How Hard is the USPS Exam? (2022 Facts)

How hard is the USPS exam? The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent agency of the federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the Constitution. The USPS has over 600,000 employees and operates more than 200,000 vehicles.

The USPS traces its roots to 1775 when Benjamin Franklin was appointed as the first Postmaster General by the Second Continental Congress. The USPS has since grown into a large and complex organization, offering a variety of services such as mail delivery, package shipping, and money orders. In recent years, the USPS has faced challenges due to declining mail volumes and increased competition from private companies such as FedEx and UPS.

Despite these challenges, the USPS continues to be an important part of the American infrastructure, delivering billions of pieces of mail every year. The USPS is also one of the largest employers in the United States, with over 600,000 employees.

how hard is the usps exam

How hard is the USPS exam?

The USPS Exam is a four-part assessment that applicants must pass in order to be hired. While the failure rate for the exam is high, this does not mean that the exam is impossible to pass. The key to success is to thoroughly prepare for all four parts of the exam.

The first part of the exam tests applicants' knowledge of postal policies and procedures. The second part assesses mathematical skills, and the third part requires applicants to complete a written essay.

Finally, the fourth part of the exam is an oral assessment, during which applicants must demonstrate their ability to effectively communicate with customers and co-workers. With proper preparation, it is possible to pass the USPS Exam and begin a career as a postal worker.

What exam do you have to pass for the USPS?

There are four main USPS exams:

474: City and Rural Carrier exam

  • This is what people think of when they hear “mailman.” These employees deliver and collect mail on foot or by vehicle. They’re required to work in all kinds of weather conditions and are expected to handle mail containers weighing up to 70 pounds.

475: Mail Handler exam

  • These employees move mail containers and equipment throughout postal facilities. They also open empty containers of mail. Like carriers, they are required to handle containers weighing up to 70 pounds.

476: Clerical exam (for clerks and mail processors)

  • Mail processors operate mail process equipment and manually sort mail. They also organize and move processed mail from one area to another. These clerks are required to lift and transport heavy containers.

477: Associate exam (for customer service clerks)

  • Retail associates work at local post offices and provide customer service to USPS customers.

How long is the USPS exam?

Once you’ve completed your application and know which exam you need to pass, you might be wondering how long the exam will take to complete. The USPS provides the number of questions and the suggested time for each of the sections. In most cases, the online exam will take less than 30 minutes.

It’s important to note that while the time allotted for the exam is flexible, the time to take the exam is not. Part one is technically untimed, but candidates have a limited time to complete the assessment once they begin. Part two is an in-person proctored assessment.

The second part of the exam is timed, and candidates have 2 hours to complete it. While 2 hours may seem like a lot of time, keep in mind that this includes breaks. Most people taking the exam will finish within 1 hour and 45 minutes.

How do I prepare for the USPS exam?

There are many things you can do to prepare for the USPS exam. General study habits like working when you're most alert, finding a quiet place to study, and developing a consistent study routine are all helpful when preparing for any kind of exam. In addition, it's a good idea to understand what kinds of questions you'll be confronted with on the USPS exam specifically.

Study guides

You can find this information online or in study guides dedicated to the topic. Spend some time researching the different types of questions and dedicate additional time to areas where you don't feel as confident.

Additionally, taking free practice tests can help you get familiar with the format of the real exam and identify any areas where you need more focus. With some dedication and effort, you can feel confident and prepared on test day.

Online resources

There are a variety of ways you can prepare for the USPS exams. If you prefer to go at your own pace, there are plenty of free resources available online. The USPS website offers tips and test guides, and there are also many free practice tests available online.

If you want a more structured approach, there are a variety of companies that offer preparation courses for a fee. These courses typically include videos, test guides, and practice materials.

Preparation books

Finally, there are practice books that can provide you with an overview of the exam content and sample questions. Just make sure to get the most up-to-date information, as USPS changed the exam in 2019. With a little bit of preparation, you can be on your way to a rewarding career with the USPS.


The United States Postal Service offers a variety of exams in order to fill various positions within the organization. While the exams may seem straightforward, the failure rate is quite high, with some estimates as high as 90 percent. Given these odds, it is clearly worth taking some time to prepare for the exam.

Familiarize yourself with the types of questions that will be asked and take practice tests in order to increase your chances of success. With a little effort, you can improve your chances of being hired by the USPS.

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author: patrick algrim
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Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo,, SparkHire,,, FairyGodBoss,, St. Edwards University, NC State University,, Thrive Global,, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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