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Postal Exam 473-E: The Lowdown

Taking a postal battery test is one requirement that aspiring postal workers have to take if they want to make it to the US Postal Service. Before, those who wanted to become city carriers, mail handlers, mail processing clerks, sales associates, distribution associates, services associates, and rural carrier associates had to take postal battery exams 460 and the postal test 473 series. Now, these exams are replaced with postal exam 473-e.

The “e” in 473-e stands for “electronic.” As you may have guessed, this is not anymore a pencil and paper test. Rather it is already a computerized test which is comprised of two parts: 1) Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory test and 2) Address Checking, Forms Completion, and Coding and Memory tests. Part 1 seeks to create a profile of your suitability to become a postal employee and can be taken on any computer as soon as you lodge your application for a particular position. If you pass this, you can go on to take the second part.

Part 2 is composed of various topics that will test your skill in performing the daily tasks of a postal worker. It is an electronic test which needs to be taken at a supervised testing facility. In the Address Checking section, you will be asked to compare two addresses and will have to answer 60 questions in 11 minutes. For the Forms Completion part, you will be asked to correctly complete forms used by the USPS. There are 30 questions which need to be answered in 15 minutes for this part. In the Coding section, you will be asked to find the correct code for an address. There will be 36 questions which need to be answered in 6 minutes while in the Memory section, you will be asked to memorize the codes used in the Coding portion and answer another 36 questions in 7 minutes.

Getting a score of 70/100 puts you in the eligible roster for postal service employment opportunities. However, if you really want to get a shot at an interview, you need to increase that score to the 90s level. Because there are only a few slots competed for by many aspiring USPS applicants, preparing for the postal exam 473-e is essential. The time limitations given for each part of exam add to the challenge of this test. However, if you schedule your reviews regularly and be mindful of the minutes when taking online practice exams, you should be able to improve your speed and accuracy when you take the real test.

Don’t underestimate what studying for the postal battery 473-e can do for you. It may be an aptitude test but you will be able to answer the questions much faster if you practice and know what to expect.