Postal Work

The Post Office 473 Battery Exam

The 473 Exam Covers Four Occupational Groups

The 473 Battery Exam

The 473 Battery examination covers four occupational groups including:

  • City Carrier
  • Rural Carrier (Added in 2008)
  • Mail Processing Clerk
  • Mail Handler
  • Sales, Services, And Distribution Associate

Review Chapter Four in Post Office Jobs to improve your test scores and to become familiar with the test taking process and strategies, application forms, answer sheets, and sample questions. The 473 examination and completion of forms will require approximately two hours and fifteen minutes. Chapter Five presents a complete 473 study guide with practice exams, including sample answer sheets.

The Four Key Testing Areas:

Address Cross Comparison

Every stage of the mail sorting process must be done accurately. If either a Postal Clerk or Carrier misreads an address, mail is misdirected or delayed. Therefore, Postal personnel must be able to tell whether two addresses are the same or if they represent two entirely different destinations. Sometimes, differences between addresses are subtle—small differences in spelling, for example, or transposed numerals. An applicant must be able to quickly scan the address lists in this section and make an accurate determination to this effect.

Forms Completion

You’ll be presented with various sample forms and asked questions about what is to be entered on the form. For example, you might be presented a form with nine blocks, and block 5 may be the Zip Code block. A possible question would be where would you enter the zip code. The answer would be “block 5.” You could also be asked what type of data goes in a specified box such as a number, check mark or name.

Memory & Coding (Numbers Series)

The second portion of the 473 test focuses on memorization. Postal Service employees must memorize city-wide routes to become proficient mail sorters. Large city schemes can be very involved. Employee’s must be able to memorize their routes or they may not keep their job beyond probation. Successful completion of this section can make the difference between success and failure. The memory system described in “Post Office Jobs” will help you pass this section and improve your day-to-day memory skills.  This memory system is easy to master with practice. Many readers of this book have mastered this exam technique.

Postal exams often use duplicate numbers in their memory tests. There may be several 1900-1999 street addresses. Post Office Jobs by Dennis Damp describes methods you can use to memorize numbers and sample exams to help you practice for the exam. The practice exams in the book Post Office Jobs are similar to what you will see on the tests. The practice exams in Chapter Six will help you build proficiency for number recall.

Personal Characteristics and Experience

Personal work experience and unique characteristics. For example, you will be asked your likes and dislikes, whether you have experience in certain areas. You really can’t prepare for this section, 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.

Study Guide

I suggest that you download the “Test 473 Orientation Guide for Major Entry-Level Jobs,” Publication 60-A, direct from the U.S. Postal Service. Go to to locate this publication. It provides an overview of the 473 exam with instructions. For a complete practice exam with guidance and ways to score higher on your test pick up a copy of Post Office Jobs.