Ultimate USPS Postal Exam Guide: Free Practice & More [2022]
Arbel Postal Exam Expert

Arbel, Postal Exam expert at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at: ask_arbel@jobtestprep.com

 

What Is the Postal Exam?

The Postal Exam is an online assessment used by the USPS to screen candidates for various positions at the Post Office. As of April 2019, the USPS has launched four new exams, named Virtual Entry Assessments, which replaced the old Postal Exam 473.

Some of the USPS exams' sections consist of unconventional and even tricky question types, designed to assess if you have the right skills and characteristics to work for the Postal Office.

Many users who took the Postal Exam 473 (which is obsolete) before 2019 wonder if their scores are still valid. Unfortunately, these scores are not valid anymore. So you'll need to take one or more of the new USPS exams, depending on the positions you've applied for.

How Long Is the Postal Exam?

The Post Office tests are untimed but most candidates complete the assessments in 45 minutes.

Note: the time it takes you to submit the assessment within the 72-hour window also matters. Candidates who pass the assessment shortly after they receive the invitation are placed first in line for employment. This means that by the time you submit your exam, the position might be already filled and you'll need to wait for another one to be open.

In the short video below, we'll provide you with more insights and important info about the four new Postal exams:

Play Video preview image

 

What Is a Good Score on the USPS Assessment Test?

The passing score for any of the four Postal Exams is 70, and any score above that is considered good. If you see an ineligible status instead of a score, this means you haven't managed to reach the minimum score of 70. In this case, you'll only get a second chance to retake the exam after one year.

The USPS uses a sophisticated testing system that may flag candidates who choose inconsistent answers. In our complete USPS Practice Pack, you'll get dozens of tips on how to beat the system and pass with a high score.

What Happens After You Pass the Postal Exam?

The USPS ranks the candidates who passed the Postal exams by their test scores (after the initial arrangement of the exam submission time). Thus, candidates with higher scores tend to get invitations for interviews faster than those who passed with lower scores.

If you got a 70+ score but wish to improve it, it's also possible.

But here's the thing:

You'll have to wait two whole years before you get another shot! So, aiming to score as high as possible should be your first priority.

Now, let's go over each Postal Exam in detail:

Virtual Entry Assessment MC (474)

The Postal Exam 474, also called the Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474), is used for evaluating candidates applying for both city and rural mail carrier positions. As of November 2021, three new sections were added to the Postal Exam 474: What Drives You, Move the Mail, and Verify Customer Information.

Here’s an overview of the Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474) structure:

Section Name Number of Questions
Work Scenarios (Situational Judgment Test) 18
Describe Your Approach (Personality Test) 139
Tell Us Your Story (Biodata Questionnaire) 37
What Drives You (Motivation Questionnaire) 25
Move the Mail  18
Verify Customer Information 10
In Total: 247

The following is an example of a scenario (taken from the complete PrepPack™) that highly resembles some of the question types you’ll encounter on the real Work Scenarios section:

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.


How to Prepare for the Postal Exam 474?

To significantly increase your chances to ace the test, it's crucial to practice the same question types as on the real test and learn the best ways to answer them. This will help you get acquainted with every question you might stumble on, eliminate the element of surprise, and boost your confidence.

As you've seen above, there are 6 sections on the new Postal Exam 474.

Our test experts have carefully created an accurate prep that covers these sections thoroughly (exclusive to this site). It consists of full-length USPS practice tests, extra drills, study guides, pro tips, and hacks.

To start using it right away, tap the button below:

Postal Exam 474 Practice Pack (Updated for the New Exam)

 

Carl R.
Verified Reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
"First, I definitely recommend this product. My other feedback would be to take the practice tests as often as you can before you apply for the position because once you apply, you have to take the 474 Exam within 3 days. I had no prior experience with postal service exams and thought it would be good to practice. The practice questions themselves were eye-opening in terms of what to expect from the real exam. The Personality Practice and the Work Scenario tests were challenging and really helped me think about my answers in terms of what the employer was looking for. My exam score was 90%. I received several conditional offers and was eventually hired. I strongly believe that JobTestPrep was instrumental to my success on the USPS Exam 474."

