Free Postal Exam 474 (Virtual Entry Assessment MC) Practice

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What is the Virtual Entry Assessment MC (474)?

The Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474), aka the Mail Carrier Test, is a mandatory screening step that anyone who wishes to become a mailman has to pass. This test is one of the four new USPS exams that replaced the retired postal exam 473 in 2019.

The following mail delivery jobs are required to take this assessment:

  • City Carrier
  • City Carrier Assistant (CCA)
  • Casual City Carrier
  • Rural Carrier
  • Rural Carrier Associate (RCA)
  • Assistant Rural Carrier

What Is Included in the Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474)?

There are three sections on the Postal Exam 474: Work Scenarios, which has eight questions that evaluate your responses to different situations, Tell Us Your Story, which is a 20-question biodata questionnaire, and Describe Your Approach, which is a 56-question personality test.

How Hard Is Postal Exam 474?

As a whole, the Postal Exam 474 can be a difficult test, especially its behavioral sections. That's because behavioral questions are tricky in their nature and their correct answers don't stand out immediately. Some questions ask the same but in a different structure and others are simply confusing.

Is the 474 Postal Exam Timed?

The Postal Exam 474 is officially untimed. However, the USPS provides suggested time frames for each of the three sections, which add up to 15 minutes in total. The time window to take the assessment is strict, though, when you have only 72 hours to complete it once you receive the email invitation.

Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474) Sample Questions

Here’s an example of a scenario that highly resembles some of the question types you’ll encounter on the real Work Scenarios test section:

You are making a delivery when a customer asks you about zip codes. He explains that he wants to send a parcel to his friend, but only has his street address and is missing the zip code. He is not sure how to locate this information.

Please select the action you would be most likely to take and the action you would be least likely to take, in response to the described situation.

1. Tell him he can find the information online.
2. Explain where he may find this information and enquire the next day if he found it.
3. Offer to search the zip code together on the USPS website.
4. Explain where he can locate this information and ask if there is anything else you can help with.

How would you act in this situation?

Check the full solution and explanation here

Competency: Service Orientation

Most Likely: 3

Least Likely:  1

Response 1: This response fails to demonstrate service orientation. You make no effort to assist the customer or answer his query. Instead, you “take the easy way out” by suggesting he look this up himself online.

Response 2: This response demonstrates service orientation as you explain where the customer can find the information. You also enquire the next day to ensure that the customer succeeded in retrieving the information he needed based on the information you had provided.

Response 3: You demonstrate great service orientation skills as you offer to help find the zip code, and by doing so together, you can show the customer how to locate this information in the future.

Response 4: This is a good response that demonstrates service orientation as you explain where the customer can find the information and ask the customer if there is anything else you can assist with before ending the interaction. However, you fail to ensure that the customers' needs were met and that he actually retrieved the information he needed based on the information you provided.

Want to try another sample question? Check out the video we made on how to master the USPS assessments (the sample question is at 1:54):

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If you didn't have a chance to check our new free 474 Exam practice test, you can try it here.

Postal Exam 474 Scores - Everything You Need to Know

USPS 474 Passing Score

The passing score for the USPS 474 assessment is 70 and above. If you score below that, you'll receive an ineligible status and you'll be allowed to retake the test only after 12 months.

What Is a Good Score on the USPS 474 Exam?

A good score on the USPS 474 Exam is anything from 70 and above. However, some job openings are more competitive or look for a very small number of candidates. In these cases, the cut-off scores are high and applicants who get the highest scores will be the first ones invited for an interview.

Failure Rates and Average Scores

The average scores and failure rates for the Postal Exam 474 are not publicly disclosed, so there is no actual way of knowing them. That being said, many previous test-takers mentioned across Reddit and YouTube that they failed the exam. So, you can assume that the failure rates are not low.

How Long Will My USPS Exam Score Stay Valid?

If you passed the exam, your USPS exam scores will remain valid between two and six years.

