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The USPS Postal Exam 476

Updated May 19, 2022

Written by the WikiJob Team

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The United States Postal Service (USPS) is one of the government’s Executive Branch agencies. This large operation is unique in that it is one of a few federal agencies sanctioned by the US Constitution.

If you are looking for a career as a mail processor in the United States Postal Service, which owns more than 200,000 vehicles and has a workforce of almost half a million people, you will need to pass the USPS Postal Exam 476.

What Is a USPS 476 Exam?

To work in the United States Postal Service, you will need to pass a USPS test. There are various tests for the service’s different roles.

The USPS 476 Exam is an online assessment used to screen candidates for the roles of Mail Processing Clerk, PSE Mail Processing Clerk, Casual Mail Processing Clerk, Data Conversion Operator, PSE Data Conversion Operator and Casual Data Conversion Operator.

This 476 virtual entry assessment consists of questions that are somewhat unconventional. They can be tricky – designed to assess whether you have the right skills and characteristics needed to work for the Post Office.

If your application has been shortlisted and passed through the pre-employment screening, you will be emailed a link to the post office assessment 476. You can take the test at home but must complete the assessment within 72 hours or your application will be disqualified.

Due to the quick turnaround, you should start to prepare for the test early on in the application process.

Unlike many other exams, the USPS 476 assessment is not timed, and so you can read each question thoroughly without rushing within the three day time frame.

To meet the postal exam 474 requirements, you must score at least 70 points out of a possible 100. While 70 points does count as a pass, you should aim to achieve as many points as possible to impress the Postal Service recruiters.

USPS has a workforce of over 500,000, and so it receives and reviews an overwhelming number of applications every single day.

You may feel nervous about such an important exam, and while it is true that your prospective Postal Service career is dependent on a good score, following these tips will give you the best chance of success.

All of your preparation and hard work will pay off, as the United States Postal Service is a great place to work.

The USPS offers a wide range of career paths, providing plenty of opportunity to try different roles. As a well-known national organization that serves the nation, you can enjoy job security in delivering a service relied on by the whole of America.

Some of the best benefits of working for the USPS include:

  • access to a good career development program
  • employee perks, such as health insurance and retirement savings plans

The role of a mail processor is also very rewarding. It can involve duties such as:

  • preparing incoming and outgoing mail for USPS distribution
  • examining, sorting and routing mail
  • loading and operating mail processing, sorting and canceling machinery
  • maintaining records of shipments, pouches and sacks

What Are the Sections of the Test?

The USPS Postal Exam 476, which is completed by most candidates within 45 minutes, is divided into four sections: Work Scenarios, Error Checking, Tell Us Your Story and Describe Your Approach.

Work Scenarios

The first section of the assessment is a situational judgement test consisting of nine questions. Work Scenario questions present you with a hypothetical situation and ask which of the best answers the question.

These kinds of tests are assessing your character and judgment. The recruiters are looking to see whether you would be able to make the correct decisions in some of the situations that USPS workers face.

You should be careful to read each possible answer carefully, making a decision on the best one. It is recommended that you spend up to 11 minutes on this section.

Example Question

In the Work Scenario section, you are likely to come across a question like this:

1. One of your colleagues is slacking at work and missing out important steps that are part of his job description. This has been happening for a while, forcing you to correct his mistakes to ensure the office runs smoothly. Which of the following would you be most likely to do?

a) Talk to your postmaster about the situation.
b) Caution your colleague, telling him that you will speak with the postmaster if he doesn't improve.
c) Don’t get involved. How he does his job is his concern, not yours.
d) Talk to your colleague and explain how the situation is affecting you.

You may think there is an argument for choosing each response, which makes Situational Judgement Tests very tricky.

These questions require a lot of thought to consider which option best shows your appreciation of sought-after skills such as teamwork, proactivity, communication skills and problem solving.

Answers a), b) and c) show poor teamwork and a passive reaction to issues that are harming work productivity.

So, the preferable response here is d). It shows that you value communication and take a proactive approach to resolving work conflicts.

Error Checking

In this section, you will be shown pairs of eight digit numbers and your task will be to check if they match. There are 12 questions with four rows, each with three questions.

The role of USPS Mail Processor requires you to be precise with letters and numbers and so this section tests your attention to detail skills.

You should familiarize yourself with these types of questions ahead of the test, as it is advised to spend no more than 10 seconds on each question for a total time of around two minutes.

Example Question

1 Location 1 22889177 22889137
2 Location 2 22889177 22889177
3 Location 3 22889177 22889117
4 Location 4 22889177 22888177

Can you figure out which pair matches and which do not?

That’s right – location 2 is the only matching pair. This Verifying Information Test can be tricky to answer quickly.

