the comparable situation so far, you need not be afraid.

Everywhere else, but still always similar: The specifications

Note that the requirements for the course of a defense may vary from college to college. If in doubt, take a look at your examination regulations. If you have any questions about the examination regulations, it is best to visit the examination office directly. The staff usually likes to take time to answer any outstanding questions.

The rough process

Despite all the individuality of the universities in their approach, there are still rough cornerstones, which are handled almost everywhere similar. In general, the defense of your consists of two parts: In the first part, you should explain your way of working and the theses of your master’s thesis. In the second part of the defense you will be asked questions about your work. The duration of your defense can vary from college to college, but you can expect it to last between half an hour and an hour. Also on your time management is usually put a lot of value. It is expected of you that at the end of your studies you have learned to be able to coordinate oral lectures well in time.

A conversation with the examiner: Indispensable!

Your examiner also has some discretion as to how to defend your master’s thesis. That’s why you should definitely look for the conversation beforehand to discuss with him about his personal expectations of your presentation, such as whether handouts for the examining board are desired or expected.

Same procedure as every year

Over time, most examiners develop a pattern for the defense of master theses from which they rarely deviate. That’s why it may be a good idea to sit in the defense of a master’s thesis under the chairmanship of your examiner. At most colleges there is the possibility to sit as a silent observer of another defense. Just inform yourself if something like that goes at your university. So you can already get some impressions regarding the procedure of your examiners.

Organization: The remedy for stress on the home stretch

Likewise, a discussion with your examiners is essential for scheduling appointments. While there are defense dates set at some colleges, you may also need to make an appointment with the examiner on your own. Again, a conversation with your examiners or a look at the examination regulations will help you. So your own initiative is in demand here! And that in addition to all the stress with your master thesis! A good organization is therefore crucial, if you do not want to sink still in the home straight in absolute chaos.

Setting up a timetable by planning ahead what you need to clarify and when can work wonders. Not only do you keep an eye on all deadlines, but you also gain self-imposed intermediate goals until you finally have your master!

If one of you is desired, you should bring your own cables and a laptop for security on the exam day. During your studies, you’ve probably already discovered that the technique does not always play along. It’s not just good for your nervous condition to have a replacement.

Exercise does the master

In order to get a feel for your time management while defending your master thesis, or just to be able to present yourself more sovereignly during this time, it is worthwhile to practice your lecture in front of friends or your family. If in doubt, you can of course also record yourself with your phone or practice your lecture in front of the mirror. Remember, in most cases, your presentation style will be included in the rating.

Who is the specialist here? You!

The big day is finally here: The defense of your master thesis is pending. Despite all the good preparation breaks out with you now the cold sweat? Do not worry! Remember, you are the expert in the round. Unlike bachelor theses, master theses often have such special topics that their examiners are only specialists in the field in exceptional cases.

You, however, have spent months working on the subject, sometimes even dreaming about it. Since a few questions can not break you in sweat. After all, you know best about what you’re talking about. You’re the specialist at the table, just do not forget that in all the excitement. You can do it!