Virtual Entry Assessments are unsupervised and completed online. They are an integral part of the postal service’s application process and a much friendly approach to what I dealt with years ago.
I tested many times under the older systems, including the 3 hour proctored exams administered nationwide at strategic locations to compile hiring registers, and later when the outdated 473 exam was first used. Under that system, applicants completed an initial assessment online during the application process. If you passed the online assessment, you were scheduled to take an extensive exam at a designated facility on a secure computer terminal!
Fortunately, a lot has changed since I first applied; the new system is easy to use, and the exam is considerably shorter and focused on customer service and getting along in the workplace. Actually, there are no right or wrong answers to the subjective questions in the first three sections of the exam. They are designed to indicate whether or not you are well suited for the position applied for.
After searching for a job vacancy and creating an eCareer profile, the next step is to complete your first application. The postal service reviews your application, and if accepted, they send out an email notice with a secure link to the designated assessment. You are given 72 hours from the time you received the exam notification to complete it online.
The postal service recommends setting aside time for the exam, find a place where there will be no distractions, and complete it as quickly as possible. Use a desktop or laptop computer, the smaller devices may encounter technical issues. A passing score is 70% or higher; the higher your score the greater chance you have of being selected for a follow-up interview. If you fail, you can retake the exam in 1 year, others that passed, but want to test again to get a higher score, must wait two years to retest.
The exams are administered using up to 7 of the 8 sections (areas of concentration) in combination with the 474, 475, 476 and 477 VEAs.
Work Scenarios An assessment that includes questions focused on typical work situations and how you would react to them. There are four choices, and you are required to choose one that represents your most likely and least likely choice.
Tell Us Your Story An assessment that includes questions focused on your work experience and background.
Describe Your Approach An assessment of your personality traits.
Moving the Mail Determines your ability to identify details to correctly sort packages and letters.
Motivation & Drive A motivation test that reveals what satisfies you at work. These questions evaluate how you relate to various motivational sources.
Customer Information Verification Assesses your ability to notice details of printed information accurately and quickly. The test presents a person’s name, old and new address; you must determine if the information is identical or not.
Error Checking This assessment determines your ability to match pairs of eight-digit numbers and determine if the pairs match or contain errors.
Work Your register This assessment determines your ability to make the correct change using the fewest currency items as possible.
The questions are designed to reveal whether or not you are well suited for the position applied for and that your answers reflect USPS values, culture and support the agency’s mission.
When answering questions keep this in mind and think about what the postal service needs from you to support their operations. Read. the USPS mission statement below and review the test taking strategies posted on this site before taking the exam.
USPS Mission Statement
USPS retains the largest physical and logistical infrastructure of any non-military government institution, providing an indispensable foundation supporting an ever changing and evolving nationwide communication network. Capitalizing on its expertise in scheduling and high-volume sorting, USPS also serves a vital role enabling digital commerce.
To serve the American people and, through the universal service obligation, bind our nation together by maintaining and operating our unique, vital and resilient infrastructure.
To provide trusted, safe and secure communications and services between our Government and the American people, businesses and their customers, and the American people with each other.
To serve all areas of our nation, making full use of evolving technologies.
Carrying out our mission
To meet this Mission we will:
Remain an integral part of the United States Government, providing all Americans with universal and open access to our unrivalled delivery and storefront network.
Maintain and enhance our reputation and role as a trusted face of the federal government in every community and provide all levels of government with access to our network and services.
Provide frequent, reliable, safe and secure delivery of mail, packages and other communications to all Americans.
Use technology, innovation and where appropriate private sector partnerships, to optimize and adapt our network, operations and business model to meet the changing needs of our customers and delivery recipients, while maintaining our core mission.
Operate in a modern, efficient and effective manner that allows us to minimize what we charge for our services, consistent with meeting, in a fair way, our obligations to our current and retired employees and other stakeholders.
Remain an employer of choice, able to attract, retain and develop high quality employees that possess the skills necessary to excel in a rapidly changing business environment.
Assessment Exam Questions
The work scenario section requires you to make two selections for what you are least and most likely to do in a stated work situation. You will be given one or two sentence situations. You’ll have 4 option choices that represent a possible response to the situation. You need to choose two answers – one that represents the response that you will most likely do, and the second that represents the response that you will least likely do. All four of the postal exams include this section.
It should be noted, there are no correct answers, you are basing your selection on how you would personally handle this situation at work with the postal service. However, there is a way to answer each question that would better address teamwork and getting the job done without conflict or with the least amount of tension possible.
The more correct answers that would be in the best interest of all concerned would be:
Most Likely: Tell the coworker you can help after completing your project.
Least Likely: Tell them no, I’m too busy.
