473 Postal Exam

Post Office Exams

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Government Employment Update

The federal sector hired 162,839 new federal employees nationwide and overseas in 2013. Almost a third, 31 percent, were veterans. The Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration were the two largest hiring agencies. The Affordable Health Care Act includes over 100 new regulatory agencies and commissions and more federal regulators will be needed to administer new EPA and OSHA regulations and to manage the many other federal programs that have been implemented by the current administration. Immigration reform will potentially increase hiring of Border Patrol Agents and Customs Officers. Even with the projected growth and hiring some agencies continue to offer voluntary early retirements to address budget shortfalls.

There is considerable competition for anyone seeking federal employment and those interested in working for Uncle Sam must develop a professional federal style resume and application to remain competitive and start the process early to improve their chances of success.

   

 

473 Postal Exam & Application Process

 
 

Page updated 10/11/2014

473 / 473 E Postal Exam | Post Office Exam | USPS Exam


The Postal Service recently implemented their new eCareer online recruiting process for Post Office job applications. Entrance tests including the 473 / 473E Postal Exam  are still required for most jobs; however, you now apply online for post office job vacancies and complete an initial assessment when you apply. Applicants take proctored 473 Postal Exams and other related post office exams at designated testing facilities on computers instead of lengthy written tests that were previously used. This site, along with our Post Office Jobs study guide, features the many changes in the Postal Service's recruiting programs. 

 

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Positions Requiring Written Examinations

The Postal Service uses the USPS exam titled Test 473 for Major Entry-Level Jobs. The exam is also referred to as the 473 Battery Exam. This new exam replaced the 470 Battery Exam and covers:

 

 

Test Unit Number of Questions Time Allowed Covered Subjects
Part A
Address Checking
60   11 minutes Determine if two addresses are identical
Part B
Forms Completion
30   15 minutes information identification for completing forms correctly
Part C
Section 1 - Coding
36   6 minutes Use the proper code to assign to addresses
Part C
Section 2 - Memory
36   7 minutes Memorize assigned codes for addresses ranges
Part D Inventory of Personal Experience and Characteristics 236   90 minutes Experience and characteristics which are job-related

 

Comprehensive practice post office exams are available in the 5th edition of Post Office Jobs to prepare for the forms checking, address checking, memory and coding Parts A through C of the new exam. Several 473 Exam Sample Questions are available online at www.postalwork.net. Part D is related to your personal work experience and unique characteristics. For example you will be asked your likes and dislikes, whether you have experience in certain areas. You really can't prepare for Part D, it's your personal profile and if you answer the questions honestly the Postal Service will be able to identify the job that is best suited to your characteristics. Check out the step-by-step guide to the finding jobs on the official Postal Service web site after you study for the exam.

Post Office Jobs - 5th edition

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To apply for postal positions use our instructional guide and then click on the link at the end of the guide to go direct to the Postal Services' official online employment site. You can also look for openings at your local Post Office, Management Sectional Center (MSC), General Mail Facilities or a Customer Service District Office in your area. Job opportunities are also advertised at local post offices, in national and local newspapers, journals and periodicals.

A passing score of 70 percent or better on a postal exam will place the applicant's name on an eligible register for that job vacancy and you can use the same test and application information to apply for multiple jobs. To improve your 473 postal exam score and for complete information on this process pick up a copy of the 5th edition of Post Office Jobs.

Positions That Don’t Require a Written Exam

Vacancies in these positions — generally professional and administrative — are announced (advertised) first within the Postal Service. Postal employees who have the knowledge, education, credentials, and skills may apply for these openings. If there aren’t any qualified internal applicants (called bidders in the federal sector), then the postal service will advertise the vacancies to the general public and accept resumes and applications for rating. All applicants must pass an entrance post office exam and/or an evaluation process to be placed on a register in numerical score order. Corporate positions that don’t require entrance exams are covered in Appendix B. Also visit http://postalwork.net/corporate_jobs.htm for helpful information on non-tested job opportunities.

It is generally recommended that post office job applicants seeking entry level professional and administrative positions take the 470 Battery Exam to get their foot in the door. Once hired, as vacancies open in their specialty such as accounting, budget, and engineering, they will have first crack at the jobs through internal Postal Service job announcements. You can view the diverse lists of job advertisements online, click on http://postalwork.net for direct links to key USPS employment sites. There are lists of jobs reserved for current federal employees only. Once you get your foot in the door you can bid on these restricted announcements and the experience that you will gain from the entry level position will help you to better understand the postal system.

Resume Service

Realistically, many professional jobs won’t be filled internally. Few postal clerks and non professional employees will have law degrees, engineering credentials, or doctorates for example. Review the list of more than 2,000 job classifications in Chapter Ten of Post Office Jobs to see the scope of available jobs. This list also includes the total number employed and the pay for that occupation.

These post office jobs will generally be advertised in local papers and on the USPS web site. You should also contact local (CSSD) Customer Service & Sales District personnel offices listed in Chapter Four to identify upcoming job vacancies for your specialty. You can also call your local CSSD office to check on the status of your application or to follow up on interviews.

You will be rated on a point system (maximum of 100 points) even without a written test. Therefore, your resume and Application For Employment (PS Form 2591) must be thoroughly completed and include all key information such as degrees, training, credentials, and detailed work experience. Only the top three candidates will generally be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

Also, explore and apply for all job vacancies in the government and private sectors to improve you chance of employment. You can post your resume online at no cost to expand your job search.

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