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How to Study for Postal Exam 710 (Part 1)

Postal test 710 is taken by those who want to work as Data Conversion Operators or DCOs for the United States Postal Service. It consists of two parts—the Clerical Abilities section and the Verbal Abilities section. As you may very well know, any postal battery exam is very competitive, so if you want to have an edge over the rest of the other applicants, knowing certain features of the 710 will certainly help. We will give you a few helpful tips in this post. We will tackle the Clerical Abilities section in Part 1.

The Clerical Abilities section is comprised of Sequencing, Comparison, Spelling, and Mathematics. In the Sequencing part, you will be given a list of four names or codes in alphabetic and/or numeric order. A fifth name/code will also be given. Your job is to find out where this fifth code should appear on the list alphabetically or numerically. Yes, it’s easy—if you are given enough time to answer. But you have to answer 20 items in 3 minutes so the pressure to finish is tough. To prepare yourself for this, you would need to practice alphabetizing or arranging codes under similar time pressure so you can hack the mental stress that this part of the test will give you.

In the Comparison part, you are given three items that are identical to each other or very similar. You must compare the items—addresses, codes, names—and determine if they are all exactly alike (Choice A); if only the first and second items are exactly alike (Choice B); if only the first and third items are exactly alike (Choice C); if only the second and third items are exactly alike (Choice D); and if all the three items are different (Choice D). Again, very simple—if you have all the time in the world. However, you only have 5 minutes to answer 30 questions. To prepare for this section, you must familiarize yourself with the answer choices so you don’t have to constantly refer back and forth to it and the three items that need to be compared. This will help you hack the time pressure.

The Spelling section will give you 20 spelling words which you must answer in 3 minutes. Within this strict time frame, you are given three choices to spell a particular word (Choice A, Choice B, and Choice C) and a fourth choice (Choice D) where the answer is “None of the above.” You are supposed to choose the correct spelling. Mind you, the words they give are the ones that you don’t normally encounter so the best way to prepare for this part is to search for a list of words that are commonly misspelled and study their correct spelling. You also need to review basic spelling principles so in case of uncertainty, you revert back to them. One common principle taught in elementary which will be very helpful now is this rhyme: “i” before “e” except after “c.” Or when sounded like “a” as in “neighbor” and “weigh.”

For the Mathematics portion, you will be asked to solve 15 pure math problems in 8 minutes. You add, subtract, multiply, divide whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages and the like. You need to do these mentally so you need to review your math principles and operations.