Many students use multistate performance test (MPT) sample answers when they study for the MPT. These sample answers are available on some state’s websites (such as the Georgia Board of Bar Examiners website). We also include MPT sample answers in the MPT books that we sell in our online store.
What are MPT sample answers?
They are student answers that were scored high on the actual bar exam. MPT sample answers can be very helpful tools in analyzing how you performed on an MPT. In this post we will tell you how to use an MPT sample answer – and how not to use it.
How to Use an MPT Sample Answer
The best way to use an MPT sample answer is to review it after you have already completed an MPT. Then compare your answer side-by-side with the MPT sample answer. Some things you will want to look at are as follows:
- How did the student format the MPT sample answer? E.g., Did they use a caption? Did they have a statement of facts? Did they use headings? (And were their headings objective or persuasive?) Ask yourself if your answer generally reflects the format of the MPT sample answer.
- How long was the MPT sample answer? You don’t want to obsess over this too much, but if your answer was only a half-page and the MPT sample answer is three pages, it is worth examining how much you wrote. The MPT sample answer will give you a good idea of what is realistic to write in the allotted time.
- What issues did the MPT sample answer focus on? Did you allocate about the same amount of space to the issues? Part of writing a good MPT answer is knowing what to focus on and what not to focus on.
- How were the issues in the MPT sample answer generally analyzed? Did you analyze the issues in about the same depth? Did you discuss all the salient issues?
- What general conclusion did you arrive at (when applicable)? Was it arguably the right conclusion?
Note: Your answer will not look the same as an MPT sample answer! So it is important to not put too undue weight on the MPT sample answer.
How NOT to Use an MPT Sample Answer
Here are a few important ways you should not be using MPT sample answers:
- Do not use MPT sample answers as a substitute for the official MPT point sheet. While the MPT point sheet will not visually show you the formatting of the MPT, the MPT point sheet will have a significant amount of information – including an overview of formatting guidelines, important points, etc. It will also talk about exactly what kind of answer it seeks and the issues you should have addressed.
- Do not be too hard on yourself if the sample answer discussed something you did not or vice versa. There is often a lot of information in a single MPT. While you want to hit on all the main points, do not worry if your answer does not mirror the sample answers. Even the high scoring student answers look different from one another! So it is very possible to write something different and still get a high score.
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