How to Pass the USPS 474 Assessment?

To pass the USPS 474 Postal Exam with a high score, you'll need to be well-prepared. Since we know that behavioral questions (which are the majority on this exam) are tricky and confusing, make sure to practice plenty of USPS practice questions so you're able to recognize the correct answer quickly.

Plus, practicing beforehand will eliminate the element of surprise on the test and will help reduce any test anxiety.

Now, if you'd like to get accurate test preparation, JobTestPrep is a perfect match. We offer you a complete practice pack for the 474 exam, which includes:


  • Thorough prep for all three sections of the Postal Exam 474 (SAME question types)
  • Additional practice drills to help you score as high as possible and place you on the top of the applicants' list
  • Exclusive study guides to dominate the 'Tell Us Your Story' and 'Describe Your Approach' parts
See how it looks >>

The Prep Pack includes three categories that match the actual assessment's format.

Each category is comprised of practice tests with full answers and explanations and PDF study guides.

Postal Exam 474 Practice Pack JobTestPrep


5 Important Tips to Increase Your Assessment's Score

Practice Before You Submit Your Initial USPS Job Application

Most candidates who complete the application form on the USPS career site receive the assessment invitation, with a strict 72-hour time frame to complete it.

But what happens when the 72-hour window falls on a busy weekend or holiday?

Will you take the risk of postponing it to the last minute or even take it without any preparation?

A smart way of avoiding this is completing some practice questions – you can get them all from us - on your own time so that you're already fully prepared when it comes time to take the USPS test in real life.

Keep a Record of the Information You've Already Submitted

On the "Tell Us Your Story" section, you'll be asked several questions about your work experience. You have to ensure your answers align with what you mentioned in your initial application form, or else it might fail your exam.

So, while you're at it, make sure to keep a record of the information you've already submitted. You can do so by taking screenshots or printing your application history - whatever works better for you.

Answering Honestly Might Not Be Enough

While the test instructions advise you to answer honestly and that there are no "right" or "wrong" answers, it can be problematic to stick only to honesty.

That's because it's likely that some of your values or inner truths do not match what the Postal Service is looking for in their candidates. Instead, you'll need to think about what qualities you can bring that the USPS will appreciate, and answer questions based on them.

In our complete preparation pack, we'll show you the preferred ways to answer the assessment's questions, so you increase your chances of passing the test.

Don't Rely on Someone Else's Answers

Don't be tempted to copy someones else's answers, even if they claimed they got a 100. The USPS might change the assessment with time or mix up the questions. So, to avoid getting caught by surprise on the test, it's better to know the solution process and not just the correct answer.

Don't Take the Exam on Your Smartphone

Taking the assessment using your phone might be problematic. It will be inconvenient to read the questions and you might press on a wrong answer by mistake.

To be on the safe side, use a laptop or a personal computer when you take the test.

After all, your future job is at stake.


The exam is self administered online and you have 72 hours (3 days) to complete it once you receive the email invitation.

Here are several frequently asked questions about its administration, retest policies, and more.

Can I Retake the 474 Postal Exam?

If you fail the 474 Postal Exam and get an ineligible status, you'll be allowed to retake the test only after one year. If you've passed the exam and want to retake it to improve your score, you'll have to wait 24 months before you can do so.

How Do I Retake the 474 USPS Assessment?

To retake the 474 assessment, you'll first need to wait for 12 months from your first attempt (if you failed it) or 24 months (if you passed but want to improve your score). Then, you'll be able to apply for an open Mail Carrier position and retake the exam.

What else do I need to do to become a Mail Carrier?

Once you've passed the 474 Postal Exam, you'll need to complete other requirements for the job. You'll be required to fill out a job application form and a Form 1507 - Medical Examination Report. In addition, you'll need to pass a drug screening test. And finally, go through an in-person interview.

Does It Cost Money to Take the Exam?

The 474 Postal Exam and its resittings are free to take.


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