Postal exams check for general aptitude and appropriate skill levels in people applying for jobs with the U.S. Postal Service. Session I of the exam is a self-administered "Personal Characteristics & Experience Inventory," Session II is a supervised exam covering address checking, forms completion, coding and memory. In the "Personal Characteristics & Experience Inventory" there are no wrong answers. The inventory is merely a way for the postal service to learn more about potential employees.
A few examples of the kind of questions on the multiple choice exam are: "You do not like having your work interrupted" and "You plan things carefully and in advance" with answer choices such as "Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree" or "Very Often, Often, Sometimes, Rarely." Other items may include questions about what kinds of work you like the most and least and your relationships with co-workers and supervisors. The questions are not meant to be difficult or to take much time to answer.
Be honest answering these questions. There are no wrong answers; this part of the test is to ensure that the right people are matched with the right jobs. If there is a question about work experience, and you don't have the particular work experience to answer the question, make a best guess based on whatever life experiences you do have.
Accentuate the positive. In personality testing, having nothing but positives can be a negative, but on balance it is better to have more positive than negative responses. Many people would rather work with someone who is generally positive than generally negative, but a test with nothing but positive answers might be considered dishonest.
Free online personality tests can help you feel more comfortable with this part of the exam and help you answer questions more quickly. Tests such as the Myers Briggs Test and the Jung Typology test do not answer work-related questions but are designed to examine personality and personality types (see Resources).
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- Limitations of the Personality Assessment Inventory
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