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Free USPS Postal Exam 474 Practice Tests 2024

Jan 25, 2024

USPS Postal Exam 474 – learn more about the screening assessment for mail carrier roles with the United States Postal Service and prepare with free USPS 474 practice test questions.

If you’re applying for a position as a mail carrier with the United States Postal Service (USPS), you’ll be required to take a virtual entry assessment (VEA) as part of the selection process.

Specifically, you’ll be asked to take the USPS 474 exam.

To increase your chances of success, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the exam format, content, and types of questions you’ll encounter.

This guide covers everything you need to know, and includes Postal Exam 474 practice test questions to help you prepare.


Practice the USPS Postal Exam 474 with JobTestPrep


What Is the USPS Postal Exam 474?

The USPS 474 exam, also known as the Mail Carrier or MC 474 exam, is a screening assessment that must be taken by candidates applying for the following roles with the US postal service:

  • Rural Carrier
  • City Carrier
  • City Carrier Assistant
  • Rural Carrier Associate 


It’s designed to measure work styles and behaviors to make sure you’re a good fit for the position, as well as to uncover information about your past work history and experience.

It does this by asking a series of questions split into four sections:

  • Work situations – This section looks at your ability to handle various work-related scenarios you may encounter as a mail carrier, with questions that evaluate your problem solving and decision making skills.
  • What motivates you – This section uncovers your key drivers and what inspires you to excel in your work.
  • Tell us your story – Here, you’ll be asked about your work history and past experience, and how it’s prepared you for the demands of the role.
  • Describe your work style – Finally, you’ll be quizzed on your preferred work methods with questions on things like your communication style and how well you adapt to different work environments.


You can take the USPS 474 test on any internet-connected device and from any location you choose.

It’s important to note, however, that there is a strict testing window – you must complete the assessment in full within 72 hours of receiving your test invitation email.

There is no time limit to the USPS 474, so you can work at your own pace. Most candidates take between 30 and 45 minutes for all four sections.

The pass mark for the USPS 474 is a minimum of 70%. If you fall under this score threshold, you’ll be removed from the applicant pool and will need to wait one year to apply for any other mail carrier role.

With that in mind, it’s important to put in plenty of USPS 474 test practice before your official assessment.


Where Can I Take a Free USPS 474 Practice Test?

Accessing free USPS 474 practice test questions is a great way to prepare for the mail carrier exam.

By working through them, you’ll become familiar and confident with the structure, format, and types of questions you’ll face.  

There are numerous websites that offer free USPS 474 test practice, however, this practice is often limited to just a few questions and not an entire exam.

So while these sites are helpful for getting a feel for the test, they aren’t going to provide the full experience.

For more comprehensive preparation, you might look to buy a complete Postal Exam 474 practice test and prep pack. These offer more extensive question banks, detailed explanations and study guides.


Free USPS 474 Practice Test Questions

Below you’ll find a selection of free Postal Exam 474 practice test questions to kick start your preparation.

You’ll find two sample questions per section of the exam, along with instructions on how each should be completed.

The nature of the USPS 474 test means there are no right or wrong answers.

It’s all about assessing your suitability for the mail carrier role you’ve applied for based on your approach to work, your motivations, and your professional behaviors.


Postal Exam 474 Practice Test Questions: Work Situations

Work situation questions present you with a job-related scenario and four options of how you might respond.

For each situation, pick the course of action you’re most likely to take and the one you are least likely to take.


1. You're a Rural Carrier, and bad weather makes roads impassable. How do you ensure mail gets delivered on time and that you keep customers happy?

a) Reschedule deliveries for the next day.
b) Let customers know about delays and suggest alternative pickup options.
c) Assume customers won’t mind the inconvenience and wait for the roads to clear.
d) Use different transportation methods like walking or off-road vehicles.

2. You're a City Carrier Assistant handling lots of parcels and time-sensitive mail. How do you organize your work for quick and accurate delivery?

a) Prioritize delivering time-sensitive mail first.
b) Optimize your route to efficiently handle parcel deliveries.
c) Get help from colleagues to speed up the delivery process.
d) Stick to a fixed route, regardless of parcel volume or time sensitivity.

3. You are delivering mail and notice that one of the packages has a slightly torn side, but the contents seem secure and undamaged. You do not have immediate access to your supervisor.

What do you do?

a) Deliver the package as is, making a note of the tear in case the recipient has concerns.
b) Leave a note for the recipient explaining the situation and proceed with delivery.
c) Secure the tear with adhesive tape available in the delivery vehicle, then deliver the package.
d) Return the package to the post office and report the damage to your supervisor.

The correct answer is: c) Secure the tear with adhesive tape available in the delivery vehicle, then deliver the package.

This response demonstrates initiative and problem-solving while ensuring the package is delivered in as good a condition as possible, reflecting a commitment to customer service and responsibility.

4. During a busy delivery day, a customer approaches you with a complaint about a missing package that was supposed to be delivered the previous day. How do you respond?

a) Apologize for the inconvenience and assure the customer you will look into the issue immediately.
b) Explain that you are too busy to deal with their problem and suggest they contact customer service.
c) Tell the customer that it's probably a delay and to wait a few more days for the package to arrive.
d) Ask for the tracking number and explain how they can check the status online or direct them to the appropriate customer service for further assistance.

The correct answer is: d) Ask for the tracking number and explain how they can check the status online or direct them to the appropriate customer service for further assistance.

This response shows professionalism and helpfulness, addressing the customer's concern without diverting from your delivery duties, and guiding them towards the next steps to resolve their issue.


