MPT Timing Tips
MPT Timing Tips: Are you struggling to finish the MPT portion of the Uniform Bar Exam on time? Don’t panic—there’s still plenty of time to work on any timing issues you may have. If you are trying to figure out which MPTs to practice and in what order to do them, take a look at our blog post that sets forth an MPT study schedule. As you practice MPTs, try to incorporate some of our MPT timing tips to help you complete them faster.
MPT Timing Tips
1. Skim the table of contents before you read the task memo.
It takes a minute or less to read the table of contents, but it will provide you with valuable information. See whether the library is comprised of statutes, cases, or a combination of the two. The reason this is important to know is because many students take more time to read and analyze certain types of libraries (e.g., all statues or all cases). If you are aware of what the task requires, you can then better manage your time.
2. Practice MPTs to figure out the best outlining method for you.
Generally, students should spend half of the allotted time reading and outlining, and the other half of the time writing their response. While this is a good starting point, you may want to adjust the amount of time you spend analyzing and writing if you are struggling with timing. This could mean reducing or increasing the amount of time you spend reading and outlining by five minutes. You may also have to change the way you outline. For example, it’s usually not useful to write detailed outlines on scratch paper and then retype all of your notes again into ExamSoft. If you are typing your exam, try outlining on your laptop only.
3. As you read cases, focus on the facts that the court uses in its analysis.
Students often spend too much time recounting irrelevant facts from the cases in the library and not enough time extracting the pertinent facts. How do you figure out which facts are relevant? Pay attention to the facts that court incorporates into its discussion (e.g., the color of plaintiff’s outfit, whether the contract contained an extension clause, etc.). Do not spend time writing lengthy case briefs like you wrote for classes during your first year of law school. You won’t leave yourself enough time to analyze the facts in the File!
4. Pay attention to any special formatting in the Library cases.
Why is it important to look for bolded or italicized words? The bar examiners use them to show a particular word, definition or concept is important. So, use these hints to craft your response! Further, see if the cases contain a numbered list of elements when defining a rule of law. Use these same elements in your rule statement, but more importantly, create subheadings for each element. Finally, do not ignore footnotes. Footnotes often elaborate on a rule of law. The also often reveal how it should be applied or whether a particular issue was raised by the case.
5. If you encounter a Library that only contains statutes, check the File to see if there is a memo that discusses the key provisions of the statute.
If you struggle with MPTs that only contain statutes, do not begin by reading the statute and assume that every provision is relevant. Take a moment to see if the file has any guiding document regarding how to interpret the statute. This is similar to your approach when you encounter a library that contains a statute and cases, in which you use the cases to pinpoint the provisions of the statute that are at issue. If there is no guiding document in the file, read the statute in its entirety before you begin to dissect it. It is important to understand how the enumerated provisions relate to each other.
We hope you enjoyed this post on MPT timing tips!
Christine, one of our bar exam tutors, wrote this post. Christine has passed three bar exams, including California, New York, and New Jersey. She also scored in the 95th percentile on the MBE, and specializes in helping students raise their MPT scores.
Looking for MPT Help?
We offer the following MPT products and services:
- MPT private tutoring for those seeking one-on-one help to pass the MPT.
- An MPT guide which takes students from the beginning to end in how to write an MPT.
- MPT feedback for those seeking structural and organizational review of practice questions.
- Real MPT questions! We offer all NCBE-released questions from 2000 to present compiled in one book.
- An MPT seminar for those seeking help on how to tackle the MPT.
Also, check out our new Free Bar Exam Resource Center, which includes our most popular free guides, posts, webinars, and more!