Postal Exam 474 (USPS Virtual Entry Assessment – MC 474): Free Test Questions Practice & Online Preparation– 2022
Are you interested in applying for a mail carrier position at USPS, but are intimidated by the Virtual Entry Assessment? This article will assist you in preparing for the exam by providing question overviews and helpful tips.
What is the Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474)?
Job seekers or recent college graduates who apply for any city or rural mail carrier position at USPS will likely have to take the Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474). The USPS uses this assessment to measure the candidate’s aptitude for handling issues that current mail carriers frequently encounter. This Virtual Entry Assessment will include multiple sections that are designed to test the applicant’s personality traits, work ethic, and problem-solving skills.
If you have already applied for a mail carrier position, the USPS hiring committee will review your resume. Not everyone will be approved to move onto the next step in the recruiting process. If you are chosen to move forward with the hiring process, you will receive an email with a link to the test. The Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474) is a non-proctored test that can be taken online at home. Even though there is not an official time limit, you will have 72 hours to complete the test once you have received the link to the assessment. The average applicant only takes about 45 minutes to complete the entire test from start to finish.
In order to pass this exam, you will be expected to score a minimum of 70 out of 100 points. However, even if you score a 70, this does not mean you will automatically move onto the next step in the recruiting process. Not every candidate that passes the assessment will be asked to conduct an interview, which is why it is important to do well on this exam. In order to do that, you need to be familiar with the setup and layout of the test and the questions. Online study guides can provide you with vital information pertaining to the types of questions you will be asked and detailed information on how to answer them.
Unlike some of the other Virtual Entry Assessments administered by the USPS, this test is only comprised of 3 parts rather than 4. These sections include:
During this part of the exam, you will be asked to answer 8 questions. The questions will mainly include a description of a hypothetical work scenario and a list of possible options. You will be asked to choose a response that reflects the best action to take, as well as a response that reflects the worst action to take.
If you have worked as a mail carrier before, you may be accustomed with the day-to-day tasks. However, if you do not have any experience, you will need to familiarize yourself with the job description. USPS will be looking for candidates who know what tasks will be expected of them. This is why you should take advantage of online study guides. By repeatedly looking over information pertaining to your work role, you will have a deeper understanding of the position and raise your chances of scoring well on the actual exam. Here is an example of a question you may find on the assessment:
Sample Question: You are heading to someone’s house to deliver a parcel when you are approached by a customer. The customer claims that their package was supposed to arrive yesterday, but they never received it. The customer is clearly frustrated and demands to know where their package is. How do you handle this situation?
Please choose one option that represents the action you are most likely to take, and one option that represents the action you are least likely to take.
Tell the customer that you are not responsible for recovering lost packages, so you cannot help them.
Provide the customer with the information on how to report lost packages, and then follow up with them the next day to see if they need any more assistance.
Explain to the customer that you understand their frustration. Then, offer to show them how to navigate the USPS website to report a lost or late package.
Tell the customer that they need to calm down before delivering the parcel and returning to your vehicle.
Answer: For this situation, the best response would be option 3. This allows you to validate the customer’s feelings while also offering them immediate assistance. The action you should not take would be option 4 because you are being rude to the customer and not offering them any assistance. Questions like these can be confusing to the candidate because some of the options have very similar meanings and it can be hard to differentiate between the two. In order to overcome this, obtain online practice exams that include answers with detailed explanations. These will teach you why some answers are more beneficial than others.
This section of the exam will require you to answer 20 questions about your work history. For this section, it is important that your answers match with the information you provided on your resume, as well as align with the qualities the recruiters are looking for in their future employees. The recruiters may compare your exam answers with the information that you listed on your resume. If there are any discrepancies between the two, you may become disqualified from the recruiting process. The following is an example of a question you may be asked on the assessment:
Sample Question: How many times have you quit or resigned from a job in the last 5 years?
