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The Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory test is the first test of the postal exam 473-e which you take right after you lodge your online application. It is self-administered since it is done online. It used to be Part D of the old pencil and paper test of the postal exam 473.
Although it is true that this portion of the test just is administered to build your personality profile to help USPS determine if you are the right fit for the job, it is helpful to know that this portion of the test is scored. The postal service will not give details as to the scoring system but it is important to understand that what you will get here will comprise a part of your overall US postal exam score and will matter greatly if you will pass or fail.
We have heard of USPS candidates who scored well in simulated 473-e tests and got a score of 98 percent in the Address Checking, Forms Completion, and Coding and Memory portions of the test but only received an 80 percent when they took the actual postal battery exam 473-e. While 70 percent is the passing score for the 473-e postal test, only those who obtain scores of 90 percent and above are usually called for an interview.
Perhaps one reason for the significant difference in the scores in the simulated and real test is that the potential candidate did not answer the Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory test as honestly as he or she should. It is not a good idea to put in what you think the USPS thinks is the best answer. It is better to be honest about what you would do given a particular situation question.
As much as possible, try to base your answers with experiences drawn from a previous work environment. If you have not experienced work before or just cannot relate a question to something which happened at work, try to substitute other experiences and settings to be able to answer it. Remember that you are supposed to answer the questions out of your own experiences. This is the only way to ensure that you are consistent with your answers which will hopefully increase your chances of obtaining a higher score.
Honesty is the best policy. This seems to be the best clich’ to follow when answering the Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory test of the 473-e.