Obsolete Postal Job & Exam Guides

Due to recent massive revisions to the Postal hiring and testing program, obsolete Postal job and exam guides remain a widespread problem. In some cases, it is simply a matter of obsolete guides innocently remaining on bookstore or library bookshelves. However, in other cases, obsolete guides are knowingly and falsely misrepresented as being up-to-date. Before buying or using any Postal job or exam guide, check these items closely to assure that it is truly up-to-date.

  1. An up-to-date Postal job guide should include full details on the Postal Service’s new eCareer online application system. This new system is radically different from the previous one. And it is so bureaucratic and confusing that professional guidance is essential for success. If a guide does not provide detailed eCareer information and instructions, it is grossly obsolete.
  2. A study guide for new exam 473E must be specifically written for this exam only. Exams 460, 470, 473, 473C, and 710 have been retired and are no longer used by the Postal Service. They were all replaced by a single new test, exam 473E. The exam name “473” may be mentioned in an up-to-date guide due to natural confusion, but if the guide does not specifically discuss exam “473E”, it is definitely obsolete. And if information about exams 460 or 470 is included in a guide, it is definitely obsolete. Since exam 473E is used to fill over 90% of all Postal jobs, this problem is very serious indeed.
  3. The copyright/publish date for a 473E study guide should be 2009 or later. Exam 473E was launched at the end of 2008. Guides published earlier are necessarily obsolete. However, even if the date seems okay, you must look further. There are obsolete guides being sold that have been reprinted with false copyright/publish dates just to make them appear up-to-date.
  4. A study guide for exam 473E must be electronic, not a printed book. Since the Postal Service has converted all its exams from pencil & paper tests to electronic exams, using printed books to prepare for Postal tests is simply no longer possible. The skills required to excel on an electronic exam are quite different from those needed on a pencil & paper test. The most important element of successful test preparation is extensive practice with realistic practice exams. Realistic practice is essential to master the foreign skills and incredible speed demanded. To successfully master the challenges presented by an electronic test, truly realistic practice exams must be electronic and must be formatted and interactive exactly like the real test.
  5. When choosing or asking about a guide, use the below chart to check it for accuracy. This chart lists Postal exams that have been retired and replaced by new tests. As a matter of fact, you will see that in each case several old exams were retired and replaced by a single new test. If a guide includes any of the retired exams, it is obviously obsolete.
    Retired Exams Replacement Exam
    460, 470, 473, 473C, 710 473E
    931, 932, 933 955

See Pathfinder’s Fraudulent Postal Job & Exam Services Consumer Alert for more helpful advice.