If you are struggling to finish writing MPTs (multistate performance tests) within the alloted time, try these five tips for faster MPTs. These five tips will help you write quickly while still writing a comprehensive high-scoring MPT.
5 Tips for Faster MPTs
1. Start writing your MPT sooner.
Many students will read the facts and the library and then start writing their MPT answer. However, by then, a lot of time has already passed. We recommend starting to outline as you possible In fact, we recommend you try to read the library and then read the facts. That way, you can start drafting your answer while you read the facts.
Even if you prefer to read the facts first, still make it a habit to start writing your answer as soon as possible. The sooner you can start writing your answer, the more you will be able to write!
2. Memorize MPT formats ahead of time.
There is no reason to waste valuable time trying to figure out how to format your MPT answer on the actual bar exam. This is one of our tips for faster MPTs because knowing exactly how you will format your MPT will save you time (and make your answer look better!)
We have an MPT seminar where we go over formatting for the MPT. We also have this post on attack outlines for the MPT. However you choose to learn the MPT formats, make sure you know them well by the time you take the bar exam!
3. Outline on your screen.
Some students handwrite really long outlines of the points they are going to make and then have to re-write everything again on their laptops. If you find yourself doing this, try outlining in your exam software. Just briefly type the points you want to make. That way, you will not have to rewrite everything again. Also, you will have your outline right on your screen so you can still visualize exactly what you need to talk about and in what order. Lastly, if you type faster than you write (as most students do) you will find yourself saving even more time by simply typing an outline on your screen.
You may also want to try this if you find yourself highlighting a lot of facts. Instead, start typing out your points as you think of them. That way, you are not wasting time rewriting or trying to remember what points you wanted to make.
4. Learn some shortcuts for recognizing which law is important.
This is not only one of our tips for faster MPTs but it is also one of our tips for higher-scoring MPTs! Not everything in the library will be important. But the following should signal you that a law is important:
- Footnotes! Oftentimes, you will look more detail-oriented if you are able to note a footnote in a case. The examiners like to see examinees analyze footnotes. So pay attention to these and make a note of them as you read the library.
- Bolded or italicized words. If a word is bolded or italicized this generally means it is important and the examiners want you to discuss it.
- Numbered elements or factors in a case. If a case numbers specific elements in a rule, you will often be expected to go through the elements one-by-one in your analysis. The same goes if they list, for example, five factors a court will consider in determining whether a worker is an employee or contractor. It will also help you score points if you create bolded headings that correspond with each element or factor. This will draw the grader’s attention to the fact that you have analyzed the appropriate details.
5. Learn how to distinguish relevant from irrelevant facts.
Many students fall into the trap of trying to discuss every fact from the file. But, there are a few flaws with this. First, it is not lawyerly as a lawyer must determine which facts are important and which aren’t. And second, it is not going to get you a high score on the MPT as you will run out of time if you do this!
So, try to figure out which facts matter and which do not. A few tips for this:
- First, if your file has cases, pay attention to which facts the court analyzes. These will often show you what the court thinks is important (and therefore, what will be important in your case).
- Second, if the library or case lists elements of a rule or specific factors, pay attention to the facts that correspond with the elements or factors. For example, if the case centers on whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor and one of the seven factors is whether they bring their own tools, look for this fact in the fact pattern.
We hope these five tips for faster MPTs help! Please contact us if you have any questions.
Looking for MPT Help?
We offer the following MPT products and services:
- MPT private tutoring for those seeking one-on-one help to pass the MPT.
- An MPT guide which takes students from the beginning to end in how to write an MPT.
- MPT feedback for those seeking structural and organizational review of practice questions.
- Real MPT questions! We offer all NCBE-released questions from 2000 to present compiled in one book.
- An MPT seminar for those seeking help on how to tackle the MPT.
Also, check out our new Free Bar Exam Resource Center, which includes our most popular free guides, posts, webinars, and more!