Free Postal Exam 474 (Virtual Entry Assessment MC) Practice
Shir Enzer

Shir, Civil Service Assessments Expert at JobTestPrep.

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What Is the Virtual Entry Assessment MC (474)?

The Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474), aka the Mail Carrier Test, is a mandatory screening step that anyone who wishes to become a mailman has to pass. This assessment originally had only three sections, but as of November 2021, it includes four sections.

The following mail delivery jobs are required to take this assessment:

  • City Carrier
  • City Carrier Assistant (CCA)
  • Casual City Carrier
  • Rural Carrier
  • Rural Carrier Associate (RCA)
  • Assistant Rural Carrier

The Postal Exam 474 is officially untimed. The time window to take the assessment is strict, though, when you have only 72 hours to complete it once you receive the email invitation.

Note that it’s better to take the assessment as soon as you’re prepared because applicants are initially arranged by the order of their assessment's submission (and then by their scores).

What Is Included in the Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474)?

There are four sections on the Postal Exam 474 (as of November 2021): Work Scenarios, Describe your Approach, Tell Us Your Story, and What Drives You.

Let's go over them one by one:


Work Scenarios

In this section, you'll be presented with 18 situations that you may encounter in your daily work as a mail carrier.

For each situation, you'll have 4 option choices that represent a possible response to the situation. You need to choose two answers – one that represents the response that you will most likely do, and the second that represents the response that you will least likely do.

Try this 'Work Scenarios' sample question:

A new coworker is assigned to the station next to yours. You can see that he is making a number of mistakes and falling behind.

What would you be most and least likely to do?

1. Suggest that he reach out to his supervisor and request more training.
2. Take note of specific mistakes he is making and offer him pointers on how he could be more accurate.
3. Avoid getting involved. His supervisor will be around to check soon and will offer additional training if needed.
4. Offer to take a portion of his work until he catches up to speed. You have more experience and can get a lot more done than he can.

Describe Your Approach

This section includes 139 items and it's designed to learn about your unique work style, teamwork or management habits, and occupational approach.

Try this 'Describe Your Approach' sample item:

(A) I do not let negative feedback get to me

(B) Accepting negative feedback is sometimes difficult


Most like me (A)

Somewhat like me (A)


Most like me (B)

Somewhat like me (B)

A tip for this part: Always choose the extreme of every answer ('Most like me') and nothing in between.


Tell Us Your Story

This part includes 37 questions and it's designed to predict your performance in a future job judging by your past experience.

See this 'Tell Us Your Story' question for example:

If contacted, how would your most recent supervisor at work rate your attendance compared to others?

  1. The very best
  2. Among the best
  3. Above average
  4. Average
  5. Needing some development
  6. Needing substantial development


A tip for this part: Answer this section as if it was a real interview and these are the questions that you were asked.


What Drives You

This new section includes 25 questions. It's a motivation test that is designed to reveal what fulfills you in your workplace. Each question is meant to assess the level you relate to two different sources of motivation; therefore, you may encounter the same motivation sources in various questions.

Here's an example for a question from the actual assessment:

I'd like to work where...

A. Employees help customers in pursuing easy and reliable delivery services.

B. The company leads the market



As you can see, the new 474 Exam format is quite difficult. It demands the ability to recognize what are the optimal responses for each behavioral and personality question.

In the 474 practice pack, you'll find realistic practice tests for each of the sections mentioned above. Every practice question comes with an explanation, ensuring that you'll know exactly what to answer on the actual exam.


For additional practice questions with full answers, check out this free USPS 474 Sample Exam, or test your skills with our free Postal Exam which includes questions from various different USPS acceptance tests.

Postal Exam 474 Scores - Everything You Need to Know

USPS 474 Passing Score

The passing score for the USPS 474 assessment is 70 and above. If you score below that, you'll receive an ineligible status and you'll be allowed to retake the test only after 12 months.

What Is a Good Score on the USPS 474 Exam?

A good score on the USPS 474 Exam is anything from 70 and above. However, some job openings are more competitive or look for a very small number of candidates. In these cases, the cut-off scores are high and applicants who get the highest scores will be the first ones invited for an interview.

Failure Rates and Average Scores

The average scores and failure rates for the Postal Exam 474 are not publicly disclosed, so there is no actual way of knowing them. That being said, many previous test-takers mentioned across Reddit and YouTube that they failed the exam. So, you can assume that the failure rates are not low.

