USPS Postal Exams 474-477: Everything You Need to Know
Shir Enzer

Shir, Civil Service Assessments Expert at JobTestPrep.

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Table of Contents


What Is the Postal Exam?

Numerous positions at the USPS require candidates to undergo and pass diverse assessment tests.

Previously referred to as the 473 Postal exam, the USPS assessment underwent a complete overhaul in 2019. Since then, most of the entry-level positions at the Postal Service require you to successfully complete a Virtual Entry Assessment (VEA) but the specific postal examination required depends on the nature of the desired position.

If you want to get a sense of the typical questions in all USPS tests, check out our USPS Sample Questions Free Page. You'll find tips, questions, updated info, and ample practice.

Now, let's go over each Postal Exam in detail:


Virtual Entry Assessment MC (474) 

The image that comes to mind for many people when they refer to a "mail man" is usually a city and rural carrier position. Their task is to deliver and collect mail either on foot or by vehicle.

The Postal Exam 474, also called the Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474), is used for evaluating candidates applying for both city and rural mail carrier positions. 

Here’s an overview of the Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474) structure:

Section Name  Questions
Work Scenarios  18
Describe Your Approach  139
Tell Us Your Story  37
What Drives You  25
In Total: 247

To try sample questions, get practice tips, and access the full preparation pack for the 474 exam, visit our USPS 474 Sample Questions Practice.

Virtual Entry Assessment MH 475

Mail Handlers or Mail Processing clerks are responsible for arranging and transferring processed mail between different areas and their work entails operating automated mail processing equipment or manually sorting mail.

The Virtual Entry Assessment MH 475 is an exam that anyone who wishes to become a USPS Mail Handler or Mail Handler Assistant has to pass. 

The Postal Exam 475 consists of four sections. Here’s a breakdown of them:

Section Name


Work Scenarios

Check for Errors 3
Tell Us Your Story 40
Describe Your Approach 139

Go to our 475 Exam Prep Guide for realistic practice questions, inside tips, and the full prep course for the exam.

Virtual Entry Assessment - MP (476)

A Mail Processing Clerk task is to use automated mail processing equipment or manually sorting mail. Mail processing clerks are responsible for arranging and transferring processed mail between different areas. These clerks are obligated to lift and move heavy containers as part of their duties.

The USPS Virtual Entry Assessment 476 (MP 476) is used in the screening process for many roles including those for Mail Processing Clerk, PSE Mail Processing Clerk, Casual Mail Processing Clerk, Data Conversion Operator, PSE Data Conversion Operator, and Casual Data Conversion Operator.

This online exam includes four sections:

Section Name


Work Scenarios

Check for Errors 3
Tell Us Your Story 18
Describe Your Approach 25

For realistic sample questions and a complete online prep course for the 476 exam, visit our dedicated practice guide.

Virtual Entry Assessment - CS (477)

The Virtual Entry Assessment (VEA) 477 is used to evaluate candidates applying to Customer Service Clerk jobs in the USPS. The exam takes approximately 75 minutes to complete and you can use a calculator and scratch paper while answering some of the questions.

The purpose of the Postal Exam 477 is to learn more about you, how you interact with other people (especially customers), your working style, your previous work experience, and your basic math skills.

It includes four sections:

Section Name Questions
Work Situations 22
Work Your Register 3
Tell Us Your Story 39
Describe Your Approach 139

Visit our 477 Exam Prep Guide for sample questions from the exam and to access the full 477 assessment practice pack.

Postal Exam 437 (Outdated Since 2019)

The Postal Exam 473 was an electronic test that the United States Postal Service (USPS) used to evaluate candidates for various job roles within the postal service.

In April 2019, the USPS introduced four new exams known as Virtual Entry Assessments, which have now replaced the former Postal Exam 473.

USPS Exam Registration Process

To register for the USPS Exam, you need to follow these easy steps:

  1. Go to the USPS careers page and create an account.
  2. Complete your Candidate Profile to highlight your skills and qualifications.
  3. Visit the USPS Search and Apply page to find job opportunities that match your interests.
  4. Submit your application and wait for USPS to review it.
  5. If you meet the requirements, you'll receive an email with the next steps, like taking an assessment or scheduling an interview.

