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Postal Battery Exam: Ways to Prepare Yourself

Despite the reported job cuts and losses experienced by the federal postal service, many still aspire for a U.S. Mail career. The reasons are obvious, especially when you take a look at the pay and benefits package given to regular employees. Competitive pay, generous retirement plans, health and life insurances, overtime pay, paid leaves and holidays—these are just some of the perks of being a postal worker.

But before you can be one, you need to go through a rigorous examination process. There are different kinds of postal battery tests depending on the position you are applying for in the USPS and passing the exam you are scheduled to take is a prerequisite if you want to make it to the interview and the other steps in the hiring process. Most of the entry-level jobs like that of letter carriers and mail handlers require the taking of the postal exam 473-e. Other USPS candidates take the postal exam 955, postal exam 710, postal exam 916, postal exam 943/944, or the postal exams 230/238/240, depending on the employment position they are applying for.

No matter what battery test you are going to take, observing these general review techniques are going to serve your exam preparations well:

First, understand that cramming won’t get you that high score. Although the postal test 473 is not a knowledge-based test but one that tests skill and aptitude, using study guides to practice your speed and accuracy will be to your advantage. However, if you do your practice sessions the night before the big day and lose sleep because you crammed, you can expect your results to be a dismal failure. Perform regular reviews days or even a month before you take the test. The night before the exam, get sufficient sleep so that you wake up refreshed, ready, and alert.

Second, manage your stress. While stress is good, chronic stress is harmful. Preparation is key to ensuring that you don’t suffer a breakdown before or during the testing day. Once you know that you have done your best to prepare then you can tell yourself that you are ready for the postal battery exam. Eliminate other causes of stress if you can. For example, if you are not familiar with the testing area, then check it out days before your scheduled exam using the same means of transportation that you are going to take when going there. Time your visit so that you know when to wake up so you can get to the site on time or before the time.

Finally, breathe. If you feel threatened or overwhelmed by the upcoming exam, just stop, close your eyes, and breathe. Inhale and exhale repeatedly for 8 to 10 times until you can feel yourself calming down. Breathing eases tension and worry and puts your concentration back to your ultimate aim of passing the postal exam.