Virtual Entry Assessment MH 475

The Virtual Entry Assessment MH 475 is an exam that anyone who wishes to become a USPS Mail Handler or Mail Handler Assistant has to pass. The test is one of the four new assessments the USPS uses since April 2019, following the retirement of the old 473 exam.

The Postal Exam 475 consists of six sections (two of them are new from late 2021). Here’s a breakdown of them:

Section Name

Number of Questions

Work Scenarios

18
Check for Errors 3
Move the Mail 18
What Drives You 25
Tell Us Your Story 40
Describe Your Approach 139

 

The following is a Check for Errors sample question (taken from the complete PrepPack™). Give it a try:

For each item, decide if it's Match or Error based on the location information.

  Original ID Computer ID
Location A 96380273 96830273
Location B 63984201 63984201
Location C 68326741 68326741
Location D 96357514 96367514
  1. Location A - Match/Error
  2. Location B - Match/Error
  3. Location C - Match/Error
  4. Location D - Match/Error

Did you manage to spot the matching and unmatching IDs?

Here are some useful tips to help you answer such questions quickly and accurately.

Tips for answering Check for Errors questions

Since long sequences of numbers are hard to remember, we recommend that you “break up” each sequence when comparing it to the other. Try comparing the first two to four digits first, then the next two to four digits, and so on.

For example, if the sequence is 12345678, only look at 1234 first and compare it to the first four digits of the other sequence. If you find a digit that is not identical between them, mark Error, and move on to the next pair.

If the first four digits are identical, move on and compare the next four in the sequence. Don’t feel weird to mouth or even verbalize the digits when comparing the pairs – hearing the sounds can help you spot the differences between the sequences.

 

How to Prepare for the Postal Exam 475?

As you've already seen, the Postal Exam 475 consists of unconventional question types you likely haven't encountered in high school or even in college.

But no test is unbeaten:

If you prepare using the same question types as on the actual test, learn what they evaluate, what to avoid, and how to answer them, you'll be well on your way to ace the exam.

The test itself includes 6 "mini" exams, each assessing a different set of skills and characteristics. Our experts went to great lengths to create an accurate preparation that covers each of these sections (and it's updated for the 2022 exam format).

The prep comprised of effective practice materials: full-length practice tests, USPS study guides, extra practice drills, and exclusive tips and hacks.

To get instant access to this practice pack, click the button below.

Postal Exam 475 Practice Pack (Updated for the New Exam)

 

Mariam N.
Verified Reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
"Questions are simple, it covers a wide range of situations and scenarios. The best part is the detailed explanation after each test and after every question that helps you understand what is required to succeed."

Virtual Entry Assessment – MP (476)

The USPS Virtual Entry Assessment 476 (MP 476) is used in the screening process for many roles including those for Mail Processing Clerk, PSE Mail Processing Clerk, Casual Mail Processing Clerk, Data Conversion Operator, PSE Data Conversion Operator, and Casual Data Conversion Operator.

This online exam includes seven sections (three of them emerged only in late 2021):

Section Name

Number of Questions

Work Scenarios

18
Check for Errors 3
Tell Us Your Story 18
Describe Your Approach 25
Verify Customer Information 10
Move the Mail 40
What Drives You 139


Here’s an example of an SJT question that highly resembles questions you’ll face on the real USPS 475 Exam (Work Scenarios section):

One of your colleagues is slacking, skipping important steps in the outlined procedures of his job. For a while now you find yourself correcting his mistakes.

A. Talk to your postmaster about the situation.

B. Caution and tell him you will speak with the postmaster if he doesn't change his ways.

C. Don’t get involved. His behavior is his concern, not yours.

D. Talk to your colleague and explain how the situation is affecting you.

What would you be most and least likely to do?

Check out the full explanation here

Competencies: Teamwork; proactivity; communication skills; and problem-solving.

Response A: This response shows poor teamwork and communication skills. You fail to communicate the problem to your fellow employee. Instead, you immediately turn to your supervisor. In doing so, you fail to alert your co-worker to the situation or give him the chance to correct his behavior.

Response B: This response may seem proactive as you address the problem directly with your colleague. However, it is aggressive and lacks teamwork skills, as you caution your colleague - threatening to go to your postmaster, rather than discussing the issue in a friendly manner. This response is likely to offend your work colleague, and could escalate the situation, thus being the worst response to the situation.

