5 MPT Review Tasks If You Failed The Bar Exam
While studying for the bar, many students underestimate the MPT. People mistakenly believe it is an easy assignment because the laws and cases are prepared. However, if the MPT is not given the respect it deserves when studying, students will tank this portion of the exam along with their hopes of passing the bar.
If you failed the MPT, use these 5 MPT review tasks to better understand why you didn’t excel and better prepare for the next exam!
5 MPT Review Tasks If You Failed The Bar Exam
1. Did I run out of time?
Time management is the most important part of the MPT. Completing two tasks in three hours is not an easy feat. Some students spend so much time reading the file and trying to retain the information, that they do not leave themselves enough time to write the actual assignment. Other students focus too much on formatting to make it look pretty for the reader that they lose points on actual substance. The general rule is to spend 45 minutes reading and outlining the answer and the other 45 minutes actually constructing the answer.
2. Was I prepared for ALL of the various MPT tasks?
The MPT is not always a simple memo like many students think. There are four different tasks that exam makers can assign. Students focus too much on the objective memo format or the persuasive brief, but examiners can also ask for a demand or opinion letter. Students should be prepared to answer whatever is asked by the examiners. Being comfortable with the objective memo format is not enough to guarantee a good score. Students who familiarize themselves with the various tasks perform better than those who focus on just one type of MPT. The bottom line is that you need to read the instructions of each MPT thoroughly to be prepared to address the issue in the manner the examiners require. Students can become comfortable with the various types of MPTs by creating outlines here.
3. Did I quote case law instead of making comparisons?
Bar examiners do not ask test-takers to provide case briefs. The MPT is not a tool to measure how well students can read a case. The goal is to identify the rules in the case and distinguish the cases in the library from the case in the task memo. One mistake students make is that they cite a large portion of the cases in the library, but fail to state how those rules apply to the issue assigned. Students should focus on identifying a few sentences from the opinion that identify the legal rules, and then compare those rules to the situation in the task.
4. Did I answer the question asked?
Many students report feeling overwhelmed by the MPT after the test. They were unsure where to start between the task memo, the case law, and the statutes. Students can get so caught up in the details that they fail to see the forest through the trees. The most important thing to do for an MPT task is to first understand what is being asked. Once a student understands what is expected in the answer he or she can begin reviewing the material with the end game in mind. Know what you need to produce so you can understand what you are looking for when you read through the library. Doing this will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed by all of the information provided.
5. Did I practice enough MPTs?
Again, students often think the MPT is the easiest part of the exam and prioritize other parts of the exam. When preparing for the exam, think about the MPT like this, one MPT is worth about 70 MBE questions. This is a lot of points to leave on the table if you are unprepared. While we are not saying the MBE and MPT should be studied equally, the MPT equals roughly 20% of your score in a UBE state. Therefore, the MPT should receive about 20% of your time.
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