United States Postal Service Exams

Applicants for all United States Postal Service entry-level career positions and for some part-time/temporary jobs are required to take employment exams. There are different exams used to fill different types of jobs. Thanks to recent sweeping revisions to the Postal hiring and testing program, applicants are no longer forced to wait for erratically scheduled test dates. Under the new system, those seeking Postal employment are able to apply for jobs and take exams virtually anytime. More specifically, the steps involved are (1) find an open job posting, (2) apply for that job, and (3) take the required exam within a limited number of days. All these processes are electronic under the new system. Applicants search for job postings online, apply online, and take most exams online.

Postal Exam 230/238/240
Even though the Postal Service calls them exams, these are not truly tests in the traditional sense. They are actually identical questionnaires that ask about an applicant’s driving record and experience. These exams/questionnaires are used to fill the below professional driving jobs:
Exam 230 - Motor Vehicle Operator, Exam 238 - Motor Vehicle Operator / Tractor Trailer Operator, Exam 240 - Tractor Trailer Operator

Postal Exam 473-E
This new electronic mega test replaced old exams 460, 470, 473, and 473C. It is used to fill over 90% of all entry-level career Postal jobs. In addition to the front counter clerk position, most jobs related to handling mail, sorting mail, and delivering mail are filled from this one exam. It is broken down into five sections as detailed below. Except for the first section, this exam requires applicants to perform obscure tasks at an exceptional rate of speed. Many applicants are able to enhance their performance on the exam via extensive practice with realistic electronic practice tests. Personal Characteristics & Experience Inventory: This self-administered section is taken first without supervision. There are 150 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. This section is used to build a profile of the applicant to determine his/her potential as an employee. Applicants who pass this section are scheduled to take the remaining sections at a designated facility under supervision. Address Checking: This section has 60 questions to be answered in 11 minutes. Each question is a pair of items consisting of an address (street/P.O. Box, city, and state) and a ZIP code. Applicants are to compare the items to determine if they are exactly alike, if the addresses are different, if the zip codes are different, or if both the addresses and the zip codes are different. Forms Completion: In this section applicants are shown various Postal forms and asked how they should be completed. There are 30 questions to be answered in 15 minutes. Coding: A Coding Guide for delivery routes is presented in this section. Applicants are required to answer 36 questions about the Coding Guide in 6 minutes. Since the Coding Guide is made available when answering the questions, this section is basically an open book test. Memory: In this section applicants have 7 minutes to answer 36 questions about the same Coding Guide described above, but the questions must be answered from memory. The Coding Guide is not made available. Applicants are given several minutes to memorize the Coding Guide before answering the questions. This section is generally viewed as the hardest part of the exam.

Postal Exam 710
This exam is typically used to fill only one specific job, Data Conversion Operator, which is available at only two locations - Salt Lake City, UT and Wichita, KS.

Postal Exam 916
This exam is used to fill custodial/janitorial jobs, and it is usually restricted to preference eligible military veterans.

Postal Exam 943/944
This exam is used to fill Automotive Mechanic/Technician jobs that require extensive prior training and/or experience.

Postal Exam 955
This new mega test replaced old exams 931, 932, and 933. It is used to fill highly technical maintenance jobs such as Building Equipment Mechanic, Maintenance Mechanic, Electronic Technician, Mail Processing Equipment Mechanic, Area Maintenance Technician, etc. This deeply technical exam demands very extensive prior training and/or experience in a number of different technical fields.


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