How to Pass the MPT in Three Steps
The MPT (Multistate Performance Test) is offered in several jurisdictions, including Uniform Bar Exam jurisdictions. The MPT requires you to complete a lawyerly task, like a persuasive brief or objective memorandum, in 90 minutes. In some jurisdictions it is worth 10% of your score. In Uniform Bar Exam jurisdictions, it is worth 20% of your score. That is the equivalent of 70 scored multiple-choice questions if you are in a UBE jurisdiction! Thus, it is crucial to take the MPT seriously and prepare well for it. In this post, we tell you how to pass the MPT.
How to Pass the MPT in Three Steps
1.Get familiar with the basics of the MPT.
An MPT will have you complete a specific task, like:
- an objective memorandum (where you are often writing a memo to your boss in an objective tone telling them how specific issues in a case should turn out),
- a persuasive brief (where you are often told to write the argument section of a brief),
- a letter (this could be a letter to a client or a demand letter to opposing counsel) or
- a “wildcard” task like a bench memo, complaint provisions, etc.
The MPT has three parts to it:
- A task memo. This will tell you exactly what to do. This is your roadmap. It will identify the task (objective memo, persuasive brief, etc.) You should read it right away in the beginning and constantly refer to it to make sure you are following instructions! Tip: Many students who fail the MPT fail because they do not follow instructions!
- A file. This will contain various documents that reveal the facts of the case. It will sometimes have letters, deposition transcripts, client interviews, etc. Not all facts will be relevant and some documents may have facts that appear to contradict one another (just like in real life!)
- A library. This will contain cases, statutes, or both with the relevant law that you need to answer the question. Not all law will be relevant. So, your job is to pull out the important law, given the facts you are provided with.
As mentioned above, you will have two MPTs if you are in a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) state. So, you should allocate 90 minutes to each MPT. Tip: Make sure to keep track of timing as one of the biggest reasons students struggle on the MPT is that they run out of time!
You can review our MPT chart to see exactly when certain MPT tasks were tested. You can see an objective memorandum and persuasive brief are the most common MPT tasks. However, opinion letters, demand letters, and other “wildcard tasks” (complaint provisions, bench memos, etc.) are also tested with enough frequency that you should be familiar with each type of format.
2. Review and memorize formats for each type of MPT.
If you are trying to learn how to pass the MPT in an efficient way, one of the most important things to do ahead of time is to memorize the basic MPT formats. You can see MPT formats for each type of MPT task here.
Memorizing the MPT formats is important because, if you write in the proper format, you show the grader right away that you know what you are doing. For example, a demand letter is often formatted like this:
- Caption (e.g. who you are, the date, who you are sending the letter to, and what the letter regards)
- Introductory Paragraph (briefly explain the purpose of the letter and who the sender is)
- Body of the Letter
- Heading 1 (you do not need complete sentences. Follow IRAC but make sure to explain the legal issues/concepts)
- Heading 2
- Heading 3 . . .
- Conclusion (be specific about your demand and sign your letter consistent with who the task memo says you are – e.g. Examinee, Managing Partner)
Again, you can see MPT formats for each type of MPT task here. Memorize these formats now and you will save yourself time and frustration on the real MPT!
3. Practice some MPTs!
When you practice, you want to make sure that you are practicing under timed conditions. One of the most common reasons that a student fails the MPT portion is because they ran out of time! So, if you want to pass the MPT make sure you are timing yourself! We have tips for faster MPTs here if you struggle with timing!
After you are done writing an answer to a practice MPT, it is best to self-grade your MPT. When you do so, compare your answer to:
- the “points sheet” promulgated by the National Conference of Bar Examiners; and
- a student answer to see how the student formatted it.
Here, we talk about how to “self-grade” your MPT using point-sheets and student answers.
Many students struggle with this because they do not have the MPT questions, NCBE answers, and sample student answers all in one place. So they end up wasting a lot of time on google trying to find what they need. (And since NCBE answers are under a strict license by the NCBE, besides the MPTs that are free on their website, you will not find NCBE answers online!) If you are looking for the MPTs in one convenient place, we recommend you purchase our MPT books here. We offer electronic and hard copies.
A common mistake we see students make is they neglect to practice the MPT section, assuming they will “be fine” on exam day. Many students don’t realize how big of a difference practicing can make! Make sure to incorporate MPTs into your bar exam schedule so that you get in enough practice before the real MPT!
We hope this post helps you study efficiently and pass the MPT!
Need Expert MPT Guidance?
🔥 Top-Rated MPT Resources
Check out our February 2024 bar exam sale to save on our one-sheets, bar exam outlines, and mastery classes!
- New MPT One-Sheets: Discover crucial formats and tips distilled to simplicity.
- MPT Private Tutoring: Opt for personalized strategies and guidance to elevate your preparation.
- Bar Exam Crash Course and Mini Outlines: Gain a comprehensive understanding of the big picture.
- MPT Mastery Class: Deepen your understanding and skills for MPT excellence.
- Comprehensive MPT Guide: Navigate the MPT process with our step-by-step guide.
- Targeted MPT Feedback: Refine your approach with structural and organizational insights.
- Real MPT Questions Compilation (2000 to present): Engage in hands-on practice to enhance your readiness.
Plus, don’t miss our Free Bar Exam Resource Center filled with our top free resources and expert insights!