How Long Will My USPS Exam Score Stay Valid?

If you passed the exam, your USPS exam scores will remain valid between two and six years.

How to Pass the USPS 474 Assessment?

To pass the USPS 474 Postal Exam with a high score, you'll need to be well-prepared. Since we know that behavioral questions (which are the majority on this exam) are tricky and confusing, make sure to practice plenty of USPS practice questions so you're able to recognize the correct answer quickly.

Plus, practicing beforehand will eliminate the element of surprise on the test and will help reduce any test anxiety.

Now, if you'd like to get accurate test preparation, JobTestPrep is a perfect match. We offer you a complete practice pack for the 474 exam, which includes:

  • Exclusive prep for all 4 sections of the Postal Exam 474 (found nowhere else on the web)
  • Additional practice drills to help you score as high as possible and place yourself on the top of the applicants' list
  • Thorough study guides to dominate the 'Tell Us Your Story' and 'Describe Your Approach' parts
See how the practice pack looks inside >>

The Prep Pack includes four categories that match the actual assessment's format and two attention-to-detail bonus sections that could be helpful to some USPS candidates.

Each category is comprised of practice tests with full answers and explanations and PDF study guides (for some sections).

Postal Exam 474 Practice JobTestPrep


5 Important Tips to Increase Your Assessment's Score

Practice Before You Submit Your Initial USPS Job Application

Most candidates who complete the application form on the USPS career site receive the assessment invitation, with a strict 72-hour time frame to complete it.

But what happens when the 72-hour window falls on a busy weekend or holiday?

Will you take the risk of postponing it to the last minute or even take it without any preparation?

A smart way of avoiding this is completing some practice questions – you can get them all from us - on your own time so that you're already fully prepared when it comes time to take the USPS test in real life.

Keep a Record of the Information You've Already Submitted

On the "Tell Us Your Story" section, you'll be asked several questions about your work experience. You have to ensure your answers align with what you mentioned in your initial application form, or else it might fail your exam.

So, while you're at it, make sure to keep a record of the information you've already submitted. You can do so by taking screenshots or printing your application history - whatever works better for you.

Answering Honestly Might Not Be Enough

While the test instructions advise you to answer honestly and that there are no "right" or "wrong" answers, it can be problematic to stick only to honesty.

That's because it's likely that some of your values or inner truths do not match what the Postal Service is looking for in their candidates. Instead, you'll need to think about what qualities you can bring that the USPS will appreciate, and answer questions based on them.

In our complete preparation pack, we'll show you the preferred ways to answer the assessment's questions, so you increase your chances of passing the test.

Don't Rely on Someone Else's Answers

Don't be tempted to copy someones else's answers, even if they claimed they got a 100. The USPS might change the assessment with time or mix up the questions. So, to avoid getting caught by surprise on the test, it's better to know the solution process and not just the correct answer.

Don't Take the Exam on Your Smartphone

Taking the assessment using your phone might be problematic. It will be inconvenient to read the questions and you might press on a wrong answer by mistake.

To be on the safe side, use a laptop or a personal computer when you take the test.

After all, your future job is at stake.


The exam is self-administered online and you have 72 hours (3 days) to complete it once you receive the email invitation.

Here are several frequently asked questions about its administration, retest policies, and more.

Can I Retake the 474 Postal Exam?

If you fail the 474 Postal Exam and get an ineligible status, you'll be allowed to retake the test only after one year. If you've passed the exam and want to retake it to improve your score, you'll have to wait 24 months before you can do so.

How Do I Retake the 474 USPS Assessment?

To retake the 474 assessment, you'll first need to wait for 12 months from your first attempt (if you failed it) or 24 months (if you passed but want to improve your score). Then, you'll be able to apply for an open Mail Carrier position and retake the exam.

What else do I need to do to become a Mail Carrier?

Once you've passed the 474 Postal Exam, you'll need to complete other requirements for the job. You'll be required to fill out a job application form and a Form 1507 - Medical Examination Report. In addition, you'll need to pass a drug screening test. And finally, go through an in-person interview.

Does It Cost Money to Take the Exam?

The 474 Postal Exam and its resittings are free to take.


Applying for other USPS jobs?

Learn more about their Postal Exams here:

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