MPT Practice: 5 Tips For Maximizing Your MPT Prep
Students frequently fail to take the Multistate Performance Test seriously. Students make this assumption because the test has fictitious case law and statutes. While it is true that the MPT library contains all the relevant law for the question, the MPT can be challenging. It requires the student to read applicable and inapplicable case law and other documents. Then, the student must synthesize all the relevant information into a coherent written analysis of the question presented. This is no small feat! The MPT score can make up a sizeable proportion of the overall bar exam score, and this should motivate students to put some effort into preparing for the MPT.
In this post, we will discuss how to study for the MPT and how to maximize your MPT practice.
MPT Practice: 5 Tips For Maximizing Your MPT Prep
How many MPTs should you practice?
If you’re looking for a concrete number, then at a minimum you should practice about 20 MPTs during your bar preparation. In UBE jurisdictions, the MPT score is worth 20% of your overall bar exam score. Since the MPT is worth 20% of the bar exam, it is reasonable to spend about 20% of your study time, or 1 of 5 study days, preparing for the MPT. We recommend that students take the time to practice 2 MPTs under timed conditions per week, and then increase or decrease this amount, as necessary.
You may think that writing 20 MPTs during your bar preparation is too many. However, consistent MPT practice has many benefits, including learning the various MPT tasks, learning how to manage your time, and determining which MPT strategies work best for you.
Focus on the most common MPT tasks.
You can maximize your MPT practice by focusing on a few key areas. First, make sure that you spend most of your designated MPT practice time concentrating on the most common MPT tasks. The objective memorandum and persuasive brief are the most frequently tested tasks. Due to the statistical probability that a student will likely face one of those tasks on the bar examination, it is essential to practice these tasks regularly.
Become familiar with the general purpose of each task and how to best approach that final goal. Also, make sure that you can comfortably write your analysis in the tone that is most appropriate for the task. Of course, it is important to note that the objective memorandum or persuasive brief you encounter on the bar exam may be different than what you experienced during your MPT Practice. Remember—always carefully follow the Task Memo directions.
Don’t ignore less frequent MPT tasks.
While you should concentrate on the most frequently tested MPT tasks, your MPT practice will be insufficient if you do not have some understanding of the less tested tasks. These tasks are opinion letters, demand letters, and other wildcard tasks. Generally, when the MPT task is one with which most students may be unfamiliar, the MPT library will provide a sample document to help students understand what the final product should resemble.
To maximize your MPT practice, you should ideally draft an answer to one opinion letter, one demand letter, and one or two wildcard tasks. Practicing writing an answer for these less common MPT tasks will also help you get familiarized with how to navigate the MPT library for such tasks. Further, these practicing these tasks helps teach students how to become comfortable with unfamiliar tasks. The fact that you may not know what precisely an MPT task entails should not change your approach to drafting the MPT. At the end of the day, MPTs require students to synthesize facts with law. The various tasks merely produce a different written product of the synthesized analysis.
Get familiar with the 45/45 rule.
One component of preparedness for the MPT that students cannot truly grasp without MPT practice is how to manage time during the MPT correctly. Conventional wisdom on this topic tells students to split their 90 minutes evenly—allot 45 minutes to reading the MPT library and 45 minutes to drafting your MPT answer. Learning to understand how to manage your time appropriately will help to maximize your MPT practice.
MPT practice will help you understand what each 45-minute period feels like and what you need to accomplish during that time. In addition to improving your time management, MPT practice under timed conditions will teach you which tips and tricks work best for you. For example, how do you actively read? Do you circle or underline, or do you make brief notes in the margins? While many MPT strategies work universally for all students, personal preference best defines some approaches. MPT practice will help you determine what works best for you and teaches you how to do that effectively!
If your bar exam course doesn’t provide enough MPT pointers, you may want to consider purchasing JD Advising’s MPT Seminar, and MPT Guide, which can be helpful tools with which to practice. Implement these hints to maximize your MPT practice!
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