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Things You Should Know About the 473 Postal Exam

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Those that want to be a city carrier, mail handler or rural carrier must complete the 473 postal exam. The exam consists of two sessions. The first session is self-administered; the second session is a supervised test with four parts. Before you start the first test session, you need to know what all of the sessions pertain to so that you can prepare yourself for each part of the exam.

Self-Administered Test

The first session is an experience-inventory and personal-characteristics test. There are 150 questions that must be answered in 90 minutes. The test is given to assemble a potential list of employees. Your answers form a personal profile.

Address Checking

Part A of session two consists of 60 questions to be answered in 11 minutes. The exam tests your skills in address checking. You are given two addresses that could be the same, or have one or two differences. You must determine if they are the same or different.

Completing Forms

Part B of session two tests your ability to fill out postal forms correctly. You are given 30 questions to answer in 15 minutes. This part of the exam is a challenge to those unfamiliar with the peculiarities of these government forms.


The coding part of the exam, part C of session two, presents 36 questions to be answered in seven minutes. You are given addresses and must choose what delivery route each should be assigned to from a list of four routes. This part of the exam allows you to use a chart to make decisions, but you must be quick.


The last part of the exam, part D of session two, tests your memory. This part of the test is the same as the coding test, except that you cannot use the chart to make a decision. You must rely on your memory. As in part C, you must answer 36 questions in seven minutes.