Facts about the US Postal Exam 473
If you're planning to take or are already scheduled for the US postal exam 473 then you're probably trying to prepare for it as best you can. Here are some facts about this postal battery test which can help take your preparations to the next level:
Fact 1: The postal exam 473 is now electronic. This is why you are now scheduled for the 473-e and not just the 473 which was originally a pencil and paper test. The first part is the Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory test which you take as soon as you apply for a job via the USPS website. It is self-administered. The rest (Session 2) is taken at a supervised testing site.
Fact 2: Session 2 is comprised of three parts. Part A (Address Checking) tests your ability to compare two lists of addresses and see what is wrong with the second list. Part B (Forms Completion) gives you official USPS forms where you have to identify the information for correctly completing them. Part C (Coding and Memory) is divided into two tests: The Coding portion tests your ability to identify the correct code to assign for an address while the Memory section checks your ability to memorize codes to be assigned to a range of addresses.
Fact 3: The postal exam 473-e is time-pressured. This is one reason why many USPS candidates do not score well in this test. For Part A, you are given 60 items which you have to answer in 11 minutes and Part B has 30 items that you have to complete in 15 minutes. The Coding section has 36 items that have to be done in 6 minutes while the Memory section has 36 items that you need to complete in 7 minutes. If you're talking about pressure, this is it!
Fact 4: You get a score reduction for wrong answers. This applies to the Address Checking and Coding and Memory sections of the test. Essentially, your score is based on the number of items you answer correctly minus one-third of the number of items you answered wrong. Put simply: If you're not sure of the answer, don't guess. It's better to leave an item blank.
Fact 5: You don't have to pay to get a postal exam. The USPS gives you the information about your postal exam 473 when you apply for a job through their website. There is no fee to take this test. If you see or hear of advertisements telling you that postal openings are available in your area but you have to pay to be able to get access to the information you need to pass the battery test, that's a scam. Run to the other direction.