How to Use MPT Sample Answers to Improve Your MPT Score
One of the most important components of bar prep is getting feedback and then improving from that feedback. It is silly to keep doing the same thing over and over again, without working on fixing the mistakes that you are making, especially if you are hoping to pass the exam. But, for many students there is limited access to feedback of their essays and MPTs. This is why self-grading is so important! Even if you can’t get feedback from someone else, you can still take your work and grade it. Being sure that you know how to use MPT sample answers in this process is important. Keep reading to learn how to use MPT sample answers to your advantage.
How to Use MPT Sample Answers to Improve Your MPT Score
First, you should note that a “sample answer” is not an answer key or the model answer. Instead, a sample answer is when a jurisdiction posts a good or high scoring student answer in response to the MPT posed. These are helpful because they can give you a realistic response to the MPT—instead of just the point sheet that includes everything imaginable in response to the information provided. The sample answer provides a realistic response to the issues under the time constraints. For more information on whether or not your MPT should look like the MPT point sheet click here.
Secondly, if you are wondering how to use MPT sample answers, you should make sure that you are using the sample answer in conjunction with the MPT point sheet. We like to think of it as striking a balance between the point sheet and the sample answer—the sample answer isn’t perfect, but great guidance, and the point sheet contains more than a good answer needs to contain. So, in you want to keep that in mind when grading your MPT. For more information about how to self-grade your MPT click here.
So now that you know those things—how to use MPT sample answers:
1. Use the sample answers to check your format.
Read the sample answer carefully. Take note at their basic structure—if it’s an objective memo, look at how they set it up. Take note of the objective language. Then, look at your MPT. Is your structure similar?
Look overall at your language, is it objective? This is a good first step to using the MPT sample answer to your advantage. If your answer was different in any major way, go back to the MPT point sheet and check to see if you did something wrong, or maybe your answer was simply different from the sample answer but still generally on track. Be sure to make notes of what you did well or need to improve on in your document.
2. Use the sample answers to see if you cited the applicable law.
Next, move on and re-visit the task memo. Remind yourself of the specifics. Then, look at the sample answer. Analyze how the sample answer handled each issue. If there are multiple issues, take one at a time.
For each issue, be sure that you relied upon the same legal authority as the sample answer. If you missed authority, before you immediately mark it as “wrong” or note that you need to improve, be sure to check the MPT point sheet to see if you are on track or not. If you missed something make a note to yourself so that you know your mistake and how to fix it in the future. Read how the MPT sample answer handled the issue and revisit the library and/or file to make sure that you understand what you missed.
In order to make sure that you are getting the most out of the sample answer, look at the rules that were derived from the library—do your rules look similar? Remember, you may not have used the exact same language, but you may have communicated the same point. Keep this in mind if you want to know how to use MPT sample answer efficiently.
Be sure to do the above for each issue.
3. Use the sample answers to compare the facts that you relied upon in your analysis.
Just like above, where you used the sample answer to see if you extracted the correct legal rules from the authority in the library, make sure that your analysis is on track. Check to see what facts the sample answer relied upon in its analysis of the issues posed. Then, check to make sure that your answer utilized similar facts. Again, be sure that you are self-grading and checking the point sheet to double check that you are on the right track. Make sure that you note where you did well and the areas that you need to improve. Be sure to take extra time to revisit both the library and the file if you have questions or don’t fully understand how the issues were handled. This is the best way to make sure that you get the most of your practice each time.
Be sure to do the above for each issue posed by the task memo.
4. Use the sample answer to determine the general depth of each issue.
Lastly, look at how the MPT sample answer handled each issue. Most MPTs have 1 to 3 issues to discuss, but generally not all of the issues are handled in the same depth. If you want to ensure that you know how to use the MPT sample answer in the most productive way possible, look at how long of an analysis was provided by the sample answer for each issue. Does yours looks relatively similar?, If so, you are on the right path. However, if it doesn’t, engage in self-grading to make sure that you can learn from your errors.
If you learn how to use MPT sample answers and engage in the above regularly with your practice, your MPT score will surely improve!
Meagan Jabbori, a JD Advising bar exam tutor and course instructor, wrote this post on how to use MPT sample answers. Meagan scored in the 96th percentile on the Uniform Bar Exam. She has helped hundreds of students pass the bar exam, including the MPT portion of the bar exam.
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