The Lowdown on Postal Exam 710
Postal Exam 710 is a test used by the USPS to screen prospective applicants for Data Conversion Operator positions. Also known by its acronym, DCOs are hired for a year with provision for reappointment for another year, and are tasked with converting handwritten or typed data from the address on a letter into bar codes using a computer. As a DCO, they need to have strong typing and data entry skills since the nature of their job requires that they read the address in an envelope and pick out the necessary information which they need to input into the computer. The computer then converts this into a barcode to be used in the actual letter to facilitate processing and delivery.
Postal exam 710 is comprised of two major sections: 1) Clerical Abilities and 2) Verbal Abilities. The test on clerical abilities is subdivided into the sequencing, comparison, spelling, and mathematics sections. These tests are pretty simple and seemingly basic when you first look at them—until you realize that the time given to answer each is severely restricted. For instance, in the sequencing test, you are presented with a set of four names or codes and then a fifth name or code is given. Your job is to figure out where this name or code should be positioned in the given four names. Your challenge is to able to answer all 20 questions in 3 minutes.
In the comparison section, you are given three items which you have to compare using the choices described. It seems easy until you realize that you have 30 questions to answer in 5 minutes. For the spelling section, you need to identify which among the choices given is the correct spelling of a particular word. If you have wide vocabulary then this might not be too difficult for you. Just make sure that you can answer 20 items in a span of 3 minutes. For the math section, you have to solve 15 math problems in 8 minutes without the benefit of a calculator!
The Verbal Abilities section of the postal exam 710 is further subdivided into three sections: 1) Following Written Instructions, 2) Grammar, Usage and Punctuation, and 3) Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension. You get a bit of a reprieve here from the time pressure since you are given a whole 50 minutes to answer 55 questions. For the first part on following instructions, make sure to first write the answer (usually a letter and a number) based on how the instruction is worded. Then find this answer among the choices given and darken the letter of your choice. To succeed in the two other sections, you need to refresh yourself on the rules of English grammar and enhance your vocabulary.
There are available reviewers for postal exam 710. Answer the postal exam questions within the time allowed for you to answer them so that you get used to the time pressure in the actual test.