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Electronic Version of Postal Exam 473 (473-e Postal Exam): Some Valuable Tips to Keep in Mind

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If you’ve been scheduled to take the 473-e postal exam to get your application to the US Postal Service going then you have your hands full. This is not to scare you but one of the realities of the situation that you need to face is the fact that getting a USPS job means going through the eye of the needle. There are considerably more applicants than the number of available positions and as a result, only those who do very well in the postal battery exam 473 will be given further consideration.

Test 473-e is the electronic version of the traditional pencil and paper 473 test although the test instructions are the same. You will still have to take the Personal Characteristics & Experience Inventory Test which the USPS will use to create your profile to determine if you are fit for the job. The other tests are still on Address Checking, Forms Completion, and Coding and Memory.

While you may think that you can prepare for the 473-e in the same way you would with a traditional postal exam 473, well, you’re not entirely correct. There are substantial differences when you review for an electronic test and a pen and paper test. Here are some valuable tips that will help you make your review more productive:

  1. Use electronic study guides. Test preparation guides are integral in helping you increase your speed and memory skills necessary to get a high score in the 473 test. However, using a printed book where you will practice with a pencil and paper to answer your questions is not going to cut it for an electronic test. From the manipulation of the mouse and keyboard to reading the questions and choices on the screen, there are substantial differences, especially when you are talking about having to answer 60 questions in 11 minutes, for example, in the Address Checking portion. If you really want to simulate the testing environment so you can get a high score, you need to make use of electronic study guides.
  2. Use guides published from 2009 not earlier. Since the postal exam 473-e was introduced late in 2008, exam preparation tools published 2009 onwards are your best bets for up-to-date information. Still, you should check that the postal exam study guide you’re using gives recent information about the electronic version of the postal test so that you know that the study guide is new, not just an old guide where the publication dates have just been changed.
  3. Seek to get as many correct answers in the shortest time possible. The 473-e test puts a premium on speed so this should be one of your goals when doing postal exam practice. Accuracy and speed will give you good scores to put you in the running for that much sought-after postal service career.


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