The USPS Postal Exam 955
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Many people are drawn to a career with the USPS.
As the second-largest employer in the US, the organization has established a strong reputation for being a fair, honest and reputable employer.
Workers can not only enjoy competitive salaries and exceptional employee benefits, but they are also heavily supported to achieve their career ambitions.
With a wide range of career-development opportunities available internally for staff working in all departments, it’s easy to see why so many people strive to work for the US Postal Service.
To filter through the thousands of applicants that apply for each USPS job, the company has devised a series of postal exams which enable it to identify the best possible workers.
These exams allow the USPS to learn more about who you are as a person and allows the company to directly compare you to other candidates.
Those who pass the postal exams with the highest scores are far more likely to gain long-term employment with the USPS.
What Is the Postal Exam 955?
Job roles: Area maintenance technician, building equipment mechanic, electronic technician, mail processing equipment maintenance mechanic, maintenance mechanic.
Required pass rate: 70
The Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory Test – 120 questions – 75 minutes
Online Electronic Test: Multicraft – 60 questions about topics such as control circuits, hydraulics, motors, power supplies, power transmission and/or distribution, pumps and combustions, rigging, test instruments, tools and equipment – 60 minutes
Online Electronic Test: Spatial Relations – Visualization and matching figures; heavily focused on four types of spatial awareness: mental folding, mental rotation, spatial or visuospatial perception, and spatial visualization.
About the Exam
The Postal Exam 955 is an exam designed specifically for those seeking employment within technical roles at the USPS.
The USPS maintenance mechanic 955 exam is a direct replacement for the previous 931, 932 and 933 postal exams.
It’s an incredibly complex assessment, as those who are successful will be responsible for maintaining and enhancing USPS operations.
Unlike many of the other postal exams, the 955 has distinct practical assessments because hiring managers need to feel confident in the candidate’s ability to cope with the rigors of the job role.
The wide range of topics covered within the test mean that it’s highly recommended for candidates who already have an extensive background in such technical areas.
There are very few study guides available for the Postal Exam 955 because it is so complex. It’s almost impossible to create one singular textbook which covers the entirety of the exam.
However, that doesn’t mean that with some careful preparation and consideration, you can’t achieve a high score on the assessment.
What Is Assessed in the USPS 955 Test?
You need to show both practical and theoretical knowledge, and understand how to effectively use different scientific formulas.
As the assessment directly leads to a variety of technical and maintenance job roles within the USPS, you can expect to be asked questions that enable the assessors to understand if you have the capabilities to perform well in the job.
The test is broken down into two distinct sections:
- Personal characteristics and experience inventory
- Technical assessment (two parts)
The first section is a self-administered online test that allows the USPS to learn more about you. The company is seeking to establish your academic and employment background, and your approach to work.
It’s essentially a personality test that will help the employers to find out if you match the USPS culture and company ethos.
The second part of the 955 exam is the technical assessment.
As you are applying to work in a technical job role, the USPS needs to check your practical skills and theoretical knowledge.
Within the spatial reasoning section of the assessment, examiners will be looking to see if you can identify different elements and understand how to put them together to create a solution to a specified problem.
Prepare in Advance For Your Postal Exam 955
Competition for employment within the USPS is incredibly fierce. With thousands of applications for each position, the USPS can afford to be choosy about whom it wishes to employ.
The company uses the postal exams as a method of filtering through candidates. Not only can it help to reject weaker candidates without the required skills, but it can also make direct comparisons (via test scores) between successful applicants.
Like many of the other USPS postal exams, the minimum pass mark for the 955 test is 70. However, this is the minimum passing score, and to remain competitive, you need to try and achieve as high a score as possible to fast-track your application.
The highest scorers will be given the first opportunity to move on to the next stage of the recruitment process.
What to Expect From the Postal Exam 955
As already mentioned, the 955 exam is split into two sections:
- The first part is self-administered at home
- The second part takes place at an accredited testing center and is held under strict exam conditions.
Section 1: The Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory Test
They want to find out how you would approach certain scenarios and what your motivations and drivers are.
The USPS will have an augmented understanding of the ‘perfect’ candidate, and your test scores in this section will be compared to that vision. Therefore, the higher you score, the more desirable you will be seen as a recruit.
