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The Postal Exam 473 Process

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The postal exam 473 is a test designed for those who want to be city carriers, mail handlers, mail processing clerks, and sales, services, and distribution associates. It is a test that will determine if you have the skills needed to fulfill the functions of these positions. Test 473 is composed of two sessions. The first session, a Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory test, is one which you will take when you sign up for the postal exam. The second session is taken in a supervised testing site and has sections on Address Checking, Forms Completion, and Coding and Memory. You have to obtain a minimum score of 70 for the postal exam 473. However, since there are fewer positions compared to the number of applicants, getting a high score is a must for you to be able to advance to the next part of the hiring process.

To understand how the 473 exam works, here’s an overview of the entire process:

First, the US Postal Service posts job openings in the USPS website. If interested for the entry-level jobs for which the 473 is a requirement, you apply for the position by creating a profile in the website. After building your resume and sending your online application, you then receive notice of the test date, time, location, and other information pertinent to the exam.

Second, you prepare for the test as best you can. There are free online postal exams which you can use for review and familiarization of the test items. Remember, though, that the 473 is not a knowledge-based test. You don’t prepare for it in the conventional way. You can hone your memorization skills so you can obtain better scores, however. There are various ways to do this and online resources can show you how.

Third, your test scores are then scored by the National Test Administration Center. If you passed, you get a notification of eligible rating. You will then see your name on the hiring register. It will be listed in numerical order. Those who get the highest ratings have higher chances to get called for an interview. Veterans are given additional points for veterans’ preference.

If you fail, however, you will still get a notification that your rating will not make you eligible for the job that you have applied for. You can apply for another position and strive to prepare yourself more comprehensively for the test. Don’t take it too hard if you fail. You can always do better next time.


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