Pass the USPS Postal Exam 477 in 2022
Whether you want to be a software engineer or work for the US Postal Service (USPS), there are many job roles out there today that might require you to take an online – or in-person – virtual assessment.
For example, if you are looking to join USPS and have recently graduated, then you might be required to take an online assessment as part of the interview process. Within this article, you will learn more about the 477 test and how you can pass it.
The Virtual Entry Assessment – CS (477) (also known as the USPS Postal Exam 477) is a pre-employment assessment the US Postal Service uses during the application process for customer clerk positions and many other titles within the business.
The US Postal Service is known for offering stable careers with lots of benefits, which is why it is a popular service to work for. This means that there are more applicants than ever, so a virtual assessment is an effective way to examine said applicants.
It is an exam you can take at home and was launched as part of the Postal Service’s way to implement changes in the way it tackles customer satisfaction and how it puts the customer first.
There are also other assessments for the Postal Service, but the USPS 477 exam is for customer services.
As mentioned, the test is virtual so can be completed at home – usually within about 45 minutes – however, the examinee will have three days to complete the assessment within the application process.
There is limited time available once you start the test, so it is not a case of starting and then going back; it will need to be completed with the timescale.
As for the type of questions you can expect to see on the USPS 477 test, you will have four different sections to work on to complete the assessment.
Each part will have a different number of questions you must answer. Here are the sections:
For the work scenarios section of the exam, you will be asked 10 questions. Each one will contain a different customer service-based scenario that you might find yourself in while you are in the job.
Each question will give you a different scenario, all of which has a customer at the center. You will then be given four different solutions to choose from to answer the question. The solution will be the best possible outcome from the situation and demonstrate how you handle situations.
There might also be questions about conflict resolution, whereby you will have to explore ways to resolve conflicts within the Postal Service; this could also have something to do with situations that might involve colleagues.
It is important for the business to see how you handle both sides of a scenario to determine whether a customer services position is right for you.
As well as different scenarios, you might be asked about assignments and how to balance an array of different tasks while at work. This could be the tasks you need to prioritize and what happens when situations come up that need to take priority.
An important part of the application process, this section of the test will give USPS the know-how on how you handle customer service situations and whether you can apply the high-quality customer service techniques the organization is looking for.
Poor customer service can reflect badly on the company, so it is in their interest to hire staff who have the same values.
An example of a Work Scenario question could look like this:
1. A customer has asked you if they are able to send food items in the mail. You are quite new at the Postal Service so are unsure how to answer the question. What do you do next?
Please choose one of the solutions from the list below of how you would resolve the situation. Then, select an approach you would take.
a) Explain to the customer that you are new to the Postal Service, and you cannot answer their question.
b) Ask the customer to hold the line, while you search for the correct information. Apologize to them for having to wait longer than expected for the answer. Once you have found the information, share it with the customer.
c) Tell the customer you will get someone more experienced to call them back later in the day.
The next section of the assessment will ask you questions about past work experiences. It consists of 21 questions that will explore experiences you have picked up in previous employment.
You will need to apply the information you have picked up and explore how you can use your skills within this job. You will also need to provide information about your attendance at your last job and explain your relationships with past colleagues.
Here is an example question you might be asked during this section.
1. How would your past co-workers describe your ability at helping customers?
a) Your skills at handling customer queries are exemplary.
b) You sometimes helped customers accordingly.
c) You were not strong at handling customer questions and needed further support.
d) You did not handle customer issues well.
This part of the assessment is made up of 56 questions all based around different situations.
For example, you will be given a scenario (that you might find yourself in within the job) and offered the chance to explain how you would handle yourself in this situation.
Sometimes it can be known as a situational approach. As with the other sections, you will be provided with several answers, and you will have to choose the one that you believe reflects and resolves the situation in a professional manner.
It is good form to answer the question honestly, but you will need to make sure that your answer reflects your abilities and the company in a positive way.
Think about the situation and how you believe the organization would want it handled; this might change your perspective.
Here is a sample question you might receive:
1. Please select an option from the below scenario that you most agree or disagree with.
A. I like working with customers and assisting with their queries.
B. Occasionally I become flustered if I must prioritize a task.
a) Mostly agree with option A
b) Mostly agree with option B
c) Somewhat agree with option A
d) Somewhat agree with option B
The last section of the assessment will focus on your ability to work out the lowest amount of bills and coins you will need when you are working on the cash register.
