Postal Exam 474

Last updated 04/2020

Working at the United States Postal Service (USPS) can potentially provide many benefits. According to their website post office employees may be entitled to benefits including, vacation and sick leaves, life and health insurances, retirement and saving plans, and perhaps even educational assistance.

However there is a catch. In order to become a postal employee you will first need to pass an assessment. The USPS now uses the Virtual Entry Assessment (VEA) test exams for most entry level positions. For example, in order to become a mailman at the U.S. post office you will have to first pass The Virtual Entry Assessment (MC 474) also known as the Mail Carrier Test.

This compulsory screening assessment, aka Postal Exam 474, must be taken and passed by anyone wishing to become a mailman.

At PrepTerminal we are here to help make this testing hurdle as manageable as possible so that you can tackle it in one stride. Our team of psychometric experts have developed a Postal Exam prep course to help you achieve your maximum scoring potential, to give you the best chance of landing a mailman job with the U.S. postal service.


Question-MarkWhat is the Postal Exam 474?

Postal exam 474, is one of the four new Virtual Entry Assessment tests recently developed and launched to replace the now obsolete exam 473. Postal exam 474 is also known as the Mail Carrier VEA exam and it is used in the recruitment process for all mail delivery jobs. Below is a list of specific mail delivery jobs. Anyone applying for one of these job positions will need to complete an 474 test.

  • City Carrier
  • Casual City Carrier
  • City Carrier Assistant 1
  • City Carrier Assistant 2
  • Rural Carrier
  • Assistant Rural Carrier
  • Rural Carrier Associate

Behavioural_PersonalityWhat is included in the USPS Postal Exam 474?

The 474 Postal Exam features the following 3 sections:

Section #1. Tell Us Your Story
– this section will present you with questions about aspects of any previous job positions you may have held. Don’t stress if you don’t have any prior work experience, you can just answer that this is your first job. You will also be asked about your attendance record, your working relationship with your peers, and how your supervisor may evaluate your performance.

Section #2. Describe Your Approach
– this section asks you questions that relate to how you handle other people, your approach towards specific parts of your work, and how you would react on a personal level, when placed in certain conditions.

Section #3. Work Scenarios (Work Situations)
– in this section you will be given descriptions of possible work situations and then asked how you would react in those work situations. In other words, what you would or would not do under those specific situations.


Behavioural_PersonalityWhy take the Postal Exam 474?

The Virtual Entry Assessment – MC 474 is a compulsory screening step that you must take and pass if you want to become a mailman.

Achieving a passing score of 70 is essential, as applicants who don’t get this score attain an ineligible status. Once you receive this status you can only retake the test after a 12 month period.

According to the USPS, 80%-90% of applicants fail the postal exam. The difficult nature of the exam and the knowledge that you only have one chance to pass per year, increases the anxiety levels. That is why it is highly recommended to start preparing for the 474 exam as early as possible.


Sample questions for the Postal Exam 474

SJT/Work Scenario Question

1) While assigned at the drop-off office, a customer hands you their filled up form along with the parcel that they want to send to a relative. Upon inspecting the details of the form, you notice that the zip code of the recipient is missing. After pointing this out to the customer, they state that they do not know the zip code of their relative’s address.

Which of the following courses of action you are most likely and least likely to take?

  1. Inform them that you will not be able to accept the parcel without the zip code.
  2. Ask them to contact their relative for their zip code.
  3. Tell them that they can search for the zip code online.
  4. Offer to search for the zip code in the USPS database and have the customer confirm it if possible.

Correct Answer: D (most likely) and A (least likely)

Explanation:
This question isn’t about getting the zip code correct, at least this isn’t the main point of it. Instead, this question is put in the postal exam because the organization wants to measure just how helpful you are towards customers, especially those who are not familiar with how the requirements of sending in parcels based on how much details have to be in the forms.

Option D would show that you are not just a candidate that would shrug off a customer just because they messed up an application form for their parcel and call it a day. This will allow the USPS to know that you are willing to go the extra mile to show how friendly and helpful employees of the postal service is.

Option A can be considered as the least likely course of action that you should take as you are not being helpful even though the situation can easily be solved.

2) I value accuracy over speed

Highly AgreeAgreeUnsureDisagreeHighly Disagree

Correct Answer: Either Highly Agree or Agree

Explanation:
As a postal officer, it is vital that every parcel, letter, or package is sent to the right recipient, meaning you must be able to deliver them to the correct house or apartment unit no matter how confusing or large the area is.

This isn’t to say that making deliveries on time is not important, but it is more difficult to explain why a parcel was given to the wrong person/address, especially if the address was given complete and correct.


Question-MarkHow long is Postal Exam 474?

Postal Exam 474 is a self-administered assessment that is typically completed in about 45 minutes. The exam must be completed within 72 hours (3 days) of submitting an application for a job. As there is a very limited amount of time available for preparations after applying, so it is advisable to start practicing for the 474 exam as soon as you decide you wish to become a mailman. Thus, ideally, you should enroll in our preparatory Postal Exam course prior to applying for a job.

However, if you have already submitted your application, don’t stress. Just make sure to plan to sit the exam near the end of your three day time period. This gives you at least a couple of days to prepare using our prep course.

