Dominant literacy discourses in questions of higher education admission test

Abstract In contemporary societies, individuals are constantly evaluated by their mastery of the written language. When it comes to Higher Education admission tests, writing is the means through which one is evaluated, as well as it constitutes one of the evaluation objects. When we consider writing as an evaluation object in Higher Education admission tests, we bring to the debate the discussions developed in the New Literacy Studies and the Critical Discourse Analysis areas. Based on these two theories, we provide some answers to the following questions: a) what value is attributed to writing in the vestibular; b) what does it means to master writing; and c) are the literacy discourses adopted in the tests? We found, at the end, that the underlying literacy discourses surrounding the questions analyzed reinforce naturalized views about writing and standard language, affecting individuals’ identities regarding to their use of different linguistic varieties in the written mode.