Postal Exam Scores - Important Information

There are three essential things to know about what is considered a good score in the USPS exams:

  • You must pass it with a score of 70 and above. Failing to meet the minimal score will result in an ineligible status and you'll be allowed to retest only after 12 months.
  • The higher your score above 70, the higher your chances are to get hired fast. That’s because candidates who score the highest are usually placed first in line for employment.
  • If your score is 70 or above and you want to improve it, you can retake the test. But keep in mind, you'll need to wait two years for another chance. Hence, it's essential to aim for the best score possible initially.

How Should You Study for Your Postal Exam?

The best way to prepare for and pass the Postal Service Exam is by learning how to answer the exact same question types that appear on the real test. As the postal exams include unusual questions that evaluate different skills and parts of your personality, it's crucial to know what is the best way to answer them.

JobTestPrep's experts have created a tailored practice pack that covers each of the actual exam's sections, which is exclusive to this site.

The prep pack will help you achieve 3 things:

  1. You'll learn how to approach every USPS question type and what are the best techniques to answer them.
  2. You'll get a feel for the real testing experience with full-length USPS practice tests.
  3. You'll receive foolproof tips and hacks for answering personality and behavioral questions. 

Ace Your USPS Postal Exams With Our All-Inclusive PrepPack

Our dedicated team, expert in the US postal service and operations and cognitive assessment preparation, works tirelessly to craft the most precise free USPS practice materials available. 
Master the necessary skills to face the 'Work Scenarios' to 'Tell Us Your Story' test sections and unlock a multitude of opportunities within the postal service. Dive into the postal service world with our specialized virtual entry assessments designed for aspiring mail carriers (MC 474), mail processing clerks (MP 476) and more!
Join the 5,000 candidates who've advanced their USPS careers with our support. 


How Much Time Do Candidates Typically Spend on The Postal Exam?

Although the Postal Service's assessments are not timed, candidates usually finish them within about 45 minutes.

It is important to note, however, that how quickly you complete and submit your assessment within the allotted 72-hour window is also crucial.

Those who return their completed assessments soon after receiving the invitation are prioritized for job placement.

Consequently, if you wait too long to submit your test, you may discover that the job opening has been filled, and you will have to wait for another position to become available.

What Follows Once You Successfully Pass the Postal Exam?

After passing the exam, the USPS organizes candidates based on their scores, taking into account the timing of their exam submissions. Therefore, individuals with top scores generally receive interview invitations more swiftly than those with lower passing scores.

What Happens If One Does Not Pass the USPS Exam?

The Postal Exam is not a simple assessment so if you fail you will acquire an ineligble status and will only be allowed to retake the test after one year.

Also if you want to improve your score you can only do it after 2 years have passed so this is why it is important to aim for a good score right from the start.

Is 72 Hours Sufficient Time for Preparation?

Definitely! The practice pack we've developed enables you to enhance your test performance even with just a short amount of prep time. It allows for a swift grasp of the test format and the strategies for tackling each question. Furthermore, it will elevate your confidence levels and alleviate any exam-related stress.

How Can I Trust the Authenticity of Your Preparation Material?

Since its launch in April 2019, our USPS Exam Preparation Packs have been used by numerous aspirants. We made all the material available only after our R&D team confirmed its alignment with the actual exam's content.

We always monitor user feedback for any alterations to the test, ensuring our material is regularly updated.

In November 2021, for example, we revised the prep kit to reflect the latest exam format, which now comprises six sections, including three new ones.

Moreover, we offer a solid money-back guarantee if the actual Postal Exam diverges from what our practice tests cover.

Helpful Links

Are you applying for other jobs at the USPS? Learn more about their Postal Exams here:


If you are looking for other exams, or are not sure which test is relevant for your position, check out our Civil Service Practice Test Questions or contact us, and we'll do our best to ensure you get the most accurate preparation for your upcoming exam. 





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