The article discusses the findings of the research carried out basing on the investigation procedure originating from the function-action approach to psychological defense developed by A. Senejko, where every reaction to threat can be considered as a defensive reaction. A nation-wide final secondary school examination was employed as the threat in the study and the reactions to such a threat were diagnosed twice: in January 2005 and two weeks before the exam in April 2005. The participants were 177 students of secondary schools (aged 18-19; 121 females and 52 males) of the Lower Silesian and Upper Silesian regions of Poland. In the she study two questionnaires were employed. Part one of The Psycho-Social and Psychic Defenses Questionnaire (PSPDQ) and the Questionnaire of Personal Judgements (QPJ) developed by Kinga Lachowicz-Tabaczek and Alicja Senejko for identifying the following psychological dispositions: self-esteem, social anxiety, depressiveness, obligation will, emotional reactivity, sensitivity, activity and endurance. The basic research questions concerned the effect which the diagnosed factors had on the two dimensions of the subjects' attitude to their final exam as a threat as well as how they influenced their reactions to it, that is their psychological defenses. The multiple regression analyzes showed that the two dimensions of the participants' approach to their exam as a threat were the most substantially influenced by endurance, self-esteem, gender and reactivity. However, the way the examinees reacted their exam was the most substantially influenced by their obligation will, depressiveness and endurance.