The United States Postal Service (USPS) provides extensive career opportunities and seemingly endless possibilities for professional development.
However, anyone looking to work at the USPS must pass a Virtual Entry Assessment designed to find suitable applicants for the role they are trying to fill.
This article covers the Postal Exam 474, including its main parts, how to pass it and how to prepare for the Virtual Entry Assessment.
Let’s start by looking at what exactly the 474 Virtual Entry Assessment is.Take A Test
What Is the USPS Postal Exam 474?
The USPS Postal Exam 474 is a free testing service organized by the United States Postal Service to find the best candidates for certain roles within the company.
Anyone looking to obtain some of the most sought-after positions, such as a carrier assistant, a mail carrier, rural carrier, city carrier or casual carrier, must take the USPS Virtual Entry Assessment.
Candidates are required to take the USPS Post Exam 474 after their application via a Virtual Assessment Program.
Only after passing the exam can one continue with the recruitment process.
Unlike its predecessor, the USPS Postal Exam 474 focuses more on customer service rather than simply matching the addresses and the routine designations in the shortest time possible.
What Is Included in the Virtual Entry Assessment MC?
The Virtual Entry Assessment MC for the USPS Post Exam 474 includes the following parts:
In this section, you’ll be presented with 18 questions covering situations that you may encounter in your daily work as a mail carrier.
A question from this section could look something like this:
On your way to deliver a package, you are approached by a customer who wants to send a postcard to her friend who lives in a different state. She knows her friend’s address but doesn’t know her zip code, and she is asking you how to find this number.
What would you tell her?
a) She can find the information online
b) She can find the information on the USPS website
c) Ask if she has a smartphone so you can show her where she can find the information
d) She can find the information on the USPS website along with any additional help if she needs it
Here, the best answer is: c) because it shows you have the customer’s needs in mind, which is what the USPS is looking for in its carriers.
Telling the client that she can find the information online is the worst answer as it may lead her to wonder where to look for it.
Tell Us Your Story
This part of the 474 virtual entry assessment has 37 questions, focusing on verifying the work history you provided during the application.
For example, you have stated that you worked in customer service for two years.
On the exam, you may receive a question asking how long you worked in customer service, with the following answers to choose from:
a) 0 to 6 months
b) 6 to 12 months
c) 1 to 2 years
d) 3 to 5 years
The correct solution is: c), as this is the closest one to the answer you offered during your application.
Keep track of all the information you are submitting, as any discrepancy can result in the loss of points.
Describe Your Approach
You may be asked to point out which description resonates with you the most:
- I am very result driven and always strive to achieve all my goals
- I am always trying to do my best to achieve my goals
This is a tricky question because the postal exam 474 answers are similar and, at the same time, conflicting with each other.
In fact, both statements can be the correct answer, and it’s only important that you answer the question honestly.
What Drives You
This 25-question section is designed to uncover your motivations to do your best work.
You may get asked the following:
How does the ideal workplace look to you?
a) Employees are encouraged to do their best and rewarded for their efforts
b) The management demands a certain quota to be fulfilled periodically
c) Employees can choose how many tasks they can and are willing to do
This is where your research about your future employer comes in handy.
USPS offers a lot of room for development, but you must strive to hone your skills and do the best job possible.
Move the Mail
In this section, you’ll have 18 questions measuring your aptitude to notice small details and use this to sort out customer mail.
It’s always a good idea to practice aptitude tests to master these questions.
Verify Customer Information
Similar to the previous section, the last 10 questions on the test are designed to verify your ability to sort out mail accurately, except with more details.
You’ll likely be given several customers with old and new addresses and verify whether the correct information is present in the box in front of you.
How to Pass USPS Postal Exam 474
However, this still does not guarantee that you’ll be accepted for the position you are applying for, as the Postal Service typically compares passing scores against other candidates.
Candidates scoring 90 and higher are fast-tracked through the application process, and they’ll receive employment much quicker than those with lower scores.
To secure the position you are applying for and beat your competition, aim to achieve at least 95 points on your USPS Postal Exam 474.
