Pass the USPS 473 Exam with our Study Guide & Practice Tests
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Note: Postal Exam 473/473e has been retired by the US Postal Service as part of their recruitment process. You can find preparation materials for your assigned test by following the links below: Postal Exam 474 – Mail Carrier, Postal Exam 475 – Mail Handler, Postal Exam 476 – Mail Processor, Postal Exam 477 – Customer Service, Distribution, Sales.



The 473 Postal Exam, also known as the Entry-Level Battery 473, has two formats: pencil and paper (473 Exam) and electronically (473e Exam). Regardless of how you take it, both tests are broken down into four sections:

Part A - Address Checking
Number of Questions: 60 Questions
Time Limit: 11 Minutes
Part B - Forms Completion
Number of Questions: 30 Questions
Time Limit: 15 Minutes
Part C - Section 1 - Coding 
Number of Questions: 36 Questions
Time Limit: 6 Minutes
Part C - Section 2 - Memory
Number of Questions: 36 Questions
Time Limit: 7 Minutes
Part D - Inventory of Personal Experience and Characteristics
Number of Questions: 236 Questions
Time Limit: 90 Minutes


Note: It is important to remember that some tips might seem trivial and obvious now, but when bombarded with questions and pressured with time, tips accumulate and become a major factor.


Postal Exam 473 - Part A: Address Checking

In the address checking questions, you will need to notice differences between an address and a misprint. Questions in this section will look something like this:

473 exam address checking sample 1

The answer options typically include:
(A) No errors
(B) Error(s) in the address
(C) Error(s) in the zip code
(D) Error(s) in both parts


This section tests your ability to determine whether two addresses are identical along with your speed and accuracy. You will have 11 minutes to complete 60 questions. Scores depend on how many items have been accurately completed in the allowed time.


Tip: There is a penalty for wrong answers. Your final score equals the total amount of correct answers minus one-third of your incorrect answers. Thus, there is no advantage in choosing randomly.


More 473 Postal Exam: Information & Sample Questions >>


More 473 Postal Exam: Address Checking Sample Questions >>


Postal Exam 473 - Part B: Form Completion

Form completion questions test your ability to identify the necessary information used in completing forms. Each form will be similar to those used by the US Postal Service. There will be 15 minutes to complete 30 questions about 5-7 different forms. Each featured form on the exam is different and requires different information in each sections, requiring high concentration and perceiving skills.


Form Completion Sample:

473 exam form completion sample 1


Tip: Each correct answer equates to 1 point. Contrary to the address checking test, Part B has no penalty for incorrect answers. Therefore, take advantage of this section and guess if you are unsure of the answer.


More 473 Postal Exam: Information & Sample Questions >>


More 473 Postal Exam: Form Completion Sample Questions >>




Postal Exam 473 - Part C: Coding & Memory

Coding and Memory questions test your ability to assign addresses to their routes according to a guide.

This part of the 473 Postal Battery exam contains two separate yet similar sections that are viewed as the more difficult parts of the 473 test:

  • Section C1 - Coding: The coding section consists of 36 questions with a 6 minute time limit. A coding guide will be available to you. You must identify and assign the correct code for each item.
  • Section C2 - Memory: The memory exam consists of the same 36 questions; However, the coding guide is not available. Thus, you must assign codes based on your memory of the previous section. There will be 7 minutes to complete this section.

Coding Guide Sample

postal exam 473 coding sample 2


Tip: Similar to Part A, there is a one-third penalty for incorrect answers in both the coding and memory exams. Remember, in Parts A-C you are not expected to answer all the items and questions in the given time, rather produce as many correct answers as possible.


More 473 Postal Exam: Information & Sample Questions >>


More 473 Postal Exam: Coding & Memory Sample Questions >>



Postal Exam 473 - Part D: Personal Characteristics and Experience Inventory

This section contains 236 items that must be answered in 90 minutes. This test measures how well you perform as a Postal Service employee. The assessment questions call for honest and straightforward responses. Distorted or inaccurate self-depictions result in a lower exam grade.



Prepare for the USPS 473 Exam

As helpful as it may be, the USPS 473 study guide is not a replacement for question exercises. The USPS test is about proficiency. In order to be fully prepared for the examination, it is recommended that you practice with questions similar to the actual exam. Furthermore, the accompanied explanations can further reveal tips and methods relevant to the context. Preparing for the US postal service 473 exam is important for your success. We provide the test structure so you are familiar with the exam before you start practicing. Try our Postal Service exam packs to ensure you pass the exam.


The Postal Service 473 Breakdown

Introduction (2 minutes) – this section will introduce concepts of each part of the test

  • It has no effect on your score.
  • The Coding Guide is available.

Tip: Upon receiving the test, begin filling out what you do know to prove to the instructor that you know what you are doing. Then, when he is not looking, study the parts of the Coding Guide you do not know.

Exercise Coding (1:30 minutes)

  • Read the above section – same protocol applies.

Coding (6 minutes) – the first scored section

  • The Coding Guide is available.
  • Your score will increase by one point for each correct answer, and decrease by a third of a point for each incorrect answer. Fields left blank will not affect your score. We recommend guessing when you can to quickly eliminate two answer options. Otherwise, do not waste time and move on.

Study Period 1 (3 minutes)

  • The Coding Guide is available.

Exercise Memory (1:30 minutes)

  • The Coding Guide is NOT available.
  • Quickly answer the questions you remember. If this is the pencil and paper version, go back and answer the questions you don’t know later. (Note: in the online version going back to answer the questions a second time may not be an option.)

Study Period 2 (5 minutes)

  • The Coding Guide is available.
  • Test yourself; try to recite which addresses belong to which route. Remember, it is better to break it down according to the addresses, not according to the routes (as the guide suggests).

Memory (7 minutes) – second scored section

  • The Coding Guide is NOT available.
  • Scoring works the same here as the Coding section. The same recommendation applies.


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