5 MPT Bar Exam Tips to Boost Your Score

The MPT (Multistate Performance Test) is a different animal than the MBE or MEE. It tests your abilities by giving you a task that you might encounter as a practicing lawyer. This post will give you the MPT Bar Exam tips you need to feel comfortable on exam day, and boost your score.

MPT Bar Exam Tip #1: Think Like a Lawyer

When a lawyer is given an assignment by a superior, they attack it in a certain way. You’re no longer a student, looking for a grade. You are a lawyer that wants to make both your client and your supervising attorney happy. In your research, try to find a way to get the client what they want. Of course, this will not always be the case, but you should look for anything that helps the client, while still being cognizant and honest about your case’s weaknesses.

MPT Bar Exam Tip #2: Be Fast and Thorough

Just as in the real world, you don’t want to spend an extraordinarily long amount of time on tasks. However, on the Bar Exam you are especially limited. Time issues are where many students lose out. If you haven’t practiced enough, you can easily get lost in the muck and mire of the library, or analyzing one issue as opposed to covering multiple issues. So while you must be fast, you must also be thorough. The tips below will help with your precision and accuracy.

MPT Bar Exam Tip #3: Familiarize Yourself With the Instructions

The MPT uses the same general instructions every time, so be sure to know them well. (In fact, you’ll probably have practiced this portion of the exam many times, so your familiarity with the general instructions is taken care of!) On the exam itself, skim the instructions as a refresher if you must, but don’t waste a lot of time here.

MPT Bar Exam Tip #4: Plan How to Tackle the Task

The File

The top sheet of your file will include the task. Read this carefully. Notate or highlight what type of task it is. Are they asking for a brief, a memo, a letter? Whatever it is, make sure to carry this with you through the rest of the question.

Here are a few helpful hints for tackling your file:

  • Pay attention to the issues. Don’t skim these, because they guide everything you will do next.
  • The relevant facts are here. Make a note of them.
  • Be on the lookout for numbered lists. These can be lists of elements or issues. Whatever it is, you can be sure that it is important.

The Library

After reading the file, you should skim the materials in the library you are given. Does the library solely consist of cases? Is it a mix of statutes and cases? The idea here is to get a feel for what you have to work with.

The Rules

You know the facts—now it’s time to zoom in on the rules. Read the packet carefully, notating the relevant rules that will be the building blocks for your analysis. Realize that there will be extraneous information in the packet, so weed out anything that doesn’t pertain to the facts of your case.

The Statutes

You may be given far more information than you need to develop your analysis. Look for what is relevant. Then go to the cases and look for modifications, clarifications, or interpretations of the relevant statutes. Note the jurisdictions. Then go back and skim the statutes again, looking for anything of relevance you may have missed.

Your Outline

Notice that in all of the above I repeatedly said to notate things. These notations are your outline. However you do it, make it readable (at least to yourself) and keep it as organized as you can, given the time constraints.

MPT Bar Exam Tip #5: Set a Time Limit

You have 45 minutes to accomplish all of the above. It’s a lot, so stay on task and don’t get sidetracked with research. At the 45-minute mark, stop researching and start writing.

If you’ve practiced enough and become proficient at quick and thorough outlining, the writing portion should be relatively easy. Keep it clean. Use headers and subheaders. Guide the grader through your work so it is clear, and easy for them to give you points!

 
Looking for more MPT Bar Exam tips? Check out our helpful posts on practice exams and point sheets!

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