Preparation for the Postal 473 Exam consists of understanding what is on the exam, how it is scored, and taking as many postal practice exams as you can. Passing your postal exam is only one step you need to take to find and apply for a job at the post office. You can prepare for your postal exam by taking some free postal exam questions.
The Postal Exam Battery 473 and 473-C exams are broken down into the following categories:
Postal Exam 473 Test Outline
Part A: Address Checking
You will be given 60 addresses to compare in 11 minutes. You will be expected to determine if the addresses are identical, if the zip codes are different, or if the street/city addresses are different.
Part B: Forms Completion
You will be shown various forms and expected to answer 30 questions on correctly completing the forms in 15 minutes.
Part C-1: Coding
You will be shown a “coding guide” and expected to answer 36 questions in 6 minutes while looking at the guide.
Part C-2: Memory
Based on the same “coding guide” used in part C-1, you will be expected to answer 36 questions in 7 minutes.
Part D: Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory
You will be asked 236 questions in 90 minutes on your personal characteristics, tendencies, or experiences related to performing effectively as a Postal Service Employee.
A summary of the exam is shown below:
Postal 473 Exam Summary
|Exam Section||Time Limit||Questions|
|11 minutes||60 Multiple Choice|
|30 minutes||30 Multiple Choice|
|Part C (Section 1)
Coding 6 minutes
|6 minutes||36 Multiple Choice|
|Part C (Section 2)
Memory 7 minutes
|7 minutes||36 Multiple Choice|
Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory
|90 minutes||236 Questions|
Postal Exam 473 Study Guide
Part A Study Guide
Part A of the exam will test your address checking skills by presenting you with 60 multiple choice questions in 11 minutes. The addresses are presented in two lists: a “Correct List” and a “List to be checked”. The addresses on both lists are always presented as a pair with an address and a ZIP code.
The 60 multiple choice questions will ALWAYS have the same answer choices in the same order:
A. No Errors
B. Address Only
C. ZIP Code Only
Answer A means that both the items are identical (both address and ZIP code)
Answer B means that there is an error in the addresses (but the ZIP codes are identical)
Answer C means that there is an error in the ZIP Codes (but the addresses are identical)
Answer D means that BOTH the addresses and ZIP codes are different (have errors)
Your score in Part A is the number of questions answered correctly minus one-third of the questions you answer incorrectly. So if you answered 40 questions correctly, 12 questions incorrectly and did not answer 8 questions, your score would be 36 (40 points for correct answers – 12/3 (=4) for incorrect answers). The key here is that in Part A, you are penalized for incorrect answers. Your overall strategy is to work as quickly as possible but be accurate.
Part B Study Guide
Part B of the exam will test your ability to understand various postal forms. You will be shown 5 different forms and asked 6 multiple choice questions on each form, for a total of 30 questions. You will have a total of 15 minutes to answer all the questions.
Your score in Part B is simply the number of items that you answer correctly. There is NO penalty for guessing. Your overall strategy is to make sure you work quickly and answer every question (even if you have to guess).
Part C Study Guide
Part C of the exam will test your ability identify a code (for a delivery route) assigned to an address via a “Coding Guide”. The Coding Guide (shown below) will have 8 address ranges assigned to 3 different Delivery Routes (A,B,C). A fourth Delivery Route (D) will cover all addresses that do NOT fall into one of the 8 listed address ranges. Part C of the exam has two sections: coding and memory. The same coding guide will be used for both sections. In the Coding Section of the exam you will have 6 minutes to assign the correct delivery routes to 36 addresses. During the Coding Section, you WILL be allowed to look at the Coding Guide as a reference.
In the Memory Section of the exam, you will be given 7 minutes to assign 36 addresses to the correct delivery routes. You will use the same Coding Guide that was used in the first coding section, but you will NOT allowed to refer to the Coding Guide – you will have to assign the delivery routes based on memory.
Your score in both sections of Part C is the number of questions answered correctly minus one-third of the questions you answer incorrectly. So if you answered 50 questions correctly, 15 questions incorrectly and did not answer 7 questions, your score would be 45 (50 points for correct answers – 15/3 (=5) for incorrect answers). The key here is that in Part C (as in Part A), you are penalized for incorrect answers. Your overall strategy is to work as quickly as possible but be accurate
Part D Overview
Part D of the exam will attempt to assess your ability to perform effectively as a Postal Service employee. You will be asked 236 questions in 90 minutes that will evaluate your personal characteristics, tendencies and experiences.
There are three separate sections of Part D. The first section (Agree/Disagree section) will include questions that have four potential responses ranging from “Strongly agree” to “Strongly disagree”. The next section (Frequency Section) will also present questions with four responses, but the responses will range from “Very often” to “Rarely or never”. The last section (Experience Section) will present questions that can have between four and none possible response choices.
Part D of the exam is completely different from the first three sections – there are no “right” answers in Part D. Part D will attempt to see if you have certain personality traits, interests and experiences that may indicate that you will be a good fit for the Postal Service. With this in mind, it is important that you answer the questions truthfully and not try and “guess” what the Postal Service is looking for.
The Postal Service does not disclose how your responses to the questions in Part D are “scored”. Your responses are analyzed, compared to responses of others taking the exam, and you are assessed on how well of a “fit” you will be for a Postal Service job.
Working for the US Postal Service can be a rewarding career. To find out more, please visit the USPS website.