Postal 473 is an employment test administered by the US Postal Services. This test is used to fill local post office jobs like postal carriers and clerks. Postal 473 (or 473E) test has completely replaced many previous tests including 460, 470 and 473C. About 90 percent of post office jobs are filled through 473E test. 473 is a paper delivered test while 473E is same test in electronic format. Nowadays most of the test sites have adopted 473E test instead of paper and pencil based 473.
A candidate can apply for the postal test on opening of job vacancies. The postal tests are also called assessments. The motive of these exam is not to test knowledge in any subject, but is to examine suitability of a candidate for a post office job.
This test is divided into four parts- A, B, C and D. Part A is called address checking which examines whether an examinee is able to distinguish correct and incorrect addresses or postal codes. The part B is form completion which is based on understanding of different postal forms. This part is intended to check ability to complete paper works in a post office. The Part C is divided into two sections- coding and memory. This part tests ability to interpret and remember coding guides. Part D is personal characteristics and experience inventory test. This part evaluates whether a candidate suits to a post office job or not.
The part A has 60 multiple choice questions which are to be answered in 11 minutes. Two lists containing addresses in pair with postal codes are given to the candidate. One of these lists is correct while other has to be checked. Each multiple choice question has same choices-
- No error (if both address and zip code match in the lists)
- Address only (if zip code is same in the two lists but address is not matching)
- ZIP code only (if address is same in the two lists but zip code is not matching)
- Both (if both address and zip code does not match in the lists)
In part B, five postal forms are given followed by six multiple choice questions each. There are 30 questions in this part, which are to be answered in 15 minutes.
There are 36 multiple choice questions in both the sections of part C. These questions are to be answered through a coding guide. Coding section is allotted 6 minutes whereas memory section, a time of 7 minutes. Same coding guide is used in both the sections. In coding section, given guide can be referred. However, in memory section, examinee can not take reference from the guide and has to attempt questions by remembering it.
There are 236 questions in part D which has to be attempted in 90 minutes. This is a sort of personality test.
There is negative marking in part A and C while no penalty for incorrect answers exits for part B. The score in these sections is equal to number of questions attempted correctly. In those sections which have negative marking, one third point is deducted for an incorrect answer. The scoring scheme of part D is never exposed by USPS. The score in this section depends upon comparison of choices made by different candidates.
The job vacancies are opened time to time by the United States Postal Services (USPS). One can find current openings at the official website of USPS or inquire about the same on USPS interactive voice response system at phone numbers- 1-478-757-3199 or 1-800-800-8776.
There is no exam fee for postal tests. However, one requires buying study guides and electronic practice tests.