A few students have asked us recently if they really need to study for the MPT (multistate performance test). Some say that they are good writers and aren’t as worried about it as they are other portions of the bar exam (like the MBE!). Others say they have practical experience and have written several briefs and memos, so the MPT is second nature to them.
Do I Need to Study for the MPT?
However, no matter how good of a writer you are or how much practical experience you have, we recommend you still study for the MPT for the following reasons:
1. First, the MPT is worth a lot!
In Uniform Bar Exam jurisdictions, it is worth 20% of your score. This is a very big chunk of your score to completely ignore. Thus, it is very worth it to study for the MPT.
2. Second, a little practice can go a long way.
If you are a good writer or have practical legal experience, it is all the more reason to study for the MPT. You will make great strides quickly in comparison with students who do not have those advantages. You could easily boost your score to get near-perfect scores on the MPT portion of the exam.
3. Third, the timing aspect of the MPT makes it tricky.
If you have all day to write a brief, of course it has a decent chance of being good. But you will only have 90 minutes per MPT. So many students run out of time on the MPT portion. We had someone reach out to us after the New York bar exam last year because she failed by two points. She was a fantastic writer and her MEE answers were stellar. But she had not practiced one MPT and she ran out of time on the MPT portion. This was the reason she failed the bar exam. That happens so often and it is completely avoidable.
4. Lastly, you are more likely to pass the bar exam!
We recommend you review each type of MPT task prior to the exam and complete tasks in a timed setting. This will boost your MPT score (and hence, your bar exam score) significantly. There is no reason you cannot knock the MPT portion out of the park if you are already feeling confident about your writing or practical skills. Since many test takers ignore the MPT portion, this can be the advantage you capitalize upon to make sure you pass the bar exam.
How do I study for the MPT efficiently?
If you are looking for an efficient way to study for the MPT portion of the exam, check out our MPT tips for beginners here. We also recommend that you check out our (free, downloadable) MPT cheat sheet and our MPT guide here.
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