Address Checking Strategies Study Guide for McGraw-Hill's Postal Exams 473/473C (page 2)
Check Each Part of Each Address Separately
An address and ZIP code may consist of as many as seven distinct parts:
- The number preceding a street name (or the P.O. Box number)
- The street name
- Apartment or suite number (if any)
- Two-letter state abbreviation
- Five-digit ZIP code
- Four-digit ZIP code extension (if any)
Many test takers will read an entire two-line address before inspecting the address to be checked, and all nine digits of a nine-digit ZIP code before inspecting the ZIP code to be checked. The problem with this method is that it can be difficult to remember all that information, and so the possibility of making an address-checking mistake is high. So, for each address, you should check each element of the preceding list separately and in the order listed. For example, first check the number preceding a street name or the number of a P.O. box. Then proceed down the list, finally checking the ZIP code extension if there is one. In addition to decreasing the chances of overlooking an error, checking each part separately will save you time. How? Once you find an error in an address, there’s no need to check the other parts of the address. For example, consider the following address:
|Correct List||List to Be Checked|
39810 West Gambol Street, Ste. 9
39801 West Gambol Street, Ste. 9
|Correct List||List to Be Checked|
Use Your Fingers to Point to Addresses as You’re Checking Them
When you first learned to read in school, your teacher probably told you not to use your finger to help you read. Well, forget that advice for Test 473! As you check each part of an address, use your left-hand index finger (or pencil) to point to the correct address, and your right-hand index finger (or pencil) to point to the address to be checked. Put your fingers right on the paper, just below the part you’re checking. This method helps you focus, and it ensures that you compare matching parts of the same address.
Mark Errors with Your Pencil as You Find Them
In the address to be checked, circle or underline errors as you find them. When you go back and check all your answers, you can easily check what you’ve marked against the correct version.
Mark Your Answer Choices in Groups on the Answer Sheet
Marking your answer sheet after each one of the 60 test items means that you’ll be constantly moving back and forth between your test booklet and your answer sheet. This can be time-consuming and distracting, and it can also contribute to eyestrain. Instead, check addresses in groups of perhaps 10 at a time, and then fill in your answer sheet for each address group as you go:
- Look for errors in lines 1 through 10, marking errors in your test booklet as you find them. Then, fill in numbers 1 through 10 on your answer sheet.
- Repeat this procedure for lines 11 through 20.
- Repeat this procedure for lines 21 through 30.
- Repeat this procedure for lines 31 through 40.
- Repeat this procedure for lines 41 through 50.
- Repeat this procedure for lines 51 through 60.
Pace Yourself So You Have Enough Time to Check Your Answers
You have 11 minutes to check 60 addresses. That’s more than enough time. In fact, most test takers can finish in half that time. So, pace yourself so that you can finish in about 6 minutes (that includes filling in the answer sheet). Then, use the remaining 5 minutes to go through all 60 items again. Correct any mistakes you made the first time through.
Did You Know? Do you know what each digit in a ZIP code means? The first digit in any five-digit ZIP code denotes a broad geographical region, from 0 (zero) for the Northeast to 9 for the Far West. The second and third digits pinpoint population and transportation hubs, while the fourth and fifth digits designate small post offices or postal zones in larger zoned cities. The additional four digits pinpoint an even smaller geographic segment. The sixth and seventh numbers denote a group of streets or blocks, post office boxes, or office buildings, or even a single large office or apartment building. The final two digits denote even smaller segments, such as a city block; a single building, floor, or department; or a specific P.O. Box number. By the way, the five-digit ZIP code has been in use since the early 1960s. The ZIP + 4 system has been in use since 1983.
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