How to Prepare for United States Postal Service or USPS 955 Exam?
The Postal Exam 955 is taken by people seeking employment within technical roles at the United States Postal Service (USPS). Recruiting USPS management teams must have faith in the applicant’s capacity to handle the demands of their job position.
So, the USPS postal exam is a challenging assessment aiming to find the best candidates in engineering, electronics, and mechanics. Applicants with significant experience in such technological areas are encouraged to take the test and further develop their careers at USPS.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about the USPS and the USPS postal exam. From the USPS employment process to the assessment and its testing sections. We will also try to give you sample questions about each area, allowing you to understand what to expect on a complex assessment like the USPS 955.
Ultimately, we will also direct you to the most extensive online library for practice materials, where you can start your USPS 955 test practice.
Table of Contents
What Is the USPS?
The United States Postal Service (USPS), the second largest employer in the country, is widely known as a trustworthy and equitable employer. Working at the USPS means having many growth opportunities and getting exceptional employee benefits.
In addition, their administration and leadership employees can be helpful in your career aspirations. As an outcome, many Americans submit applications seeking jobs via USPS employment help services.
USPS Application Process
The USPS application process differs depending on the job position and the level of expertise needed for fulfilling the job requirements.
- The first step towards your USPS career is searching for open job positions by geographical location on the USPS career website.
- Then, you need to create a profile through their eCarrers System, where all your progress will be saved and available for USPS representatives during the hiring process. This is where you also need to submit your resume, skillset, educational background, and previous employment.
- This USPS profile can later be used to apply for numerous job positions if you don’t get hired for the position you initially applied for.
- In the third part of the employment process, depending on the job position you apply for, you might take non-proctored assessments, proctored assessments, or both. You can do non-proctored assessments online from your home.
- Assigning Proctored assessments is conducted in an accredited testing center. Either way, you will receive an email from USPS explaining the following steps and guiding you to their assessments.
- For some positions, this is the end of the application, and applicants just need to wait to be contacted by USPS for further details. Highly demanding and specialized job positions have one more step: the Panel Interview or alternatively called, the Oral Test.
- You will meet with three USPS representatives and be asked questions of technical nature (similar to the proctored assessments you previously took) and about your work ethic and communication skills when working in teams. In this segment, a representative will also ask you for safety procedures and protocols (LOCKOUT/TAGOUT.)
- The last step is drug screening. With a rigorous drug use and abuse policy, the USPS conducts thorough 5-step drug screening. Even highly competent candidates applying for a USPS role might be rejected due to failing the drug test.
Requirements for Joining the USPS
- Must be 18 years of age at the appointment or 16 years old with at least a high school education.
- Must pass a criminal background check (Inspection Service criminal check), a narcotic test, and additional healthcare examinations, as needed.
- The candidate for a job should be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. naturalized permanent resident, an American Samoan, or a resident of some other U.S. region.
- The job applicants must provide their recent job portfolio.
- Job apprentices must be registered with Selective Service if appropriate.
The Inspection Service Criminal Background Check
The United States informational materials are used to perform the Inspection Service’s crime history test. An investigation into an applicant’s prior criminal record entails looking back five years to see where they lived, worked, or attended school in the United States.
If the person has not spent their last five years in the U.S., officials cannot conduct a criminal background check and will disqualify the individual for further proceeding in the USPS employment process.
What Is the USPS 955 Postal Exam?
The Postal Exam 955 is designed specifically for those seeking employment within technical roles at the USPS.
Individuals wanting to apply for multiple USPS job roles, like Servicing Repairer, Digital Specialist, Building Equipment Technician, and many others, are screened using the Postal Exam 955, also known as the USPS Maintenance Exam.
The test lasts for 75 minutes and includes eight topics in total. It is a proctored, computer-based exam that is taken in testing facilities.
The Ramsay Test, also known as the MultiCraftTest, is the foundation for the exam’s composition and structure. The 955 test is a newer, updated, and summed version of his predecessors – the 931, 932, and 933 tests.
The USPS 955 exam is taken by only competent and already experienced professionals with backgrounds in engineering, equipment mechanics, electronic technicians, and the like. This makes the USPS Postal 955 exam extremely extensive and complex for anyone else.
