If you are looking for a great Multistate Performance Test strategy to conquer the MPT, we have you covered! Here we give you a specific strategy to use when you approach the multistate performance test as well as some extra tips to boost your score!
A Stellar Multistate Performance Test Strategy to Conquer the MPT
1.Read the MPT in this order: (1) task memo; (2) library, then (3) file.
Many students read an MPT in order. So, they’ll read the task memo (which tells them what to write and what tone to use), the file (which has documents that contain the facts of the case) then the library (which has the law in cases or statutes).
We recommend instead that you read the task memo first, then the library, then the file. When you read the library, get a general feel for the law. If you are given cases, pay close attention to other cases referenced within the case as well as the facts of the case. However, do not brief every case or you will run out of time!
Once you are done reading the library, review the file and follow our next piece of advice…
2. When you get to the file, start outlining your answer.
Now you have read the task memo, so you know what you are supposed to write. And you have read the library, so you have a general idea of the applicable rule.
Now you only have the file (e.g., the facts of the case) left. As you are going through the file, start organizing your answer. Figure out what the important facts are and don’t be afraid to refer back to the library for cases or statutes that you have read. You can draft your answer as you go alone.
MPT tip: Besides outlining your answer, the other thing you should be doing at this point is referring back to the task memo. You want to make sure you are answering the questions posed and in the proper tone. The way to ensure you are following instructions as close as possible is to keep going back to this task memo!
3. Do your homework ahead of time.
An easy way to pick up points is to make sure you are using the proper MPT formats. So memorize the MPT formats ahead of time. This will save you time on the actual bar exam. And it will immediately convey to the grader that you know what you are doing!
If the grader sees you have the proper format, it will immediately give them confidence in your answer. So make sure to format your MPT correctly!
4. Keep in mind what the MPT tests.
Many students never bother to read exactly what the MPT tests. If you want to develop the best multistate performance test strategy, it is critical to know what you are being tested on! Check out this post for the six skills that the MPT tests. Here are a few things that may surprise you about these six skills:
- One of the things that bar exam takers are graded on is whether they complete the MPT task. Just finishing the task can provide you with points! Thus, if you are nowhere near finishing the task at the 10- or 20-minute mark, wrap it up!
- Identifying and diagnosing the problem is something you are tested on. So make it a regular part of your multistate performance test strategy to restate the problem! This is so easy to do as often you are told the problem in your task memo. Simply restating it will get you points!
- Communication is something you are scored on, including assessing the perspective of the recipient of the communication. So, are you talking to a lawyer or a client? Just knowing when to use legalese and when to use layman’s terms can get you points!
5. Show you pay close attention to detail.
If you want to go the extra mile on an MPT, show that you can pay close attention to detail. Ultimately, if you are detail-oriented, you will do a better job analyzing the facts and completing a comprehensive legal analysis. Some ways to pick up a few points:
- If cases are cited within cases in the library (as they often are) make sure to address the cases cited. Try to address each of the cases cited, even if only briefly.
- The best way to get points when cases are in the library is to compare the facts of your given case to the facts in the cases.
- If you see footnotes in the library, make note of them! This shows a close attention to detail.
- If your library has excerpts of statutes in it, many times the statutory provisions will list elements that you are supposed to discuss in detail in your task. More often than not, the cases in your library will illustrate the elements found in the statute.
- If a case is merely persuasive authority (i.e., from a different jurisdiction) or binding (i.e., from the same jurisdiction) make note of this. It shows the grader your lawyerly ability to distinguish between binding and persuasive authority.
If you have any questions about our recommended multistate performance test strategy, please feel free to contact us or post in the comments below!
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