Like the name suggests, you will be checking for errors when it comes to handling customer money. Please note, you will not be working with a real-life cash register.
It focuses on three questions, all of which will be similar to each other.
As for the scenario, it will focus on a customer paying you in bills or coins, and you will need to give the customer the correct change once they have paid. This will be using the least amount of cash.
The main point of this assessment is speed. As part of USPS, it is within your job role to provide quick service, especially when there is a queue.
Here is a sample question you might get asked.
1. You have been asked by someone if they can pay with coins. But they do not have the exact amount of money. Supply the customer with the right change.
Amount due: $18.50
Amount Paid: $20.00
Change Due: $1.50
As with any other exam you might have taken at school or in college, preparation is always necessary.
In this case, you are taking the USPS 477 assessment to be successful in a career within this organization, so it is imperative you prepare accordingly. Here are a few tips to help you on your way.
This is a crucial point to think about. As the questions are multiple choice, you will need to pick a response based on the company’s expectations, so it is important you think about the specific job role in mind.
For example, when answering about customer service, think about the customer and the best possible outcome for them and the business. You can take practice guides beforehand to test yourself.
When thinking of an appropriate answer, think about your own resume and the experience you have obtained over the years in previous roles.
Think about similar situations and how you handled them at the time. Do not underestimate your own experience and skill set.
These are your saving grace when prepping for the USPS 477 test. It will give you experience on the type of questions you will need to answer and how to answer them.
While you will not get the same questions, the format might be similar. You will be able to find practice tests and study guides online; maybe try a few over a period of time to get yourself comfortable with the questions.
When getting ready to take practice tests and guides, time yourself while you're answering the questions.
This will get you used to working under pressure and ensuring you can answer a certain number of questions in a specific period. Do this with a stopwatch on your cell or via an online clock platform.
Like running a marathon, it is good to keep a steady pace throughout the test. We would advise not to rush and take the time to think about each of the questions and how to answer them.
Rushing will also make you feel flustered and might disrupt your answers. You can practice this point when you are timing your practice tests.
Believe it or not, there still might be out-of-date study guides online, some of which might contain questions or formats that are not used anymore.
It is important you look for the most current practice tests and study materials before you start your prep. Most of which will have a date of issue at the beginning of the paper.
As mentioned in the first point, you will need to think about your answers from the point of view of the business.
So, while you need to be honest, make sure you are being professional with it – use your work persona to get into the right mindset.
When you answer and if you are not sure if you are being professional, take a moment to think about it from the organization’s perspective.
Before you take the test, make sure you are fully alert and are somewhere with minimal distractions.
You will need to be focused – you won’t have the time to deviate from the exam once you have started.
Each section of the USPS 477 exam is scored based on the amount of questions you answer correctly for each section.
For example, the Tell Us Your Story section has 21 questions, so you will be scored out of 21 for this section. All total marks will be added together and will be scored out of a 100.
One hundred is the highest mark you can receive in the whole exam, but you will need to score at least 70 to pass the overall test.
If you do not reach 70, you will be unable to take the test again for two years, so it is important you aim to score 70 or above. Please note that passing the test does not guarantee a position within the company.
You will receive the results from the USPS 477 exam on your online profile.
Once you have created your profile, prior to the exam, you will see the status of your application on your profile. It will continue to be updated the further along you are in the application process.
For example, once you have submitted the test and it has not been scored yet, your application will say ‘In Process’.
If it says ‘Eligible’, it means you have achieved the pass mark and will need to await further instruction. If you have not passed, it will say ‘Ineligible.’
As the test is part of the application process to work at USPS, you will not have to pay to sit the exam; however, it is necessary to take the test if you want to work at the organization.
However, some testing materials and guides might be chargeable.
Once you have taken and completed the USPS 477 examination, your score will be valid between two and six years. This is dependent on the specific role you are going for.
If you are unsure, you will be able to find out with human resources.
Even though you will need to score at least 70 to pass the USPS 477 exam, it is preferable to aim for the highest mark possible.
All marks will be taken into consideration during the hiring process, and as taking the test does not guarantee your place, a higher score might put you in good stead against your competitors.
Occasionally, if an examinee achieves the highest mark or one close to it, then this could result in an instant hire.
USPS is a reputable organization that can create a rewarding experience for its workers, so it is a highly popular place to work.
Therefore, passing the USPS 477 exam is your chance to begin the application process for your professional career, one that can lead to a whole host of opportunities down the line.
Sit the exam seriously, and always do your homework before you apply.