USPS (United States Postal Service) Exam

USPS (United States Postal Service) Exam

Are you interested in a job with the United States Postal Service? We are here to break down everything you need to know about the USPS postal exam. Formally known as the 473 Postal exam, this test was completely redesigned in April 2019. The USPS now uses the Virtual Entry Assessment System to test candidates according to the specific position they are applying for.


What Is the USPS Postal Exam? What Happened to the 473 Postal Exam?

Up until April 2019, if you were applying for a job with the United States Postal Service (USPS) you would be required to take one test Postal Service 473 test, no matter what position you were applying for. Now the virtual entry assessments are broken down according to the position you are applying for. The USPS has shifted to a focus on specific skills needed for each position. Let's get a better insight into each of the exams.


USPS Postal Exam 474

This is a 45 minutes long self-administered test given to those who are applying for city and rural mail carrier positions. After you submit your application for an open position, if you are deemed a good fit you will be sent an email inviting you to take a Virtual Entry Assessment - MC 474.

MC 474

USPS Postal Test (potential names):

  • Virtual Entry Assessment MC 474
  • Mail Carrier VEA Exam

Job Positions: Mail Carrier Positions

  • Rural carrier
  • Rural Carrier Associate
  • Assistant Rural Carrier
  • City Carrier
  • City Carrier Assistant
  • Casual City Carrier

Test Sections:

  • Work Scenarios
  • Tell Us Your Story
  • Describe Your Approach

Work Scenarios

This section has eight questions which focus on how you would respond on specific work related situations a Mail Carrier might encounter on a daily basis. Once you click "Next" in this section you can not go back. 

Tell Us Your Story

This section consists of 20 multiple choice questions which covers your work experience and background. Make sure your answers match what you included on your resume. In this section you can only go back one question.

Describe Your Approach

This section is a personality questionnaire which consists of 56 questions to be completed in 6 minutes. The point of this section is to see if you are a good personality fit for the position. Again, there is no going back in this section.

Take a look at this Postal Exam 474 Practice Test.


USPS Postal Exam 475 and 476

The USPS MH 475 is the test for those applying to be mail handlers. The USPS MP 476 is for those applying to be mail processing clerks and data conversion operators. These two tests are very similar and cover the same sections.

MH 475

USPS Postal Test (potential names):

  • Virtual Entry Assessment MP 476
  • Mail Handler VEA Exam

Job Positions: Mail Handler Positions

  • Mail Handler
  • Assistant Mail Handler
  • Casual Mail Handler

Test Sections:

  • Work Scenarios
  • Tell Us Your Story
  • Describe Your Approach
  • Check for Errors

MP 476

USPS Postal Test (potential names):

  • Virtual Entry Assessment MP 476
  • Mail Processor VEW Exam
  • Processing Clerk VEA Exam 

Job Positions: Mail Processing Positions

  • Casual Mail Processing Clerk
  • Mail Processing Clerk
  • PSE Mail Processing Clerk

Test Sections:

  • Work Scenarios
  • Tell Us Your Story
  • Describe Your Approach
  • Check for Errors

Introduction

The point of this section is to give you a brief history of the Postal Service and some information on the position you are applying for. The introduction includes a description, sample questions, and instructions.

Work Scenarios

This section consists of 9 questions to be completed in 11 minutes. The questions focus on work scenarios you will encounter on the job. You will be presented with four answer choices and you will choose two. The two answers will be the MOST and LEAST likely solution to the problem being presented.

Check for Errors

This section has 12 questions in it. You will be presented with a pair of 8 numbers. You will be asked to identify numbers pairs that are the same (match) or differ (error).

Tell Us Your Story

You will be asked 22 questions about yourself and your history. Only include information that you put on your resume.

Describe Your Approach 

This section has 79 questions. The point of this section is for the USPS to gain insight into your personality, how you work with others, and handle stress.

Practice for the USPS Postal Exam 475 and 476.


USPS Postal Exam 477

The Virtual Entry Assessment CS 477 is for those candidates applying for customer, service, sales, and distribution positions. There are four sections on the CS 477: work situations, work your register, tell us your story, and describe your approach.

CS 477

USPS Postal Test (potential names):

  • Virtual Entry Assessment CS 477
  • Customer Service VEA Exam

Job Positions: Customer Service Clerk Jobs

  • PSE Sales Service & Distribution Associate
  • Casual Sales and Distribution Associate
  • Sales Service & Distribution Associate

Test Sections:

  • Work Scenarios
  • Tell Us Your Story
  • Describe Your Approach
  • Check for Errors

Introduction

The introduction will go into a brief history of the postal service and some of the potential careers covered on the exam. It will provide directions, and sample questions for each section.

Work Situations

This section of the test is similar to the work scenarios section on the other exams. The test covers 10 questions describing work situations you might encounter on the job. You will be asked to choose the two out of the four options you think would most likely resolve each situation.

Work Your Register

 You will be presented with transactions including the amount of the purchase, amount paid, and change that is needed. You will need to find the smallest number of bills and coins required for providing the customer change. You will be scored on how QUICK and ACCURATE you are when giving the change.

Tell Us Your Story

You will face 21 questions focusing on your background and employment history. Make sure all your answers match what you have previously included on your application.

Describe Your Approach

This is a personality assessment which has 56 questions to be completed in 6 minutes. The point of this section is to make sure you have the correct personality traits to be a successful worker in these positions. In this case because you will be working with people, so they want to see how you relate to people and work under stress.

Practice for the USPS Postal Exam 477.


How Much Time Do I Have to Complete the Postal Test?

You will have only 72 hours from the time you get the email to take the online exam. If you don't complete the test in time you will have to start the recruitment process over again.


What Is a Passing Score for the Postal Test?

Like its predecessor the postal exam 473 you will need to get a passing score of at least a 70. The USPS ranks candidates based on their scores so you want to aim on getting at least an 85. Your score will be available on the USPS website. If you receive below a 70 the word "ineligible" will appear.


What Happens If I Fail the Postal Exam?

If you fail the USPS Postal Tests you will get an ineligibility status. You will be allowed to take the test again after a year. If you want to improve your score you can wait 24 months and take the test again. As you can see it is important to not just pass but get a high score the first time around. 


How Can I prepare?

Know what to expect! There is no longer one Postal Service 473 exam practice test. Each position requires different skills, background, and personality. Take a practice test to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Make sure you prepare for the test that you are taking. Take a look at these practice tests with answers and explanations:

Remember you are expected to get at least an 85 to be considered a top contender. If you put in the effort today you will be rewarded later!

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