Federal Government Jobs

Helping job hunters find, apply for, and land government jobs

473 Postal Exam

Post Office Exams



473 Postal Exam & Application Process


473 / 473 E Postal Exam | Post Office Exam | USPS Exam


The Postal Service recruits through their eCareer online recruiting service. All Post Office job vacancies are listed on their online service. Entrance tests including the 473 / 473E Postal Exam are still required for most jobs; however, you now apply online for post office job vacancies and complete an initial assessment when you apply. Applicants take proctored 473 Postal Exams and other related post office exams at designated testing facilities on computers instead of lengthy written tests. This site, along with our Post Office Jobs study guide, features the Postal Service’s recruiting programs.

473 Postal Exam


Positions Requiring Written Examinations



The Postal Service uses the USPS exam titled Test 473 for Major Entry-Level Jobs. The exam is also referred to as the 473 Battery Exam. This new exam replaced the 470 Battery Exam and covers the following:


Test Unit Number of Questions Time Allowed Covered Subjects
Part A
Address Checking
60   11 minutes Determine if two addresses are identical
Part B
Forms Completion
30   15 minutes information identification for completing forms correctly
Part C
Section 1 – Coding
36   6 minutes Use the proper code to assign to addresses
Part C
Section 2 – Memory
36   7 minutes Memorize assigned codes for addresses ranges
Part D Inventory of Personal Experience and Characteristics 236   90 minutes Experience and characteristics which are job-related

Comprehensive practice post office exams are available in the new 6th edition of Post Office Jobs to prepare for the forms checking, address checking, memory and coding Parts A through C of the new exam. Part D is related to your personal work experience and unique characteristics. For example, you will be asked your likes and dislikes and whether you have experience in certain areas. You really can’t prepare for Part D, it’s your personal profile and if you answer the questions honestly the Postal Service will be able to identify the job that is best suited to your characteristics.

Post Office Jobs 7th Edition


To apply for postal positions use our instructional guide and then click on the link at the end of the guide to go direct to the Postal Services’ official online employment site. You can also look for openings at your local Post Office, Management Sectional Center (MSC), General Mail Facilities or a Customer Service District Office in your area. Job opportunities are also advertised at local post offices, in national and local newspapers, journals and periodicals.

A passing score of 70 percent or better on a postal exam will place the applicant’s name on an eligible register for that job vacancy and you can use the same test and application information to apply for multiple jobs. To improve your 473 postal exam score and for complete information on this process pick up a copy of the 7th edition of Post Office Jobs.

Positions That Don’t Require a Written Exam

Vacancies in these positions — generally professional and administrative — are announced (advertised) first within the Postal Service. Postal employees who have the knowledge, education, credentials, and skills may apply for these openings. If there aren’t any qualified internal applicants (called bidders in the federal sector), then the postal service will advertise the vacancies to the general public and accept resumes and applications for rating. All applicants must pass an entrance post office exam and/or an evaluation process to be placed on a register in numerical score order.

Realistically, many professional jobs won’t be filled internally. Few postal clerks and non professional employees will have law degrees, engineering credentials, or doctorates for example.

These post office jobs will generally be advertised in local papers and on the USPS web site. You should also contact local (CSSD) Customer Service & Sales District personnel offices to identify upcoming job vacancies for your specialty. You can also call the local CSSD office’s Human Resource Department to check on the status of your application or to follow up on interviews.

You will be rated on a point system (maximum of 100 points) even without a written test. Therefore, your resume and Application For Employment (PS Form 2591) must be thoroughly completed and include all key information such as degrees, training, credentials, and detailed work experience. Only the top three candidates will generally be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

Also, explore and apply for all job vacancies in the government and private sectors to improve you chance of employment.

Post office job applicants seeking entry level professional and administrative positions can apply for mail handling positions and take the 473 Battery Exam to get their foot in the door. Once hired, as vacancies open in their specialty such as accounting, budget, and other occupations, the Postal Service often advertises these positions first to current postal employees through internal  job announcements. Once you get your foot in the door you can bid on these restricted announcements and the experience that you will gain from the entry level mail handling position will help you to better understand the postal system.