Question-MarkWhat is the passing score?

The maximum score you can achieve on one of these exams is 100. You will need to achieve a score of at least 70 in order to pass. You can find out what score you attained upon completion of your test by logging into your candidate profile on the USPS website. If you do not manage to pass you will get an email that says you are “ineligible”. This indicates that you will not be considered for the job position you applied for.


FAQs about the 474 Postal Exam

What is a good passing score on the 474 Postal Exam?
The passing score is similar to that of postal exam 473, namely 70. Ideally, you should aim to score 85 or above in order to be a competitive candidate.

Is the 474 postal exam difficult?
The Postal Exam 474 is a hard assessment, and according to the USPS, 80%-90% of applicants fail the test. The test can be tricky as many of the questions are hypothetical and because there often isn’t one clear answer that presents itself as the right option.

What is featured on the Mailman Test?
The MC (474) also known as the Mail Carrier or Mailman Test features the following sections and number of questions.

  • Work Scenarios – 8 questions which need to be answered in approximately 7 minutes.
  • Tell Us Your Story – 20 questions which need to be answered in approximately 2 minutes.
  • Describe Your Approach – 56 questions which need to be answered in approximately 6 minutes.

Can I Resit the 474 Postal Exam?
If you don’t pass the 474 postal exam the first time, you cannot take the test again for 1 year. You can, however, choose to sit a different one of the four exams. Yet this means submitting an application for a different job, which may not be your ideal position. If you do pass the 474 postal exam but want to retake the test to better your score, you will need to wait 24 months.

What do I need to do to become a Mail Carrier?
To become a mailman at USPS, you need to have a clean criminal background check and driving record and possess a U.S. citizenship. You will also have to pass the postal exam 474, and attend a job interview.

How long will my USPS exam score remain valid?
Your USPS test scores will stay valid between two and six years, based on whether you pass the test and the job position you submitted an application for.


pc-markTop Tips for Postal Exam 474

Here are 4 top tips to help you ace your postal exam:

Top Tip #1. Familiarize yourself with the assessment style
There are three sections on this test – Work Scenarios, Tell Us Your Story, and Describe Your Approach – all these sections feature unusual questions which are answered in a very strange manner. Applicants sometimes fail this exam simply because they don’t underst the questions or how they are meant to answer them. It is essential that you prepare for this test so that you know what to exact and so that you won’t be caught off guard by its strangeness.

Top Tip #2. Stay CalmTest Anxiety can be a real issue and it can cause applicants sitting this sort of assessment to score poorly, perform below their real ability levels, or even fail. Test anxiety can best be overcome by becoming familiar and comfortable with the format and style of the exam questions. This is one reason that we at PrepTerminal have created a preparatory Postal Exam course. By enrolling in our course you will be able to become familiar with the exam content of the 474 test.

Top Tip #3. Know your sections
Before you start test 474 make sure you know which sections allow you to go back to previous questions to revise or read over your answer. This is the information we know about this:You cannot go back at all, even to the previous question in the following sections:

  • Work Scenarios, Check for Errors, and Work Your Register.
  • You can go back only one questions in the following sections:
  • Describe Your Approach and Tell Us Your Story.

Top Tip #4. Rely on updated information (2020)
You may still discover that Postal Service Exam 473 is being mentioned on various online forums and sites. Remember that beginning April 2019 exam 473 became obsolete. Test 473 has been retired and replaced by the VEA assessments 474, 475, 476, 477. Make sure you rely on updated information about these four new VEA assessments, like that offered by PrepTerminal.


Thumbs-Up-MarkHow Prepterminal Can Help with Your Postal Exam 474

To successfully pass postal exam 474, it is essential that you set aside time to prepare, so you can become familiar with the format and structure of this somewhat atypical test. Take the time to practice each section so that you can build up your confidence and calm your nerves.

Prepterminal has developed a comprehensive course to help you prepare for, and maximize your score on, your USPS postal exam. Our course features both text and video modules along with Postal Exam 474 practice tests. Our team of psychometric test experts have carefully created a course that will have you ready for your exam in a matter of hours. Don’t leave your 474 test results up to chance. Start preparing with PrepTerminal now and optimize your test score.

Postal Exam 474

Last updated 04/2020

Working at the United States Postal Service (USPS) can potentially provide many benefits. According to their website post office employees may be entitled to benefits including, vacation and sick leaves, life and health insurances, retirement and saving plans, and perhaps even educational assistance.

However there is a catch. In order to become a postal employee you will first need to pass an assessment. The USPS now uses the Virtual Entry Assessment (VEA) test exams for most entry level positions. For example, in order to become a mailman at the U.S. post office you will have to first pass The Virtual Entry Assessment (MC 474) also known as the Mail Carrier Test.

This compulsory screening assessment, aka Postal Exam 474, must be taken and passed by anyone wishing to become a mailman.

At PrepTerminal we are here to help make this testing hurdle as manageable as possible so that you can tackle it in one stride. Our team of psychometric experts have developed a Postal Exam prep course to help you achieve your maximum scoring potential, to give you the best chance of landing a mailman job with the U.S. postal service.

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