517 Qualifying Tests

517.1 General

To be considered for employment, applicants must meet the full requirements of the position. Failure to meet the requirements results in disqualification. Certain positions require administration of performance examinations to ensure that applicants possess the minimum skills and abilities required for the position. As appropriate, these tests are administered to applicants who have passed the written examination, have not been disqualified under suitability categories, and who are within the score range for potential employment consideration. For maintenance craft positions, entrance applicants must meet the requirements for knowledge, skills, and abilities as determined by a qualification review panel. For positions that require driving, applicants are screened by a formal review of their state drivers’ licenses to ensure that the licenses are valid. Qualifying test categories are detailed below.

517.2 Computerized Keyboard Tests

For positions involving typing, the Postal Service gives three typing tests to applicants to establish their qualifications. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to type the required minimum number of words per minute. Tests are administered by NTAC–certified examiners and scored by computer. The computer provides immediate test results. Guidelines for conducting these tests, along with the required software and related maintenance instructions, are provided by NTAC.

  1. Computer–based test (CBT) 712/713. This test is administered to applicants for clerk–stenographer and other positions requiring typing eligibility for both the 45 net words per minute (712) and the 30 net words per minute (713) tests.

    If the applicant is applying for…

    Then he or she must qualify on…

    Clerk stenographer

    Test 712 (45 net words per minute).

    Other typing positions

    Test 713 (30 net words per minute).

    If applicant scores…

    Then applicant qualifies on…

    45 net words per minute

    Tests 712 and 713.

    30—44 net words per minute

    Test 713 only.

    29 net words per minute

    Neither Test 712 nor Test 713.

  3. Computer–based test (CBT) 714. For positions involving data entry or typing on forms, there are two standards of success on CBT 714: a high standard and a low standard. The qualification standard that says CBT 714 is required also specifies whether the high or low standard is applicable. When this test is added locally for a vacant position, the low standard is always specified. The statement applicants must demonstrate the ability to type 25 correct lines in 5 minutes by successfully completing CBT 714 at the low standard must appear in the vacancy announcement.
  4. Computer–based test (CBT) 715. Applicants for markup clerk, automated, must take this CBT 715.

Note: Suitability screening should stop for applicants who either failed the test or did not report.

517.3 Automotive Mechanic Bench Test

Applicants for automotive mechanic positions who qualified on the written automotive mechanic test are scheduled according to their standing on the register to take the automotive mechanic bench test. The bench test is administered by an examiner knowledgeable in automotive maintenance and certified by NTAC. The bench test is scored by NTAC. Only those applicants who qualify on the written test and the bench test can be considered for employment as automotive mechanics.

Note: Suitability screening should stop for applicants who either failed the test or did not report.

517.4 Qualification Review — Candidate Supplemental Application

Before qualification review panels are scheduled, applicants who have received eligible entrance examination ratings for maintenance positions must complete the appropriate Candidate Supplemental Application (CSA). The CSA documents the applicant’s knowledge, skills, and abilities for the position. Subsequently, a qualification review panel convenes to rate applicants. The panel consists of two maintenance supervisors/managers and a human resources representative. Maintenance personnel must be familiar with the functional area involved.

517.5 Driver’s License Review

To determine if an applicant for a position that requires driving practices safe driving habits, verify the driving record and review the actual driver’s license to ensure validity. The license information is used to complete the Driver’s License Review Checklist (Exhibit 517.5, Driver’s License Review Checklist (Original to Preemployment Investigation File)). An applicant who fails the checklist review is ineligible for positions that require driving. An ineligible applicant can request reactivation from the human resources office if the driving status that caused the ineligibility has been resolved and the applicant’s examination ratings are still valid (see 525, Applicant Request for Reactivation).

Exhibit 517.5 

Driver’s License Review Checklist (Original to Preemployment Investigation File)


Name (First, Middle, Last)


Social Security Number

Birth Date

To Be Completed By Reviewer

(Place a check mark in the box for each item)



License is for the state in which the applicant resides.



Photograph on the license resembles the applicant.



Name, date of birth, and Social Security number (if shown) match Forms 2480 and 2591.



License number matches the one on the state abstract.



Expiration date is in the future.



This applicant has presented a valid current state driver’s license.



Reviewing Official Signature

Date Presented

Reviewing Official Title

Installation Name