FUVEST (from Portuguese Fundação Universitária para o Vestibular, "University Foundation for Vestibular") is a Brazilian autonomous institution connected to the University of São Paulo responsible for its "vestibular" examinations. For that reason, USP's vestibular itself is usually called "Fuvest". The Fuvest examinations also apply for candidates willing to study at Santa Casa Medical School.
FUVEST's exam is considered the most competitive vestibular, and one of the most demanding. Every year, an average of 160,000 candidates take their exams, which usually last several days.
FUVEST's exam is split into two parts. The first part consists of a 90 multiple–choice questions test, taken by all applicants (vestibulandos) in late November, or early December. They have 5 hours to answer the questions with the following subjects: Portuguese language and Brazilian/Portuguese Literature, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, and English language. Also, according to the candidate's guide, up to 10% of these questions will bear interdisciplinary questions.
Following the first part, FUVEST publishes the Nota de Corte (from Portuguese, meaning "Cutoff Mark" or "Cutoff Score"). The Cutoff Score is the result of a simple expression and its value is different for each major. Every candidate who has obtained a score equal to or higher than the Cutoff Mark automatically qualifies to advance to the second part. Candidates who score less than 22 points or score zero in any subject are automatically disqualified.
The second part is usually held in early January and consists of up to four exams. The Portuguese exam is required of all candidates. The remaining required exams differ however depending on the candidate's intended major. For example, prospective Engineering majors are tested in Math, Physics and Chemistry, while Law School applicants have to take History and Geography exams, and Medical School candidates are examined in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. No career requires a foreign-language exam in the second part. All exams in this part consist of ten write-in questions requiring an essay answer, with the exception of the Portuguese language exam which, in addition to the ten regular essay questions, also includes a student-written essay. Candidates have four hours to solve the Portuguese exam, while the other exams last three hours each. In the current format, candidates normally take only one exam per day over a period of three or four days. Some majors also require specific exams: applicants for Architecture, Design and Arts must attend for such tests.
Moreover, candidates who only attended a public high-school receive an extra 12% on their final scores on the first and second parts, arguably in order to compensate for the general low quality of Brazilian public basic education.
For the 2010 FUVEST, some significant changes are expected. The first part, scheduled for November 22, will be the same as before, but the points obtained by the candidate will no longer be taken into consideration for his final score. In other words, the first part will serve as an elimination test.
For the second part, greater changes will be made. The examination will last for three consecutive days (from January 3 to 5). In the first day, candidates will do the Portuguese language test and the essay exam. On the second day, 18 write-in questions covering all subjects of high school, 6 being interdisciplinary. In the third day, specific questions will be asked for the candidate, depending on his career of choice. For example, students applying for any human science will be asked geography and/or history questions, candidates for exact sciences will answer mathematics and chemistry questions, etc.
Careers that require special tests (like Music and Architecture) will have their tests from October 11 to 16.
Candidates are requested to read a total of nine books, as questions are going to be asked about them. Not all of them are covered by the test, usually only three are mentioned throughout the test, but the student is unable to know which of them will be asked about. For the 2013 vestibular, the required books are:
- Vidas Secas, by Graciliano Ramos;
- Capitães da Areia, by Jorge Amado;
- O Cortiço, by Aluísio Azevedo;
- Sentimento do Mundo, by Carlos Drummond de Andrade;
- Til, by José de Alencar;
- Viagens na minha terra, by Almeida Garrett;
- Memórias de um Sargento de Milícias, by Manuel Antônio de Almeida;
- Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas, by Machado de Assis;
- A Cidade e as Serras, by Eça de Queirós.
- "Vestibulares unificados podem melhorar ensino" (in Portuguese). O Estado de São Paulo. 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
- "Calendário Vestibular FUVEST 2010April" (in Portuguese). FUVEST.com.br. April 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
- Lista unificada de livros que serão exigidos no FUVEST 2013