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Revista Brasileira de Orientação Profissional

On-line version ISSN 1984-7270


D'AVILA, Geruza Tavares. University entrance test: factors generating anxiety in the ‘test setting’. Rev. bras. orientac. prof [online]. 2003, vol.4, n.1-2, pp. 105-116. ISSN 1984-7270.

Attending University depends on the candidate’s approval in the University Entrance Test and a large amount of candidates fails, even when gathering all the conditions to be approved. Anxiety might be one of the causes of failure. This research aimed at investigating which external factors might arouse anxiety in those candidates during the test. The research was done in two moments: 1) questionnaires filled via Internet one month before the exam and 2) interviews done in the day of the test. First of all, 398 subjects filled a questionnaire found in LIOP´s website (, one month before the test. Then, in the second stage, 151 interviews were done - 50 in the first day of the test, 68 in the second and 33 in the third. Results, after being qualitatively analyzed, indicate that one month prior to the exam candidates experienced feelings of anxiety and anguish. However, in the “test setting”, the subjects asserted they were unconcerned, what might indicate the occurrence of denial as a defense mechanism in order to allow them to take the exam with more tranquility. Also, candidates emphasized the fear of failing and of disappointing their families as the main causes for the anxiety in the Entrance Test.

Keywords : Anxiety; University entrance test; University.

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