Response C: This response is passive, avoids offending your colleague, and aims at maintaining good relations; however, it doesn’t provide a solution to the problem. Moreover, this response is irresponsible since your colleague fails to follow work procedures, and in doing so, is harming your own work productivity

Response D: This is a good response to the situation. It is important to be able to communicate with your colleagues about work conflicts. This is a proactive response that tries a cooperative approach to solving problems. Furthermore, pointing out your colleague's mistakes and explaining the impact they have on you is likely to elicit behavioral change in your colleague, and improve both his and your own work productivity.

 

How to Prepare for the Postal Exam 476?

The Postal Exam 476 is not your standard high school exam. It measures your attention to detail, accuracy, and whether you have the required personality traits to be a good fit for the job.

The best way to prepare for these sections is by knowing how exactly they are structured, what to avoid when choosing an answer, and what are the best practices for answering them.

Thus, after thorough research and validation, our experts have created a tailored prep for each of the 476 Exam sections (including the three new sections). These accurate practice tests, study guides, drills, and hacks will ensure no question will catch you off guard and will increase your score significantly.

To start using the practice pack (2022 edition) right now, tap the button below:

Postal Exam 476 Practice Pack (Updated for the New Exam)

 

Gloria F.
Verified Reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
"It did give some great examples of what could be on the actual test. It did show me that there were some areas I needed to work on. I got a 98% on the 475 USPS VEA."

Virtual Entry Assessment – CS (477)

The Virtual Entry Assessment (VEA) 477 is used to evaluate candidates applying to Customer Service Clerk jobs in the USPS. The exam takes approximately 75 minutes to complete and you can use a calculator and scratch paper while answering some of the questions.

The purpose of the Postal Exam 477 is to learn more about you, how you interact with other people (especially customers), your working-style, your previous work experience, and your basic math skills.

It includes seven sections, three of them were added only in late 2021:

Section Name Number of Questions
Work Situations 22
Work Your Register 3
Tell Us Your Story 39
Describe Your Approach 139
Help Your Customers 14
Verify Customer Information 10
What Drives You 25

 

The following is a sample question for the Work Your Register part, in which you are required to demonstrate your ability to work with money and give exact and efficient change. Despite its name, this is not a technical exam, so you do not have to actually operate a register.

Use the fewest number of bills and coins possible to make the exact change.

Total amount: $53.82
Amount paid: $60.25
Change due: $6.43

Postal_Exam_Sample_Question

 

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 3

The smallest number of bills and coins needed to reach the correct change of $6.43 is one $5 bill and one $1 bill to reach $6. Add to this one of each type of coin except cents ($0.01), of which you need three, and you get the correct change of $6.43.

$5 × 1 + $1 × 1 + $0.25 × 1 + $0.10 × 1 + $0.05 × 1 + $0.01 × 3 = $6.43

How to Prepare for the Postal Exam 477?

The best way to prepare for the Postal Exam 477 is by learning how to answer the exact same question types that appear on the real test. As the postal exams include unusual questions that evaluate different skills and parts of your personality, it's crucial to know what is the best way to answer them.

Our experts have created a tailored practice pack that covers each of the seven sections of the 477 Exam, which is exclusive to this site.

The prep will help you achieve 3 things:

  1. You'll learn how to approach every USPS question type and what are the best techniques to answer them.
  2. You'll get a feel for the real testing experience with full-length USPS practice tests.
  3. You'll receive foolproof tips and hacks for answering personality and behavioral questions.

To get instant access to the full preparation 477 Exam pack (updated for 2022), tap the button below:

Postal Exam 477 Practice Pack (Updated for the New Exam)

 

Andy J.
Verified Reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
"It is a great tool to practice before taking an actual exam. It does give me enough time to practice and some ideas. Magnificent."

 

About the Author:

 

author
Arbel is JobTestPrep's USPS exam specialist. He has over 15 years' experience working as a psychometric test instructor and has led JobTestPrep's efforts to provide thousands of USPS test-takers with the most accurate online prep possible since 2017. You can contact him at

Read more about Arbel's courses.

 

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