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Postal Exam 477 (USPS Virtual Entry Assessment – MS 477): Free Test Questions Practice & Online Preparation– 2022

Aptitude Employment Tests Prep

If you have recently submitted your application for a customer service role at USPS, or are a recent graduate considering applying, you may be asked to take a Virtual Entry Assessment. You may be wondering what this assessment entails and the best ways to prepare for the exam. This article will provide you with detailed information on the assessment and tips for passing it.


What is the USPS Virtual Entry Assessment-CS (477)?

The USPS Virtual Entry Assessment-CS (477), also known as the Postal Exam 477 and VEA-CS (477), is a pre-employment exam that is used for job seekers that have applied for a customer service role at USPS. This test can be difficult to pass because of the requirement to obtain a minimum score of 70 out of 100 points. USPS claims that only 10-20% of their applicants actually pass this assessment. In order to impress the hiring managers and continue on through the screening process, it is imperative that you do well on this exam. If you do not pass on the first try, you will not be allowed to retake it right away. Instead, you will be forced to wait a year before you are permitted to try again.

The good news is, this assessment is a non-proctored exam, meaning you can take it anywhere online with a solid internet connection. Just make sure you choose a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. USPS will send you an email that will include a link to the assessment. Once you receive this email, you will only have 72 hours to complete the exam. If you miss the deadline, you will be removed from the recruitment process. This assessment will be split into the following four sections:

Work Situations

This section will consist of 10 questions pertaining to customer service scenarios. Each question will provide you with a scenario, likely involving a customer, and four different solutions. You will have to choose one answer that represents the best way to handle that situation, as well as an answer that represents the worst way to handle the situation. You may be also asked to answer conflict resolution questions, such as how you would handle a dispute between co-workers, dealing with an assignment that you do not understand, or balancing multiple tasks.

USPS is a very large organization that strives to achieve top-notch customer service. If you are not familiar with the test or how to handle customer service scenarios, you will likely fail the exam and not be hired. USPS does not want to hire an individual that has the potential to embarrass the company, meaning they will only hire the most qualified candidates. Online test preparation that includes answers with explanations will provide you with the knowledge you need to pass this portion of the assessment.

Here is an example of a question you may be asked:

Sample Question: A customer has requested to know if they can ship batteries in the mail. You recently started working at the Post Office and you are not sure what the answer is. How do you react?

Please choose one option that would represent the action you would be most likely to take and one option that would represent the action you would be least likely to take.

  1. Apologize to the customer and explain that you are a new employee, so you are not sure what the answer is.
  2. Find the “restricted goods” list on the USPS website and check it over. Once you have found the answer, share it with the customer.
  3. Apologize to the customer and suggest that he/she visit the USPS website to check the “restricted goods” list themselves.
  4. Find an experienced coworker who can help you answer the question.

Answer: The best response would be option 2 because you have made the effort to answer the customer’s question quickly and accurately. The worst response would be option 1 because you are not answering the customer’s questions, nor are you assisting them in any way.


Cash Register Knowledge

This section will ask you questions about the general use of working a cash register. This will be the shortest section on the exam and will only consist of 3 questions. All of the questions will be very similar. The scenario will consist of a customer paying you in cash. You will be asked to provide the customer with exact change using the least amount of dollar bills and coins.

In order to work at USPS, you need to be able to provide change to the customer quickly and efficiently. Otherwise, you risk causing a service delay and frustrating the customers. USPS uses this test to verify your aptitude for using a cash register.

The questions you will be asked may look similar to the following sample question:

Sample Question: A customer is using cash to pay the amount due. Provide the customer with exact change using the least amount of dollar bills and coins.

Amount Due: $15.50

Amount Paid: $20.00

Change Due: $4.50

Answer: The best response to this question would be selecting two $0.25 coins and four $1 bills.


Background Information

Although this section may seem fairly simple, it can actually be easy to choose a wrong answer. This portion of the assessment will include 21 questions. You will be asked questions about your previous work experience, relationships with previous employees, and your attendance history. Your response to these questions needs to be consistent with your work experience on your resume. USPS may compare your assessment responses with your resume, and if they find any discrepancies, they may disqualify you from continuing on in the hiring process.