Postal Exam 474 Practice Test Questions: What Motivates You

In this section, you’ll be presented with a series of statement pairs. For each pair, you’ll need to select the statement that best describes your working preferences.

Note that the statements may not always be connected, and you might identify with both. Where this is the case, choose the statement that is most important to you.


Statement 1: I excel under time pressure
Statement 2: I prefer a consistent daily routine

Statement 1: I enjoy team projects
Statement 2: I like to be given specific job instructions


Postal Exam 474 Practice Test Questions: Tell Us Your Story

 In this section, you’ll answer questions on your skills, past achievements, and any work experience you may have. 

For each question asked, you simply need to select one of the multiple choice options given.


1. How many years of relevant work experience do you have?

a) Less than 1 year
b) 1 to 2 years
c) 3 to 5 years
d) More than 5 years

2. In your previous roles or activities, did you primarily work:

a) Independently
b) With a team
c) Both independently and with a team
d) Not applicable

3. Describe a situation from a previous job where you had to meet strict deadlines. How did you ensure that you completed your tasks on time?

a) I generally waited until the last minute because I work better under pressure, relying on adrenaline to finish tasks.
b) I prioritized my tasks based on deadlines and urgency, used a planner to manage my time and stayed late if necessary to ensure everything was completed on time.
c) I asked my coworkers to cover for me because I find it hard to keep up with deadlines.
d) I ignored some of the less important tasks to ensure that the critical ones were done by the deadline.

The correct answer is: b) I prioritized my tasks based on deadlines and urgency, used a planner to manage my time and stayed late if necessary to ensure everything was completed on time.

This response indicates strong time management skills and a responsible approach to work, showcasing the candidate's ability to handle pressure and prioritize effectively, qualities valued in postal service roles.

4. Have you ever had to deal with an unhappy customer or coworker in your previous employment? How did you handle the situation?

a) I avoided confrontation and waited for the situation to resolve itself or for someone else to intervene.
b) I listened to their concerns, empathized with their situation and worked to find a mutual solution to the problem.
c) I immediately informed my supervisor or manager without attempting to address the issue myself.
d) I argued back to prove my point, as I was confident that I was right.

The correct answer is: b) I listened to their concerns, empathized with their situation and worked to find a mutual solution to the problem.

This response demonstrates effective communication skills, empathy and problem-solving abilities, all of which are important in handling customer and coworker relations in a customer service-oriented environment like the USPS.


Postal Exam 474 Practice Test Questions: Describe Your Work Style

The questions in this section are again displayed as statement pairs, each describing a preferred working style.

For each statement pair, pick the one that best describes you.


Statement 1: I prefer to work independently on my assigned tasks
Statement 2: I prefer to contribute ideas and collaborate with others

Statement 1: I am comfortable with multitasking
Statement 2: I prefer to focus on one task at a time


Tips for Choosing the Best Postal Exam 474 Practice Test

The free Postal Exam 474 practice test questions above are designed as an introduction to the test content.

If you choose to buy a complete preparation pack, consider the following factors to get the best value for money and increase your chances of test success:

  • Cost – Choose a practice pack that fits with your budget and balances affordability with comprehensive content.
  • Number of questions – Look for a MC 474 practice test with plenty of questions included for thorough coverage.
  • Alignment to the test – Make sure the practice questions closely mirror the structure and content of the USPS 474 test for a realistic experience.
  • Ease of use – Prioritize a user-friendly interface so you can focus fully on mastering the material.
  • Reviews – Read user reviews on the provider's website for insights into the quality of the materials offered.
  • Reputation – Research the provider's reputation for supporting candidates in successfully passing the USPS 474 test.


How to Pass the USPS 474 Test


Know the Responsibilities of the Role

Research what your duties as a mail carrier will be before you take the test. This will help you showcase your suitability for the role, as you’ll be able to align your answers with the demands of the job.


Take Practice Tests

Practice will boost your confidence. It’s also a good way to really understand what your working styles and preferences are, so you can give a true reflection in your official test.

Use the free USPS 474 exam practice test questions above as a starting point. 


Read Questions Carefully

This is particularly important for the Work Situations section, as some of the scenarios you’re presented with may be complex in nature.

By paying close attention to details, you can better understand the context and choose the most appropriate response.


Don’t Overthink Your Answers

The USPS 474 test aims to assess your natural responses to work situations and job related preferences.

Whilst it’s important to consider your answers carefully, it’s equally important to follow your instincts. Overthinking can lead to indecision and a distorted view of who you are.


Reference Your Application

Consistency is important for the Tell Us Your Story section, so have your initial application to hand. Refer back to it to ensure the responses you give match any and all information given when you applied for the role.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the passing score for USPS 474?

The passing score for the USPS 474 test is 70%. Candidates whose scores fall below this will not advance to the next stage of selection.


Is there a free USPS 474 exam practice test?

You can access free USPS 474 practice test questions on sites like JobTestPrep. You can also purchase complete practice papers for the full testing experience.


How many times can you take the 474 exam?

The 474 exam can only be taken once per application for mail carrier roles with the USPS.

If you fail to achieve the 70% pass score on your first attempt, you must wait one year before you can reapply and take the test again.


Final Thoughts

With only one attempt given to achieve the minimum 70% pass score for the USPS 474 test, solid preparation is key. Remember that if you fail to achieve this minimum score, you’ll need to wait 12 months before you’re eligible to reapply.

To pass the USPS 474 test, it is important to practice with the right materials, so look for quality sample questions and practice tests that give you a competitive edge.

Good luck!

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