The reason for its more complex nature compared with other postal exams is that any candidate hired will be responsible for all of USPS’s equipment maintenance. Thus, the company must only hire the most competent candidates. To move forward in the hiring process, it is essential to finish the USPS 955 with a very good score.
The most efficient way to prepare for this pre-employment exam is by utilizing online test practice materials and exams with detailed explanations. The more familiar you are with the exam structure, the more confident you will feel when taking the test.
There are two categories of questions on the test: multicraft and spatial reasoning.
The employment application via USPS 955 exam is free. If you see websites charging a fee, it means they are not honest. The best practice is to report them to the United States Postal Inspection Service.
For your best experience, use a PC or laptop instead of a mobile device. Ensure you use widely-used web browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, or Opera. Also, ensure Adobe PDF Reader is installed and allowed on your browser.
You also must have a valid email account to apply for a job or create your applicant’s profile. It is the medium that USPS takes to speak with you regarding your application and job positions, and status.
Who Takes the USPS 955 Postal Exam?
Technical maintenance professionals must take the USPS 955 postal test. The sections below explain the most common technical maintenance job positions within the USPS that utilize the 955 exams.
When you browse for available job positions, things like income, rewards, and working days will be available in the job description ad. You might find other open job positions based on geographic requirements.
You can submit an application form for different occupations in one go if you want. If you don’t get the employment you applied for, you could use the already submitted details for a different position.
Building Equipment Mechanic
Maintenance work is done on structures, construction materials, and structural components, like heavily automated heaters and air conditioning devices. Those tasked with this job accomplish this by strengthening machinery functionality.
Building machinery repair roles fall into one of two sections: Building Equipment Mechanic (BEM) and Postal Support Employee – Building Equipment Mechanic (PSE BEM). All candidates for these job positions are required to take the postal test 955.
The PSE Building Equipment Mechanic (PSE BEM) job position is an entry-level role, but it could lead to a highly lucrative job role (BEM). PSE BEMs are hired at specific facilities. If a professional BEM job becomes available, the high-ranking PSE BEM is allowed to accept it.
PSE employees are initially hired for a 360-day term and after their contract is done, they can be reappointed for an additional 360-day term. PSE jobs may receive partial benefits immediately or after the first 360-day term.
On the other hand, BEMs play a crucial role in the proper machinery work, so they are highly valued professionals with numerous benefits.
Maintenance Mechanic (MM)
Maintainance mechanics are employed to take care of mail equipment and machinery in different USPS sectors like mail processing, customer service, delivery, building, and the like.
As with Building Equipment mechanics, there are two job levels offered for maintenance mechanics – Maintenance Mechanic (MM) and Postal Support Employee – Maintainance Mechanic (PSE MM.)
PSEs are entry-level positions that, with time, can turn into MMs. As with Building Equipment mechanics, PSEs have their contract renewed every 360 days. They can get promoted to MMs with enough experience working as senior PSE MM.
Electronic Technician (ET)
Electrical engineers and technicians use technically advanced skills to address daily challenges as they carry out a complete spectrum of screening. From maintenance work and integration to optimization and repairs on equipment and computer programs on numerous services, mechanisms, and machinery.
An entry-level position that can lead to a great career is the PSE Electronic Technician. With enough experience, a PSE electronic technician can become an Electronic Technician.
Mail Processing Equipment Maintenance Mechanic (MPEMM)
The USPS requires sophisticated maintenance on building integration systems, heavy machinery, and mail processing equipment. They need people with excellent technical skills to do this.
The two major types of MPEMM service tech roles are the MPEMM and PSE MPEMM. People applying for any job position in this field are required to take the postal test 955. You might find jobs advertised for both subgroups across the country based on regional requirements.
Mail Processing Equipment Maintenance Mechanic is a full-time job with complete benefits and is essential for the optimal functioning of USPS.
On the other hand, the PSE Mail Processing Equipment Maintenance Mechanic is an entry-level position that can lead to MPEMM employment. When there are PSE MPEMMs hired at a specific facility, the high-ranking PSE MPEMM can be promoted into the professional MPEMM role.