Tell Us Your Story
The USPS uses this section to examine your background and work experiences through standard multiple-choice questions. Review your application and the work history that you submitted before starting the exam. These questions are scored based on what you submitted on your application and work history and basically reveal how accurate your replies are. There are right and wrong answers unlike several other sections.
If they ask you how many posititions you held with your last employer, your answer must reflect what you stated on your application and resume. All four of the postal exams include this section.
How would your recent supervisor describe your organizational skills compared to other employees?
The very best
Among the best
Needing some development
Needing substantial development
How often have you been late for work in the past year?
Not more than two times
Not more than three times
Not more than four times
Not more than five times
Describe Your Approach Questions
All four of the postal exams include this section. This assessment section’s purpose is to better understand your work style and how you generally approach work. Essentially, it helps the postal service ensure your is a good match for the position applied for. You should complete the exam as quickly as possible. There aren’t any wrong answers however be careful not to make yourself appear to be flawless. Answer the questions to reflect times when you were best at what you do, be honest.
The questions are formatted with two opposite descriptive statements with four answer choices. Select the top or bottom statement that is most or somewhat like you and place a checkmark next to what you consider to be the best answer. The two descriptive statements are located in the gray areas at the top and bottom of the form.
The first two answer sections below the top gray area relate to that statement and the arrow on these, point up to that statement. The first two answer sections above the bottom gray area relate to that statement and the arrows point down to that statement. Consider avoiding the extremes of each question’s answers most of the time.
Moving the Mail
These questions measure a person’s ability to identify details when sorting letters and packages. They evaluate your ability to detect differences in customer’s names and addresses.
Use the pictures in the two sample questions below. When you are sorting packages, use the last 3 digits of the zip code. For letters, sort them by using the house number on the address.
Sample Question 1
401 Amherst Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90210
O 902 O 401 O 90210 O 210
The correct answer is 210, the last three numbers of the zip code.
Sample Question 2
2929 Twilight Drive, Topeka Kansas 60636
O 636 O 60636 O 2920 O 929
The correct answer is 2920, the house number on the envelope.
Motivation & Drive
The section exposes what truly motivates a person and is designed to reveal what satisfies you while at work. Questions are meant to evaluate how you relate to two dissimilar motivation sources. They reveal the same motivation sources in other questions to confirm your intent.
Select the answer that best reflects your motivation.
Sample Question 1
I enjoy working most when…
I work independently on a task until it is completed
The unit completes the scheduled work collectively and on time
Question 1 Answer:
I work independently on a task until it is completed measures accountability.
The unit completes the scheduled work collectively and on time indicates you are team player.
A core USPS value is TEAMWORK and the better choice. The other option proves your accountable and prefer to work independently.
Sample Question 2
I’d like to work where…
1. I am ultimately responsible for my own outcomes and not those of others
2. I often collaborate with others to complete the tasks and goals
Question 2 Answer, use the same analysis as the first question.
NOTE: Notice that both sample questions in this case reflect the same motivation, teamwork. If you answer them differently, it reveals that your answers may not be truthful.
Customer Information Verification
In the information verification module, you’ll be presented with a person’s name, their new and old address. You must compare 4 information details and decide if they are identical or not. This section is similar to the error checking module.
This question presents a postal service change of address form:
Name First Name: Rodger Last Name: Johnston
Old Address 1915 Park Place Fairview, Tx 79411
3479 S 48th Street Austin, TX 78379
Mark the following information either correct or a mistake:
Last Name: Johnson, Correct O, Mistake O Old Zip Code: 79411, Correct O, Mistake O New Street Address: 1915 Park Place, Correct O, Mistake O Old City: Fairview, Correct O, Mistake O
The last name is Johnston, not Johnson, it should be marked mistake. The old zip code is 79411 and should be marked correct. The new street address is 3479 S 48th Street and should be marked mistake. The old city is Fairview and should be marked correct.
The error checking section is used for the MH 475 and MP 476 assessments. You will be presented with pairs of eight-digit numbers, you have to determine if they match or if there is an error where the two examples don’t match.
Sample Question 1
Sample Question 2
Work Your Register
This assessment section is reserved for the Customer Service (CS) 477 exam. There are only several questions where you will be asked to determine the most efficient way to provide the customer with the exact change with the fewest bills and coins combined. The question is formatted similar to a regular cash register drawer.
Start with the largest bill available, normally the $20 bill, and then proceed to the remaining bills and coins to use the fewest combined number of bills and coins.
The way they present the question may at first sidetrack you. They list the amount owed and paid. You don’t have to calculate the change; they give you that figure as well. Focus on the change that they provide to answer the question.
NOTE: Place the number of each bill and coin that you would use in the box above that currency denomination.
When you complete these types of questions, ignore the transaction totals and amount paid, the number of each currency item required for this transaction is $5.45.