Here is an example of a question you may be asked to answer:

Sample Question: How would your most recent boss describe your ability to interact with customers?

  1. You always had successful interactions with customers.
  2. You almost always had successful interactions with customers.
  3. You sometimes had successful interactions with customers.
  4. You needed assistance in interacting with customers.
  5. You needed to be retrained on interacting with customers.

Answer: Obviously, the best answer to this question is option 1, but you need to make sure your answer matches the information provided on your resume.


Situational Approaches

This section will be comprised of 56 questions that will be based around your response to certain situations. You will be provided with a scenario, and then you will be asked to choose an answer that reflects your opinion or how you would handle the situation. USPS will use questions and scenarios that you will likely encounter while working the job. Many situational judgement tests use a similar psychometric approach designed to test your ability to handle difficult and stressful situations.

For this section, you may be tempted to answer honestly. However, you need to make sure that your responses reflect you in a good light. You should never lie on an exam, but you also need to choose responses that would be most suitable for that position. Make sure you read the questions and their responses very carefully. Then, choose the answer that would be most valuable to the company while also accurately representing yourself.

Although this section may seem fairly straight-forward, it can be confusing for people who are unfamiliar with the format. Online study guides are great for familiarizing you with the arrangement of questions and answers, as well as for reasons why you should answer certain questions certain ways. You may be asked a question similar to this one:

Sample Question: Please choose an option that best represents your agreement or disagreement with the following statements.

A: I enjoy working with the public and settling disputes.

B: Sometimes I become overwhelmed if I have to multi-task.

  1. Mostly relate to A
  2. Mostly relate to B
  3. Somewhat relate to A
  4. Somewhat relate to B

Answer: The best response to this question would be option 1 because it is a strong personality trait that would be beneficial for the role you are applying for.


USPS Postal Exam 477 Assessment Tips

  1. Use Updated Study Material: The USPS Virtual Entry Assessment-CS (477) is one of four assessments that were recently updated by USPS. The predecessor to this assessment was the Postal Exam 473. If you took this test prior to 2019, your scores are no longer relevant, and you will have to retake the exam. Additionally, you may find that many websites still use study material for the outdated exam. Make sure you use a reputable site that includes relevant test preparation material for the USPS Virtual Entry Assessment-CS (477).
  2. Prepare Well in Advance: Do not wait until the last second to start studying for this assessment. Because this test is split into four sections, there is a lot of material that you need to cover. The best way to prepare is by using a practice exam that covers every topic. Then, review your results and focus on any of your weaker sections.
  3. Review Your Resume and Job Description: Make sure you are completely familiar with the entire job description as well as what you have written on your resume. Minor discrepancies are the quickest and easiest way to become disqualified in the hiring process. When it comes time to take the assessment, you need to have your work experience memorized in order to avoid answering questions falsely.


How to Prepare for the USPS Virtual Entry Assessment-CS (477)?

As mentioned before, some applicants struggle to pass this assessment. Unlike some of the other USPS exams, these questions and answers are not always straight forward, and sometimes there may even be multiple correct responses. Moreover, even if you pass this assessment, you are not guaranteed a job interview or job offer. However, the higher you score on this exam, the higher your chances are of being noticed by the hiring managers and securing a job interview.

In order to prepare for this assessment, you should take advantage of online test preparation materials and exams. It is especially important to use online exams with responses that include a detailed explanation. Situational-based questions can be designed in a complex way. You may believe that you are choosing the best answer, but in reality, you might actually be choosing the worst. This could seriously affect your score and chances of successfully passing the exam.

Additionally, online tests will allow you to become comfortable with the testing material. This means that you will be able to answer the test questions quicker, which is actually really important! You will not only be judged off of your responses to the questions, but also the amount of time it took you to answer the questions. Just because the questions are not timed does not mean that your response time does not matter. If you receive the same score as another applicant, but they answered their questions in half the time it took you, they will most likely be chosen to move onto the next step. Online practice tests and assessments will provide you with an estimated timeframe that you should aim to complete each section in. Practice exams and materials are the key to you successfully passing the USPS Virtual Entry Assessment-CS (477) and securing a job interview.


Prepare for the other common USPS Postal Tests.