How Long to Study for the MPT
Many students do not spend enough time studying for the multistate performance test (MPT). In this post, we tell you what factors to consider in deciding how long to study for the MPT. You want to make sure you are putting in enough time so that you can maximize your MPT score!
How Long to Study for the MPT
The first question you want to ask yourself, when determining how long to study for the MPT (or any portion of the bar exam) is: How much is this portion of the test worth?
- In Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) jurisdiction states, the MPT is worth 20% of your total test score! Thus, generally speaking, you will want to allocate about 20% of your time to studying for it.
- In many non-UBE states, the MPT is worth about 10% of your total score. (However, check with your jurisdiction to confirm.) Thus, generally speaking, you want to allocate 10% of your total time to it.
The biggest mistake we see students make is that they spend about 2% of their time studying for the MPT portion! Some students only look at an MPT a week or two before the exam and don’t practice any MPTs before the actual exam. This is a mistake!
Assuming, for a moment, that you are in a UBE state where the UBE is worth 20%, if you study 40 hours a week (let’s say five 8-hour days), you should be dedicating one full day to the MPT! Now, this may seem like a lot because it is not what most people do. But remember, in UBE states, the MPT is worth 20% of your score. That is a huge amount of points. That is the equivalent of 70 scored MBE questions.
The second question you will want to ask when determining how long to study for the MPT is: How comfortable do I feel with the MPT?
If you have a lot of legal experience and it does not take you long to draft an objective memo or persuasive brief you may spend less time studying for the MPT than someone who has absolutely no practical legal experience. And that is okay! You should still study but you may be able to allocate a little less time to it.
However, don’t just think “oh I feel more comfortable with the MPT so I am not going to look at it for a while.” One of the challenging things on the MPT is the time aspect. If you had all day to complete an MPT task, of course you could write a beautiful persuasive brief. The fact that you only have (about) 90 minutes is what causes many people to bomb this “easier” portion of the test. We get a lot of people we don’t even know emailing us after the exam telling us they are worried they failed because of the MPT portion. So don’t assume it is easy for you!
If you think you feel more comfortable with the MPT portion, test it out by taking a 3-hour timed exam. See if you can complete two MPTs in three hours. Self-grade your MPT and see how you did. If you did great, you don’t want to ignore the MPT section, but maybe it is a sign you don’t have to spend as much time on it. If you struggled, then start dedicating a serious amount of time to it every week.
How do I allocate my time when I am studying for the MPT?
We put together an MPT study schedule here. This MPT study schedule does not say exactly how long to study for the MPT, but it does break the MPT portion down by week and is a great tool to guide you. It also includes links to MPT resources.
Still not convinced you need to spend so much time on the MPT portion of the exam?
Read this post on 5 reasons to take the MPT seriously!
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