If your USPS 474 assessment score is lower than 70, you won’t pass the exam.
You can retake your test for free, but you’ll have to wait a year before doing so.
If you achieve a score that’s higher than 70 but lower than 90, you’ll have to wait two years before you can improve your score.
How to Prepare for the Virtual Entry AssessmentPrepare for USPS 474 Exam
Here are some tips on how to prepare for this exam:
Understand the Different Sections and Question Formats
During the USPS Postal Exam 474, you’ll meet with several different sections, with each of them typically having the same quest formats.
However, the order of the questions with the same format may be different from what you had in the practice session.
It may also be different from what someone you know had on their tests, so don’t be tempted to copy their answers.
The first section with the work scenarios has the easiest formatting; however, it also carries the least points.
However, the second section is far more complex as this is where you have to prove your work history and the skills you claim to possess.
The third section has many more multiple-choice questions, which may be confusing, so be prepared to think quickly.
Take Virtual Entry Assessment MC 474 Practice Test Online
After submitting your job application to USPS online portal, you can receive the invitation to participate in a Virtual Entry Assessment anytime.
This means that you have to start looking at your Postal Exam 474 study guide before sending in your application, just in case you revive your notification at short notice.
You’ll only have three days to finish the test, so you want to practice as much as you can beforehand.
Insufficient practice is one of the reasons most people score low on the test.
This means answering many Postal Exam 474 practice test questions over several weeks. This gives you a significant head start over those who only practiced a few hours before taking the exam.
A 474 Postal Exam practice test will give you the best preparation to pass the real exam.Practice Virtual Entry Assessment MC 474 Online
Understand the Required Skills for the Job You’re Applying For
As a public-facing company, the US Postal Service requires its employees to represent the best image to anyone they meet during their working hours.
One of the purposes of the USPS 474 Exam is to filter out people who don’t meet this criterion for carrier jobs.
Make sure to understand which skill sets are required for this so you can choose the answers on the tests that are most likely to align with the company’s vision.
Some of the aptitudes USPS looks for in its carriers are the ability to focus on the needs of the end customer, willingness to help out non-direct customers and other customer service-related skills.
Practice the Exam Environment
You’ll have 72 hours within which to complete the exam, but even this won’t be enough if you aren’t completely focused on what you are doing.
Try finding a quiet place to sit during the exam and take the practice tests there to see if you’ll be free of distractions.
In addition, you should think about the device you’ll be taking the test with.
It’s recommended to take the test on a laptop or a personal computer to avoid missing an answer or making a mistake by tapping the wrong one, which could very well happen on a smartphone or a tablet.
The test itself shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes to complete, and the longer you stretch it out, the higher the chances of you losing your focus and making a mistake.
Try to work against a tight deadline while practicing and finish the sample tests as close to the 45 minutes deadline as possible.
Needless to say, you should be able to do this without making too many mistakes as you can’t change your 474 virtual entry assessment answers later, and too many wrong ones will result in you failing the test.
Frequently Asked Questions
To pass the USPS Postal Exam 474, you must test yourself on free postal exam 474 practice test questions and provide accurate background information when applying since you will be questioned about this during the exam.
You can easily find a USPS practice test 474 free.
Candidates seeking delivery and operations roles will likely have to undergo the Virtual Entry Assessment to evaluate their aptitude for handling issues that mail carriers frequently encounter.
Based on USPS exam 474 average scores 2021, the exam itself isn’t designed to be hard to pass.
That said, failing to prepare or provide accurate information during the application or when questioned may lead to a low score.
Similarly, distractions while taking the exam can also cause you to fail the exam.
Since the USPS is considered one of the best employers in the US, there is no wonder the competition is fierce for all their open positions.
Although the USPS Virtual Entry Assessment isn’t too challenging, its passing rate is relatively low, mainly due to unpreparedness.
If you are contemplating taking this test, make sure to practice it several times beforehand.
More importantly, do thorough research on what your employer is looking for, as knowing this has an enormous impact on getting the highest score possible.