You will be asked 120 questions and given a 75-minute time frame. This may seem challenging, but the questions are multiple-choice and a lot of them will be based on your career history.
It’s important to remember that your answers will be cross-referenced with the information you have already provided on your resume and application form.
Therefore, make sure that you are providing the same information as accuracy will be monitored.
The questions that you are asked could be seemingly innocuous. For example, a Postal Exam 955 sample question could be something like this:
'You carefully plan out your workload in advance'. Please select which answer accurately describes you.
a) Strongly agree
c) Neither agree nor disagree
e) Strongly disagree
With these types of questions, the examiner isn’t looking for a right or wrong answer – they just want to find out how you work and whether you meet their ideals.
Section 2: Online Electronic Test
Once you have completed the self-administered 955 exam at home, you will be asked to visit an accredited test center to participate in the online electronic test.
You will be assessed on your theoretical and practical knowledge about a wide range of mechanical and electrical matters.
This part of the test is broken down into two further subsections:
- Multicraft – Questions relating to mechanics, electronics, building and maintenance
- Spatial Reasoning – Focused on visualization and matching figures
Multicraft Questions on the Postal Exam 955
In this first part of the online assessment, you will have one hour to answer 60 multiple-choice questions.
You will be quizzed about theories and practical knowledge, and you may even have to identify scientific formulas.
It’s an intensive part of the exam with 21 technical fields broken down into 131 different topics.
Candidates with a strong technical background or extensive experience in mechanics and electronics will find it easier to pass the test than those who are new to maintenance roles.
The breadth of topics means that it’s almost impossible to rely on a singular 955 study guide – there are far too many topics available to cover every possible scenario.
However, previous candidates have hinted that the questions may be weighted towards the job role for which you are applying.
For example, if you are applying for a job as a building equipment mechanic, you could reasonably assume that the majority of the questions will focus on building equipment.
You can also assume that the more senior the position, the more advanced the questions will be.
Based on discussions with previous applicants, you may wish to brush up on your theoretical knowledge about subjects such as:
- Basic machine functions
- Plumbing techniques
- Hydraulic and pneumatic principles
- Ohm’s Law
The greater your theoretical knowledge and ability to interpret and understand scientific formulas, the easier you will find the Postal Exam 955.
Here is a selection of sample test questions that you may find within your Postal Exam 955:
- What is a transformer and why might it be used?
- What is an electronic shunt?
- What is the symbol for a Zener diode?
- What does ‘LED’ stand for?
Spatial Reasoning Questions on the Postal Exam 955
This part of the assessment is designed to see how you visualize different components and to check your understanding of how different elements come together to create a solution to a problem.
There are two further subsections to this part of the postal exam:
- Matching parts and figures
- Spatial visualization
Whilst the multicraft questions may be aligned to your job application, the spatial reasoning section of the 955 exam is broadly similar for all job roles.
You will be asked to consider and identify a range of 3D shapes and you will need to draw conclusions and inferences based on the minimal information provided.
You may be asked to detect patterns and determine how a series of numbers or objects relate to each other. Or you could be asked to follow a set of instructions to allow assessors to see how you understand and relate to a series of written directions.
You must be aware of how to use drawings and schematics as this will form a significant part of this assessment.
You won’t be asked to create the drawings; instead, you’ll be provided with a series of visual images and you will need to identify the correct answer.
Within the ‘matching parts and figures’ element of the 955 exam, you can assume that you will be presented with a series of flat dimensional pieces.
You may be asked to explain what figure or shape may appear if you match the pieces together.
As part of your postal exam practice, you may wish to spend time improving your knowledge of 3D shapes and how they can be created.
As part of your exam preparation, you may wish to use some of the spatial awareness tests that we provide here at Wikijob.
How to Prepare for Your Postal Exam 955
Although the test is notoriously complex, there are some practical ways that you can prepare for your exam:
For the first section, you need to be aware of the types of questions that you could be asked.
The Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory Test is broadly similar across all USPS postal exams.
Make sure you pay close attention to what information you have already provided – even the slightest employment-date discrepancy could reduce your score.
You should also consider the job description.
