Five Steps To Maximize Your MPT Score
The MPT doesn’t involve any memorization of the law, so technically students cannot “study” for this portion of the exam. While there are no topics to study, students can still prepare for the MPT, and the students who prepare the most can use the MPT to significantly boost their overall scores. As a test taker, you should view the MPT as an opportunity. It is worth at least 20% of your overall score depending on whether you are in a UBE state. Scoring well in this section can help make up for slight mistakes in the MBE and MBE portions of the test. Follow these five tips to maximize your MPT score.
Five Steps To Maximize Your MPT Score
1. Practice your timing.
The biggest mistake students make is that they fail to consider the time restraints for the MPT. Writing two MPTs in three hours (90 minutes each) is a difficult task. It requires strong organizational and timing skills. Students who do not practice the timing can find themselves scrambling to finish their work in the final minutes. Prior to the bar, students should make sure to time themselves during the practice MPTs. This allows test takers to get a better feel for how long each MPT should be when to move from one MPT to the next, and how to pace the overall process. For more advice on timing for the MPT check out our six tips on MPT timing here.
2. Be comfortable with each type of MPT.
The MPT can require students to write in various formats. The examiners generally ask test takers to write two of the following tasks: an objective memo, a persuasive brief, a demand letter, and an opinion letter. Students should be able to identify the differences between these tasks and know the writing style each one entails. If you struggle with persuasive writing, do a few extra persuasive MPTs. The worst possibility is to be underprepared for the format of the MPT. Each one can be practiced so students can maximize their chance for the best possible score. If you are looking for more specifics about the various MPT options, check out our post on how to create attack outlines here.
3. Exclusively use the library when drafting your response.
If the MPT is an area where a student already feels comfortable with the law, he or she may draft a response without looking at the specific laws or cases referenced in the library. This is a HUGE error. The exam makers often make slight alterations to laws and cases to help fit the scenarios they created. Remember, just as in law school, the cases take place in a fictional jurisdiction, meaning that the examiners make the rules. You must use the cases and laws that they provide, otherwise, you cannot achieve a high score. If MPT happens to cover a topic you feel comfortable with, pretend you know nothing about the subject and exclusively use the library provided for guidance.
4. Follow directions.
This may sound obvious, but as nerves kick in during the test, many students skim the instructions and answer the prompt, thinking they know what the graders want. They’re in a rush to get something on paper and don’t fully read the instructions. The instructions guide students on how to respond. Sometimes the instruction will tell students to discuss two options in a memo instead of advocating for just one aspect of the problem. Always consult the prompt when drafting your MPT to ensure you include everything the exam questions is asking.
5. Take a few deep breaths between MPTs.
The pacing of the MPTs is difficult. Often times students feel rushed to complete both tasks. However, students should take a few seconds after the first MPT to breathe and prepare for the next MPT. Jumping straight from one MPT to the next does not allow test takers to reset their minds to approach a unique issue. Once the first one is done. Close your eyes and take a few long breaths. These few seconds will not be a major factor in whether you finish the next MPT. However, allowing your mind just a few seconds to relax and let go of the last assignment will pay huge dividends in how you approach the second MPT.
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