New Postal Service Exams™: 474, 475, 476, and 477
As of April 1, 2019, the United States Postal Service has revised the procedure post office job application and is now using four new tests. The old test (#473) is no longer used, and its scores are invalid for postal service employment applications. Instead, applicants will be assigned one of the four new tests after they begin the application process. The new tests are numbered 474, 475, 476, and 477.
Here are some important facts about the new application procedure and the new tests. Please also see our links at the bottom of this page for further information, study guides, practice questions, and flashcards to help you with new test content. You’ll want to find out everything you can about these new tests because they are quite different from the old test with which you may be familiar.
Why Were the Changes Made?
The United States Postal Service is instituting a new initiative in which “customer satisfaction” is a priority. The old test focused a great deal on matching addresses and route designations, all in a time-sensitive manner. The new tests focus more on personal interaction strategies, with just a small portion centered on task competence. And there is no time limit on any section of the new tests, although two of them have instructions that “encourage” you to work quickly. Doing so in those sections may increase your score.
Which of the Four Tests Will I Have to Take?
You won’t know for certain until you apply, and then you’ll only have 72 hours to complete the test. Part of the new Postal Service job application process is to find a job you seek in their listings of available positions and begin an application for that job. During this process, you will be notified by email if you have been selected to take a test for that job. The email will also tell you which test to take and provide a link to that test. The test you are assigned is related to the job category for which you apply. There are different tests, for example, given to people who want to be mail carriers versus folks who apply for post office counter jobs.
How Do I Know Which Postal Service Test to Prepare For?
Even though you cannot know for sure which test you will be given before receiving that email 72 hours before the test is due, you can be fairly certain which test will be sent to you. Here is a chart with Post Office jobs listed on one side and the test given to people applying for those positions to the right.
Do I Need to Do Anything Before Beginning My Application?
Yes! Find out about the new tests, particularly the one you will probably be required to take. Once you are in the process and send in the first part of your application, you could receive an email at any time with the test link. The day you receive that email, you will have only 72 hours (3 days) to totally complete the entire test and send it in online. There is no alternative to, or extension of, this deadline and, if you do not finish the test on time, you will not be eligible for the position. Period.
What Do I Need to Know About the New Tests?
They’re different. The subject matter is different from that of the old test and the way you answer questions is different. It would be a really good idea to familiarize yourself with the way the questions are presented and the things you’ll have to do during these tests. It’s not that the questions are hard or that the test is long. It will probably take you only a total of about 45 minutes to complete. But the tests present questions in some unusual ways and it would be to your advantage to avoid being blindsided, so you can do your best work. Remember that you have to have a score of 70 out of 100 to pass this test, but the Post Office seeks employees with the highest scores, so the better you perform, the more likely you are to get the job.
What Is Included in Each of the Tests?
There are three sections that are included in all four of the tests: #474, 475, 476, and 477. Knowing about these will prepare you for any of the new tests. They are:
- Work Scenarios: questions about what you would do given a certain work situation
- Tell Us Your Story: questions about your work experience
- Describe Your Approach: questions about your approach to everyday experiences and tasks
These three sections are totally subjective in nature—there are really no “right” or “wrong” answers that can be readily identified.
Test #474 contains only the three sections listed above.
Tests #475 and 476 have those three sections, plus this one:
- Check for Errors: questions asking you to compare pairs of 8-digit numbers and tell if they are exactly the same or have at least one difference
These questions do have “correct” and “incorrect” answers.
Test #477 contains the first three sections above, plus this one:
- Work Your Register: questions that ask you to make a specific amount of change using the fewest bills and coins
These questions also have “correct” and “incorrect” answers.
You are probably thinking, “Aw, none of this seems too hard.” Well, the content is not. It’s the presentation style of the questions and how you need to record your answers to receive proper credit that can trip you up. If you are familiar with these things, none of the content should be a problem.
How Should I Prepare for the USPS Test?
Find out more about these tests before you begin the application process online. As of the posting of this information, we have found that there is very little out there about these new tests, so we’ve put together all the help we can find, and it’s all free. Check out our Postal Service Exam Preparation to make sure you’re preparing with the most up-to-date information available.
We have a study guide for each of the five sections that could be included on the four new tests. There are also practice questions and flashcards for the two sections where skill practice before the test could help you.
Whatever resources you use, be wary. There are numerous online resources and books for sale that advertise “study materials for the NEW P.O. test” that actually have prep for the old test, which is numbered 473. That prep will be useless as that test is no longer given. Be sure that any test prep you use is for tests numbered 474, 475, 476, or 477. These are the new tests and the only ones now administered by the Postal Service.