As a self-administered exam, you will be completing your 955 test in the comfort of your own home. Make sure that you will not be distracted and that you have a quiet place where you can focus solely on the questions.
Once you’ve submitted an answer, you do not have the option to go back, so make sure you are 100% confident with your selection before moving to the next question.
The second section is considerably harder to prepare for because there is so much scope for what could appear.
With 21 different topics that could crop up in the assessment, it’s not possible to study for every eventuality.
However, you can reasonably assume that the 955 test will be skewed towards your distinct job role.
Make sure you’re well aware of any theories, acronyms and scientific formulas that you may require day-to-day as they are likely to appear.
You may wish to practice your mental arithmetic and numeric reasoning skills and check that you have a fundamental understanding of the basics of the key areas (such as electronics, mechanics, circuits, and so on).
Frequently Asked Questions
The 955 exam is split into two sections. These are the Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory Test and two Online Electronic Tests (Multicraft and Spatial Reasoning). The first section will help recruiters to understand how you might approach work-based situations. The second section is designed to test your practical and theoretical knowledge in electrical and mechanical matters.
Candidates are allowed 75 minutes to complete 120 questions for the Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory Test. This section of the test can be completed at home. For the second section, candidates have one hour to answer 60 multiple-choice questions in the Multicraft test. This part of the test, plus the Spatial Relations element must be completed at an accredited testing centre under exam conditions.
To pass the 955 Postal exam, you will need to achieve a minimum score of 70. However, as the field for USPS technical roles is highly competitive, you should always work towards achieving the best possible score. This will help to improve your overall chances of success.
You can take the 955 postal exam more than once. However, you will have to wait before retaking the test. If you fail the 955 exam, you will have to wait 12 months to retake it. If you pass the exam but wish to achieve a higher score, you will have to wait two years to resit the exam.
After passing the 955 Postal exam, you will need to satisfy the other USPS pre-screening requirements. These include submission of an application form, completion of the Medical Examination Report (Form 1507), drug screening clearance and attendance at a face-to-face interview.
Test-takers do not have to pay any fees to arrange or take a USPS postal exam.
Beware of postal exam scams that may suggest otherwise. You do not need to pay any money to anybody to sit any of the USPS postal exams.
The postal exam can only be taken online. When applying for a job role with the USPS, you will be asked to take the appropriate online postal exam within 72 hours of submitting your application.
There is a range of different USPS postal exams. The postal test that you take will depend on the job role you have applied for.
The postal exam 955 is a very complex exam that is difficult to pass. It is taken by candidates applying for technical job roles, such as technicians and mechanics.
The test is designed to assess mechanical and electrical competencies. Test results are used to help decide whether a candidate has the skills and abilities needed to take responsibility for running and improving USPS operations.
To pass the postal exam 955, you will need to achieve a minimum score of 70.
As the candidate pool for technical job roles within the USPS is competitive, you should aim to achieve the highest possible score by spending time preparing for the assessment.
The more preparation that you do, the better your chances of success.
Concentrate on the areas that are most relevant to the job role you have applied for and gain a full understanding of the skills and abilities the USPS expects from its employees.
If you want to pass the postal exam, you should use a range of study materials and answer several different sets of practice postal exam questions.
By now, you will be aware that the USPS Postal Exam 955 is an extremely complex exam that is difficult to pass. However, if you are successful, it can lead to career progression, bringing opportunities to earn more money and fulfill your career ambitions.
The job roles that arise from the maintenance mechanic 955 exam play an important role in modernizing the USPS and ensuring that the business remains functional across all operations.
Without these job roles, key systems and processes within the USPS could fail, leading to catastrophic consequences.
Those working in maintenance and mechanic roles at the USPS are highly respected and crucial to the organization’s continued success. Therefore, these jobs have a certain level of job security.
It’s well worth taking the time to thoroughly prepare for your assessment.
As competition is fierce, you need a high test score to succeed. Achieving the minimum pass mark won’t suffice; you need to have a competitive score against other candidates.
Therefore, the more you study in advance, the greater your chances for success. Focus your study on areas that link to your job role and take the time to understand exactly what the USPS is looking for in an employee.
There are many Postal Exam 955 study guides available online, but the variety of topics that could arise within the postal exam means that no singular guide will cover every facet.