By putting in plenty of preparation, with resources such as a 476 virtual entry assessment practice test, you can train your brain to swiftly identify matching numbers.

How to Pass the USPS Postal Exam 476 in 2022
How to Pass the USPS Postal Exam 476 in 2022

Tell Us Your Story

In this section are questions for the USPS to get to know your work experience and personal background.

If this is your first job position, don’t worry, as you will have the chance to indicate this. If you have held a job in the past, you will be required to give details about your attendance record, your working relationship with colleagues and how your supervisor would most likely rate you.

There are 22 multiple-choice questions in this Biodata Questionnaire, on which most candidates spend around three minutes answering.

Example Question

The questions in this section may include questions like this:

Example Question

1. If asked, how would your recent supervisor at work describe your communication skills compared to other team members?

a) The very best
b) Among the best
c) Above average
d) Average
e) Needing some development
f) Needing substantial development

The best way to approach these questions is to remember that phrase that we could all use a reminder of: nobody’s perfect. Don’t be tempted to rate yourself as the very best on every single question!

The USPS recruiters know that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and that it is unlikely for a candidate to have heaps of every desirable characteristic.

Your answers should be balanced. Try to avoid giving too many extreme scores with the options at either end of the spectrum, but don’t rely on the neutral middle answer either.

This section is your chance to show that you are an above average candidate worth hiring as a mail processor in the USPS.

Describe Your Approach

Featuring 79 questions, the Personality Test should take you around eight minutes to complete. This section of the assessment is to find out more about your character. It features vague statements that can be tricky to answer.

Remember that this is a way for the US Postal Service to see if you are consistent in your approach.

Example Question

In this section, you can expect to see questions such as the following:

1. I like to prepare all supplies so I have them ready ahead of starting the project.

a) Most like me
b) Somewhat like me

2. I prefer to start a project and gather supplies as and when they are needed.

a) Most like me
b) Somewhat like me

When approaching this question, decide which of the two options you most align with. Is the option a lot like you, or sort of like you? Whichever you feel most strongly about is your answer.

Bear in mind that the ‘most like me’ options are unlikely to be accurate for every question, so avoid choosing this answer too much.

That said, you should try to not overthink the possible responses. Being honest in your answers is the best way to achieve a consistent response in this section.

As these questions test your own personal reaction to events and situations, they can be very difficult to practice.

There are a few things you can do to feel prepared, especially if making decisions causes you to feel stressed. Try some relaxation techniques to help you remain calm when undertaking the assessment.

How to Prepare for the USPS Postal Exam 476

Many of the questions in the USPS Postal Exam 476 are designed to assess your personal interaction skills and your suitability to a Mail Processor role.

These kinds of tests can be difficult to practice for, as they involve more than just skills assessments.

While a USPS 476 assessment score of 70 will provide you with a pass, the higher your score, the greater your chances of consideration for a job with the United States Postal Service.

You can give yourself the best chance of success by following these preparation tips:

Be Confident and Believe in Yourself

This is especially important for the Tell Us Your Story section. You should be proud of your achievements and employment history and allow this to shine through when answering.

Aim to come across positive about yourself in this part of the postal exam 476 so the recruiters can see why you are the best person for the job.

Embody Your Professional Self to Answer Questions

Remember that this is your chance to show why you are the United States Postal Service’s ideal candidate.

The virtual entry assessment 476 is an important test that you should treat like you would any other exam. Remain professional in your responses to show that you are the highly proficient applicant that the USPS is looking for.

Learn More About the Role

Look at the person specification and job description to have a sense of what the test wants you to demonstrate.

The USPS Mail Processor role description outlines that some of the skills required for the job are: excellent communication, customer support abilities, teamwork and good organizational skills.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Remember that you only have 72 hours to complete the entire exam once you receive the USPS Postal Exam 476 email invitation.

You should be preparing as soon as you send off your application so that you are well versed in the postal exam 474 requirements if you progress past the screening stage.

Familiarize yourself with the subject matter and the format of each section so there are no surprises when it comes to taking the assessment.

You can find USPS practice test 476 packs online to help optimize your score, ease your nerves and show you what to expect.

Frequently Asked Questions

USPS 476 is an exam taken by people applying for a mail processing job for the US Postal Service. The exam includes five sections: Introduction, Work Scenarios, Tell Us Your Story, Describe Your Approach and Check for Errors.

The minimum score required to pass the postal exam 476 is 70. However, to stand the best chance of progressing to the next stage of the hiring process, you should always aim to achieve the highest score possible. The maximum possible score is 100.

Final Thoughts

If you have reached the post office assessment 476 stage in the application process, you should firstly be very proud of yourself. You have already shown that you have the qualities to be a perfect addition to the United States Postal Service.

All that is left to do is show your professional attitude and prove your prowess in areas such as good judgement and attention to detail.


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