What is on the Personal Characteristics & Experience Inventory Section of Postal Exam 473/473E?

EXAM 473/473E WAS RETIRED IN APRIL 2019 AND REPLACED BY FOUR NEW TESTS. THESE DETAILS ON THE NEW EXAMS SUPERCEDE INFO ON EXAM 473/473E AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.

The Postal Service launched its new Virtual Entry Assessment hiring and testing program in April 2019. That is also when they retired exam 473 and replaced it with four new tests – exams 474, 475, 476 & 477 – that are now used to fill over 90% of all entry level jobs.

And that is when we published our new USPS Virtual Entry Assessment Test Prep Guide for exams 474, 475, 476 & 477. That is also when we published our new online guide Shortcuts to Your Post Office Job to provide updated details on Postal job search and application revisions.

As usual, we were the first to publish materials for the new Virtual Entry Assessment program and for the new exams. Also as usual, we assure that you have access to the absolute latest info by constantly monitoring their hiring & testing processes and continuously updating our products.

The Personal Characteristics & Experience Inventory section of Postal Exam 473/473E consists of 150 questions to be taken in 90 minutes. You are given 90 minutes on this section because each question calls for lengthy deliberation.

This section is self-administered. You take it at home or wherever you can get access to a computer and the internet. If you fail this section, you automatically fail the entire test and are not invited to take the remaining sections of the exam. If you pass this section, you are scheduled to take the balance of the exam on a later date at a supervised testing site.

The Personal Characteristics & Experience Inventory section is used to identify what the Postal Service thinks are the most qualified applicants. Your answers are used to create a profile of you. They then compare your profile to what they view as the profile of a perfect employee.

Here is a sample question. (This is an actual question from the real test, by the way.)

How frequently do you establish personal goals or objectives that are virtually unachievable?
A) Frequently
B) Occasionally
C) Not very often
D) Not at all

This question, like all questions on the Personal Characteristics & Experience Inventory section, is very ambiguous. When answering, if you say that you do indeed establish unachievable goals, are you admitting that you routinely set yourself up for failure? That is a very negative answer. But if you say that you do not establish unachievable goals, are you admitting that you are a slacker who is unwilling to establish challenging goals? There is no obvious best answer.

You much choose only one answer for each question in this section even though it often seems that two or more answer choices could be appropriate. And as with the above sample question, for many questions it seems as though none of the answers are ideal choices.

Post Office exam 473/473E consists of the following five sections. Each section title is a link to a blog with details about that section. Also given are links to our Exam 473/473E online resources and our “What is on the Exam” and “How to Apply” videos.

Personal Characteristics & Experience Inventory Section

Address Checking Section

Forms Completion Section

Coding Section

Memory Section

You should also click the below links and view the videos for full details on the Postal Exam 473/473E and how to effectively prepare for it.

Postal Exam 473/473E Web Page

Complete Postal Exam 473/473E Interactive eGuide

Reviews for the Complete Postal Exam 473/473E Interactive eGuide