In this post, we discuss how to study for the MPT in the most efficient way possible. The MPT is worth 20% of your score in a Uniform Bar Exam state. It is an important part of the exam! These five tips should help you learn how to study for the MPT and gain points quickly and efficiently!
How to Study for the MPT in the most Efficient Way Possible
1. Get an overview of what the MPT is.
The MPT consists of two, 90-minute “real world” legal tasks. You don’t have to know any law walking into the MPT. The MPT tests real-life legal tasks that attorneys often face in practice, such as drafting a complaint, objective memorandum or client letter. You will receive two sets of documents for each MPT: (1) the File, and (2) the Library. Here is a brief overview of each:
Task Memo: This document tells you what you’re supposed to do and who you are writing to. It also tells you which issues need to be addressed.
Factual Documents: These documents may include deposition transcripts, interviews, pleadings, discovery documents, etc. Keep in mind that not every document will be necessary to answer the question. Also keep in mind that some of the documents might be incomplete, ambiguous or conflicting, just like in the “real world.”
The library will contain cases, statutes, rules, regulations, or some other form of law. Like the factual documents, some law may be relevant and some may not. Read everything contained in the library and don’t assume anything while you read the law. (Even if you know the law, the bar examiners may have changed portions of it for the specific MPT — so pay attention to what you are given!)
2. Get an overview of the MPT formats.
There are certain ways you should format your answer to each type of task on the MPT. We recommend you memorize these MPT formats so that you feel confident walking into the MPT and so you don’t waste any time trying to figure out how to format your answer on the real exam.
Another bonus of having the right format? A grader will immediately be able to see that you know what you’re doing! Having a well-formatted answer will instantly instill confidence in you!
3. Come up with a strategy for tackling the MPT portion.
We generally recommend that students (a) read the task memo, (b) read the library and then (c) read the facts in the file as they begin outlining their answer. We find that this is an efficient way to tackle the MPT and that students can save time by getting a head start on writing their answer. However, you may find that a different approach works better for you. Perhaps you want to read the file before the library.
The only way to know for sure what works best for you is to practice. That brings us to our next point on how to study for the MPT….
Practicing is truly how to study for the MPT in the most efficient way possible. When it comes down to it, the MPT tests skills (specifically, these six skills). Ultimately, it tests whether you can communicate effectively in response to a specific task in a short period of time. Even if you are a “good writer” please take the MPT seriously! It does not test how well you can write. It tests your ability to analyze and respond to a task–in 90 minutes.
The best way to hone these skills is the same way you hone any skill–by practice. So, make sure to practice answering MPT questions before the exam.
If you are looking for MPT questions, answers, and student answers in one convenient place, check out our MPT books. These have everything you need in one place.
5. Hone your MPT skills with a few extra tricks.
A few things that will help you conquer the MPT and stand out on the exam are the following:
- First, we recommend you self-grade each MPT you answer when you practice. This is much more helpful than just reading the NCBE point sheets or handing your MPT into a grader to evaluate. This is how you truly improve on your MPT!
- Next, learn how to use MPT sample answers to improve your score on the MPT. MPT sample answers can go a long way in helping you with organization, structure, and confidence!
- Remember to commonly refer to the task memo in the MPT. It is the most important document in your MPT as it will tell you exactly what to do! Students who lose site of the task assigned end up missing out on a lot of points!
- Pay attention to footnotes. If a case has footnotes, they are often there to see how detail-oriented you are. So, cite them in your MPT answer. It makes you look lawyerly and detailed-oriented.
- Pay attention to where the cases in the file are from. If the case is a case from the Olympia jurisdiction but you are in Franklin, make note that the Olympia case is merely persuasive, rather than binding, authority. Small things like this can make a big difference in your score.
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!