Studying for the bar exam is a long, intensive process, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to begin. But, don’t worry! We’re here to take some of the pressure off and help you determine when to start studying for the MPT.
Let’s do a quick overview of the Multistate Performance Test, or MPT, to help you understand just what you’ll be studying when you get started. The MPT is made up of two, ninety-minute sessions where you’re asked to complete a real life work assignment, such as writing a memo to a senior attorney or a bench memo.
You’ll be given a File with all the facts of the scenario and a Library that has cases, statutes, and regulations for you to review. Your job will be to parse through the materials presented in the Library and determine what’s relevant—essentially to try out those lawyer skills you’ve been learning the last three years!
Now that you have a sense of what the MPT tests, let’s talk about when to start studying for the MPT.
Timeline for Studying for the MPT
Since the MPT doesn’t require hours and hours of memorization of law, you shouldn’t dedicate as much time to it as you should the MBE and MEE. Also, the MPT is only worth 20% of your UBE score. So, time spent studying for the MBE, which makes up 50% of your UBE score, is more valuable and every minute of bar prep is essential.
However, you shouldn’t discount the MPT and not study for it at all. Many students fall into this trap since all of the relevant laws are provided to you on the MPT. Don’t fall for this common mistake. Instead, prepare for the MPT by completing practice MPTs from past bar exams to get used to the 90-minute timeframe. And be sure to review multistate performance test sample answers and MPT score sheets provided by the NCBE to understand how you could have improved your response.
When to start all this fun? If you’re following a standard two- to three-month bar study schedule, you should plan to incorporate MPT practice when you’re a month out from the bar exam. This timeframe allows you more time to spend memorizing substantive law for the MBE, but still leaves plenty of time for you to practice completing MPTs efficiently and effectively to get the most MPT points possible.
Remember that perfection is not the goal on the bar exam. Your goal is to get as many points as you can, so review our MPT tips for boosting your score and keep practicing!
Although the MPT makes up only 20% of your UBE score, you should plan to get as many of those points as possible by practicing your MPT skills during your final month of bar prep. While the MPT can seem a bit daunting, with a good deal of practice you’ll be ready to snag MPT points on test day!
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