1 to 2 times
3 to 4 times
5 to 6 times
I have not resigned from a job in the last 5 years
Answer: The answer to this question may seem fairly straightforward, but you need to make sure that your answer matches the information on your resume. Although the employer will prefer to hire someone who has a history of working for the same company for multiple years, they would rather you respond honestly to these types of questions.
This is the longest section of the exam and includes 56 questions for you to answer. These types of situational judgement tests provide the hiring managers with psychometric information that will give them a better understanding of your personality. You may think that there are not any right or wrong answers for these questions, but that is not true. These questions can be designed in ways meant to trick or confuse the applicant. In order to impress the hiring managers, you need to choose the options that reflect the talents USPS is most likely looking for in a potential candidate. USPS will only hire the best of the best and will be looking for individuals that are motivated and driven, so be sure to choose answers that pair with these qualities.
More and more companies are choosing to use situational judgement tests during their pre-employment hiring process. The key to acing these exams is by repeatedly using online practice tests. The more times that you see a certain situation and know how to respond, the more confident and prepared you will be when it comes time to answer these kinds of questions on the actual test. Some situational questions you may be asked to answer could look similar to the following question:
Sample Question: Choose the statement that best reflects your personality.
A: I prefer to work on and complete one task at a time, otherwise I become overwhelmed.
B: I work best in situations that require me to multi-task, otherwise I become bored.
Mostly relate to A
Mostly relate to B
Somewhat relate to A
Somewhat relate to B
Answer: For this question, you need to choose the response that closely matches your personality. It is better to choose a definitive option rather than an option that includes words such as “somewhat.” These options may show the hiring panel that you are not sure about yourself and how you operate in work situations.
Postal Exam 474 Assessment Tips
Do not wait until the last second to start studying. Once you receive the assessment link, you will only have 72 hours to complete the test. If you have not started studying before you receive the link, it may be too late, and if it is not, you will be rushing to cram a plethora of information into your head within a few hours. Before you even submit your application to USPS, you should already be preparing for the exams by using the online study guides. This will give you the most amount of time to learn everything you need to know about the position and the types of questions.
Make sure you know what is written on your resume. Some people have different resumes tailored to different positions. If you are someone who has multiple resumes, make sure you know which resume you submitted to USPS. Otherwise, you may answer a question on the exam claiming you have experience in a certain area that is not reflected on your resume. The resume that you submit to USPS should include applicable work experience that mirrors the qualities the hiring candidates will be looking for.
Do not lie about your experience on the assessment. Some sections of the test will ask you about your personality. Although you should choose an answer that will likely impress the hiring manager, you also need to make sure that you are actually capable of performing that action. If you move past the screening step and onto the interview step in the hiring process, the hiring managers will be able to get a better understanding of your personality, so if you lie, they will know. Subsequently, if you are hired for the position, you need to make sure you will actually like the job. If you use online practice exams, you will be able to get a better feel for what the job would entail. You may realize that the actual job is different than you imagined, and it is better to find this out sooner rather than wasting your time going through the recruiting process only to find out the position is not a good fit for your lifestyle.
How to Prepare for the Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474)?
The Virtual Entry Assessment – MC (474) is a highly-competitive test that has an extremely low passing rate. USPS claims that only 80-90% of their candidates actually pass the assessment on their first try. Moreover, even if you pass the exam, you will be competing with other candidates who may have a more competitive resume. The best way to prepare for this assessment is by using online study guides to orient yourself with the material well in advance. Do not wait until the last second to start studying, you will need more than one day to become familiar with the variety of questions and responses.
Additionally, you need to be prepared to answer the questions as quickly as possible. As previously mentioned, the average candidate takes 45 minutes to complete all three sections of the exam. In order to stand out from the crowd, you not only need to accurately answer the questions, but you should also aim to complete the entire exam in under 45 minutes. If you take longer than that, the hiring managers may get the impression that you take too long to make decisions or are not sure of yourself.