Area Maintenance Technician (AMT)
Area Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) take care of the installation, maintenance, removal, reparation, and disposal of postal equipment. They also install, move, or repair post office screen-line equipment, lock boxes, furniture, and mechanical equipment. Sometimes, they are also tasked with supervising additional help as projects require.
PSE (Postal Support Employee) Area Maintenance Technician is an entry-level position that can lead to later career acceleration into AMT. If a particular facility has PSE AMTs, senior PSE AMTs might be offered a job promotion into AMTs.
As with all PSE job positions, low-ranked AMTs have their contract renewed every 360 days and only get partial benefits. ATMs have full-package benefits and competitive salaries.
USPS Postal Exam Testing Areas
The Postal 955 exam’s questions and testing areas will differ based on the job position you’ve applied for.
The foremost part of the USPS 955 exam is called the “Personal Characteristics & Experience Inventory.” In the form of an interview, this portion of the test creates a personality profile of you and is used to find the most qualified candidates for employment.
During this process, the questions will ask about psychometric qualities that mandate you to make fast and correct decisions. They are mainly designed to test your way of thinking, personality, and work habits. The questions will be in the form of statements, and you must decide to what extent you agree or disagree with the assertions.
USPS proctors give this exam section a score but won’t disclose the grading methodology.
You must answer 120 personality questions in 75 minutes. You can finish this part of the test online, while the other two parts are tested in testing facilities, with the guidance of proctors.
|I feel more organized when I have things planned ahead.
1- Strongly Disagree
2 – Disagree
3 – Agree
4 – Strongly Agree
Before I start my working day, I take the time to do a checklist of all my pending tasks.
1 – Always
2 – Often
3 – Sometimes
4 – Never
Multicraft / Building Equipment
This section will ask you the scope of the technical questions involving mechanical and electrical topics. The technical questions that career applicants get will be established on their specific position. This test portion is most difficult due to the highly technical questions asked.
You might be checked on 21 different technology disciplines with the help of around 60 questions. Furthermore, you have a time limit of 60 minutes, so you must be able to answer each question within a minute. Among the queries could be things like hydrodynamic fundamentals, mechanical equipment design, thermal dynamics rules, and more.
These are the testing areas for the Multicraft part of the USPS 955 exam.
- AC/DC Theory, Power Distribution, and Electrical Maintenance
- Motors, Control Circuits, Schematics, and Print Reading
- Digital Electronics, Computers, PLC, Power Supplies, and Test Instruments
- Hydraulics and Pneumatics
- Pumps, Piping, and Combustion
- Power Transmission, Mechanical Maintenance, Shop Machines, Tools and Equipment, and Lubrication
- Welding and Rigging
If you want to find more details about each of these sections, we recommend you to head over to Job Test Prep and their comprehensive Postal exam 955 article. You can also find sample questions for each section on their website.
Continually preparing through practice materials to comprehend varying subjects is the ideal way to prepare thoroughly.
This exam would then evaluate your ability to simulate 3D shapes and patterns mentally.
This section of the 955 test will determine your ability to visualize the end product that has not yet been created. These questions aim to assess your way of thinking as well as your problem-solving skills.
- Matching Figures
The questions of this part will be required you to visualize a 3D shape when two or more 2D parts are joined together. The given answers will have four larger drawings, out of which only one will be the right representation of the joined parts.
In the Visualisation part of the USPS 955 test, you will be presented with pictures of the three sides of an object.
The answers will contain four figures, out of which only one is the actual figure whose sides are represented at the top.
FAQ for the USPS 955 Exam
This section will cover some of the most FAQs regarding the USPS 955 exam.
How Hard Is the USPS 955 Exam?
The USPS 955 assessment is complex and demands a strong foundation in theory and practice across various mechanical and electronic subjects.
The exam will be more difficult for applicants without knowledge of these disciplines. The final preparation could improve the candidates’ likelihood of performing as needed.
How Many Questions Are There on the USPS 955 Exam?
The Interview part of the USPS 955 exam, also called the Personal Characteristics & Experience Inventory contains 120 personality questions.
The other two sections, Multicraft and Spatial Reasoning have a total of 60 questions.
How Long Is the USPS 955 Exam?
