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For many applicants to USPS employment opportunities, the postal exam 473-e is one major hurdle that they need to pass with flying colors. Before you can move on to the interview, you need to obtain a very high score on this test. The minimum score that will make you eligible for the USPS roster is 70 but you need to get a much higher score if you want to be ranked at the top of the list where you will have a higher chance of getting that interview invitation.
But if you read the discussion boards online about the postal test 473, you will see a common thread in these discussions: The shock that comes with getting only a score of 79 or 80. The test-takers swear that they have reviewed to the best of their ability and that when they took the test, they were confident that they did well. A lot of them say that they have also taken government aptitude tests before and their score falls consistently in the 90s which further adds to the bewilderment of receiving a low score in the postal battery test.
What could be the reason for such low scores?
First of all, you need to realize that part of 473-e is the Personality Assessment and Experience Inventory exam which you now take when you lodge your application for a particular postal employment opportunity online. This used to be Part D of the 473 test back in the days when it was still a pen and paper test. Now that 473 has gone electronic, this assessment test is taken first. It is scored, mind you, even if its main aim is to build a profile of your suitability for a particular postal job. The USPS does not reveal how the answers are scored but apparently, consistency and honesty are major factors in scoring high. If you try to guess what the correct answers in this part, you might just end up getting a low score as checks are built-in the system to guard against this kind of strategy.
Another reason for the low score may be traced to pure negligence. Because of the time pressure involved, some test-takers inadvertently mark the wrong choice even if the answer they have in their head is the right one. To avoid this, you need to focus and get used to reading from a computer screen.
Finally, not many realize that wrong answers on Parts A (Address Checking) and C (Coding and Memory) will be subtracted from the right answers. This is the penalty for guessing. The rule of thumb is: Unless you are sure of your answers, just leave a number blank. It is better not to answer at all than to get subtracted for a wrong answer.