Postal Exam 473 The Definitive Guide

Postal Exam 473: The Definitive Guide

The Postal Exam 473 is an exam that is required for those who want to enter an entry-level job with the U.S. Postal Service. This exam is required to become a postal carrier, mail handler, sorter machine operator and mail processor. The USPS exam tests your aptitude for performing tasks such as completing forms, checking addresses, coding, memory, speed, and accuracy.

Taking any exam, whether it is for school or for a job can be daunting and stressful. But before you become too stressed about the USPS exam, here are a few tips to help you get that job!

1.Learn the Format of the Test
One of the important things about preparing for any exam is to learn the format of the exam. Understanding the format of the test will give you more of an idea as to what you’re going to expect when you sit for the exam. You’ll understand how the questions are formatted, how many questions there are, and what areas of knowledge you’ll need to know.

Here are a few things you need to know about the USPS Exam:

• There are 4 parts to the exam. One part is divided into 2 sections.
• Each section of the exam has a different amount of questions that need to be completed within a different amount of time.
• The “Personal Inventory” section of the exam is given on your computer. The other sections of the exam will need to be taken at a specific testing facility.

Postal Exam Secrets Study Guide
Postal Exam Secrets Study Guide

2. The Study Guide
Understanding the exam itself is an important part of doing well on the exam, but you also need to take time to study. Using a study guide to prepare for the Postal Exam 473 can help you brush up on the various tasks that you’ll need to know when taking the exam such as completing forms correctly and using the proper codes to assign to addresses.

3. Create a Study Plan
As with any exam, you need to have a plan of attack, meaning that you need a study plan and a schedule. You’ll probably be aware that you need to take the Postal Exam 473 if you apply for a job position with the U.S. Postal Service, so studying BEFORE you actually apply for the job is a smart thing to do. Take some time before applying for the position to sit and study for the exam. This could mean taking a month or so and blocking in two to three hours a day before you apply for the position. Since you only have 7 days to take the exam after you receive the email, it’s best not to wait until the last minute to study.

4. Understand the Importance of the Personal Inventory Section
There are four sections on the test. The Personal Inventory section is self-administered and can be taken from your computer at home. However, if you do not pass this section of the exam you will automatically fail the entire test and you will not be invited to take the remaining sections of the exam. The Personal Inventory section is also pretty ambiguous and when it comes to the questions. There’s really no “right” or “wrong” answers because this section evaluates your personality and work experience. But it’s important that when you’re taking this section of the exam to take your time when you’re reading the question and answers and make sure you choose the best possible answer. You’ll be given 236 questions, divided into three sections that you must complete within 90 minutes.

5. Don’t Wait to Take the USPS Exam
After you receive your email to take the remaining sections of the exam, assuming that you did well on the Personal Inventory section, you only have 7 days to complete the remainder of the exam. It’s important to make sure that as soon as you receive the email to continue with the exam that you schedule your exam immediately and take it within those 7 days or you could lose your chance at that position.

6. Pay Attention to Detail
One section of the exam is Address Checking. In this section, you’ll be given complete addresses including the state and ZIP code. You will be required to find errors in 60 addresses within 11 minutes, so you basically have 11 seconds on each address. These could be small errors or obvious errors. In this section, you are penalized for every incorrect answer so it’s important that you make sure that you pay attention to each and every little detail in this section to help you avoid a mistake but work as quickly as you can.

7. Don’t Guess!
When you’re taking an exam and you come across a question that you’re really not sure of the answer, your first instinct is usually to guess. Don’t! For several of the sections on the Postal Exam 473, such as Address Checking and Coding, you’re penalized for having an incorrect answer. However, you are not penalized if you leave the question blank. So in this case, it’s best NOT to guess an answer.

8. Know that a “C” is Okay
To be considered as passing the exam, the minimum score that you can make is a 70. However, the Postal Exam 473 is a competitive exam, meaning that you’re competing against other people for a chance at a job position. Because you’re competing against others, you’ll want to aim for a high score, at least 85 to ensure that you are one of the top three scorers.

If you need more information about The Postal Exam 473, visit the USPS website:

Postal Exam 473 FAQ

What is the Postal Exam 473?                      

The Postal Exam 473 is required for those who are interested in obtaining an entry-level position with the U.S. Postal Service. If you want to become a postal carrier, mail handler, sorter machine operator, or a mail processor, you will be required to take this exam. The exam measures your speed, accuracy, and memory.

How long is my score good for?

Your score for the test is good for 6 years if you have not been hired after completing the exam.

What is on the USPS Exam?

There are four sections on the test. One section is divided into two parts. These sections include:

• Address Checking
• Form Completion
• Coding / Memory
• Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory

How many questions are on the exam?

Each section on the test has a different number of questions:

• Address Checking: 60 addresses/questions
• Form Completion: 30 questions
• Coding: 36 questions
• Memory: 36 questions
• Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory: 236 questions

How long does it take to complete the exam?

• Address Checking: 11 minutes
• Form Completion: 15 minutes
• Coding: 6 minutes
• Memory: 7 minutes
• Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory: 90 minutes

Can you retake the exam?

The only way to retake the test is to apply for an open position. However, it must be at least 120 days since you last took the exam. You will also be given the option of using your existing score or retaking the exam.

Published by

Jay Willis

Jay Willis joined Mometrix as Vice President of Sales in 2009, and has developed several key strategic relationships that have enhanced the distribution of Mometrix products. With nearly 20 years of sales experience in the publishing industry, his dedication to providing the highest quality experience for customers, coupled with his sales and marketing expertise, has resulted in significant growth of the Institutional Sales division. Learn more