The USPS 955 exam has three parts, but only the Interview (Personal Characteristics & Experience Inventory) can be done online. You will have 75 minutes to finish the Inventory.
The Multicraft and the Spatial Reasoning parts will be conducted in testing facilities, and candidates have 1 hour to complete them.
What Is a Good Exam Score for USPS?
The passing score for any Postal Exam is 70, and any above score is considered good. If you see an ineligible level instead of a score, it means you haven’t managed to reach the minimum passing score of 70.
Can You Retake the USPS 955 Exam?
If you fail the USPS 955 exam, you’ll get a second chance to retake the exam after one year.
How Do I Pass the 955 Postal Exams?
To pass the postal exam 955, you must achieve a minimum score of 70. As the employment for technical job roles within the USPS is highly competitive, you should aspire to achieve the highest possible score by spending time prepping for the check.
There are two essential things to remember when practicing for the USPS 955 exam. One, the testing topics of the 955 are highly technical and require extensive previous knowledge of engineering, mechanics, and electrics.
Individuals without this theoretical knowledge and prior experience in a similar field will have difficulty comprehending and answering the USPS 955 questions.
Secondly, you must ensure that you have sound theoretical knowledge of all the testing sections. USPS proctors and officials don’t share how they score and rank their applicants’ assessments, so it’s unclear whether all sections have equal importance. That is why you have to be sure that you know and understand all of the testing topics.
Furthermore, the USPS Personality Inventory will measure your personal beliefs and habits, and this part stretches far beyond your theoretical background.
Aside from knowledge, in this assessment, you need to show that your personal views align with USPS’s profile about their ideal employee.
Tips for Passing the 955 Postal Exam
- Update your resume as accurately as possible.
- Make sure that you don’t boost your experience during interviews since proctors will cross-check your answers with your resume.
- Review topics covered in each of the testing sections of the USPS 955 exam.
- Think about the ideal employee profile for the particular job you want to apply for. Review the job description and keep it in mind while answering the postal test.
- Review the principles, scientific formulas, or abbreviation related to the job role you are applying when getting ready for the Interview.
- Don’t fake your answers during the Inventory interview. Most personality tests have bait questions that measure your levels of truthfulness.
- Use practice materials to prepare before taking the actual USPS 955 exam.
- Aside from practicing the questions and improving your technical knowledge, pay attention to the time frame you have for completion. For example, the Multicraft part of the USPS 955 exam expects one question to be answered in around a minute.
What Does Job Test Prep Offer?
Job Test Prep provides a range of online behavioral exam preparation resources. It provides practice exams complete with correct answers and a detailed explanation for each. It also provides guidance and other reference learning materials.
Additionally, while taking the practice tests, you can check your wrong answers and figure out how you can improve. This will allow you to help you get good test scores.
Their USPS 955 practice pack contains
- 7 Practice tests for Mechanics (Multicraft)
- 12 Practice tests for Electronics (Multicraft)
- 3 Practice tests for Workshop and tools (Multicraft)
- 8 Practice tests for Spatial Reasoning
- 2 Study guides for the Oral Technical Interview
- 7 Comprehension study guides for Mechanics and Electrics
Job Test Prep also offers a 24/7 customer support center for all your queries, a completely safe and protected payment process, and a money-back guarantee if you are not happy with their product.
You are probably already conscious of how challenging it is to pass the USPS Postal Exam 955. But acing it could accelerate your professional life, granting you the chance to increase your income and realize your professional goals.
What’s great about working at the USPS is that there are a lot of employment positions you can choose from. Without all these job positions, crucial USPS technologies and procedures might struggle with disastrous results. The USPS values and depends on the individuals who work in upkeep and technician positions to maintain the company’s effectiveness.
If you are up to the challenge, make sure to do your part in preparation. Fortunately, Internet learning resources for the Postal Exam 955 are widely available. So, make sure to take advantage of them and get the job that you want.
Written by Victoria Todorovska
Victoria (or Viki) is a Freelance Writer, Psychologist, and Gestalt Therapy Consultant. With years of experience in higher education as well as counselling others, she is well-placed to offer expert advice on guiding others up the career ladder.
You May Also Like
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.