In this post, we have a short checklist of things to keep in mind as you write an answer to a multistate performance test question. It can be helpful to go through this checklist as you begin writing your answer to make sure that you are following directions and maximizing your points.
Multistate Performance Test Checklist
If you want to remember a mnemonic to help you remember the parts of this Multistate Performance Test checklist, you can use the mnemonic “TOAD” (tone, organization, audience, and directions).
Am I writing in an objective or a persuasive tone?
For an objective memorandum and opinion letter, your tone is generally objective. For a persuasive memo or a demand letter, your tone should be persuasive. The examiners will certainly be looking to see if you are writing in the proper tone so make sure you do this from the outset!
If you are asked to write objectively, you should readily acknowledge strengths and weaknesses of your case. You can say “on one hand” and “on the other hand.” If you are asked to write persuasively, virtually every single task will still ask you to acknowledge weaknesses (rather than ignoring them) but you want to persuasively argue that the weaknesses shouldn’t make a big difference in the outcome. Thus, your tone will be different.
Am I organizing my answer correctly and writing in the proper format?
You want to make sure you are using the proper format and organization when you approach MPTs! If you are writing a letter, you want to start with a caption, for example, saying who you are and who the recipient is.
A well-organized Multistate Performance Test answer will give the grader instant confidence in you. If you want to see attack formats for each type of MPT, check out this post or download our MPT one-sheet for free here!
Am I writing to a lawyer or a client?
For most tasks – the objective memo, persuasive brief, and demand letter, you will be writing to a lawyer.
Usually, if you are asked to write an opinion letter, you will be writing to a client. If you are writing to a client, be mindful of the amount of “legalese” you use. The grader will be awarding points based on whether you are able to appropriately communicate with your audience.
Am I following directions?
Closely read the task memo! If the task memo asks you to eliminate the statement of facts, then don’t write a separate statement of facts! If it asks you to skip certain sections of the assignment, skip those. Continuously go back to the task memo to make sure you are following directions. This is the most important thing you can do to maximize your score!
We hope this Multistate Performance Test checklist helps you maximize your points on the MPT portion of the bar exam! If you have any questions about this, you are welcome to post in the comments below or contact us. We’d love to hear from you.
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- Real MPT questions! We offer all NCBE-released questions from 2000 to present compiled in one book.
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