Failing The MPT

Can I Pass The UBE While Failing The MPT?

The multistate performance test is perhaps one of the most difficult, yet overlooked, portions of the Bar Exam. Students don’t always dedicate the necessary time to preparing for the MPT. We often get panicked students who think they’ve failed the MPT and therefore failed the entire exam as a result. Students often run out of time or get overwhelmed by the sheer number of documents in the file and library. Others may have answered in the wrong format or missed the overall theme of the question. Is it likely a student can pass the UBE while failing the MPT?

Can I Pass The UBE While Failing The MPT?

We encourage test-takers to practice the MPT as much as possible in order to avoid the scenarios mentioned above. However, if you have already taken the Bar Exam and are having second thoughts about your MPT, you’re not alone. If you think your MPT performance will be the reason for a repeat performance, we have some good news. Struggling on the MPT alone is unlikely to cause you to fail the Bar Exam in a UBE jurisdiction.

The Breakdown 

In UBE jurisdictions, the MPT is worth the least amount percentage-wise when compared to the other sections. UBE jurisdiction MPTs differ slightly from those in states like California. UBE states have two MPT questions that are each worth 10% of your overall score. Therefore, 20% of your exam score in a UBE jurisdiction is based on the MPTs. The luxury of having multiple MPTs has to do with your allocation of points between the two.

The Allocation of Points

Imagine that one of the MPTs absolutely took you as a prisoner of war, while the other wasn’t so bad. As a prisoner of war, you managed to score 50% of the total available points. On the other MPT, you scored 80% of the available points. The beauty of essay questions is that you can still score points even when you don’t know the law. Remember, graders want to see how well you can properly analyze the facts. Writing down anything is automatic points. Writing down nothing gets you nowhere!

In this example, 50% of 10 is 5 and 80% of 10 is 8. That means that between the two MPTs you scored 13% of points available out of the 20% total. Doesn’t seem so scary anymore, huh?

Remember Everything You Did Correctly

While it’s easy to look back on everything that went wrong on the test, look back on the positives too. If you ran out of time, missed an overarching point, or incorrectly formatted your answer – you’re not alone. Seriously. Thousands of test-takers experience the same breakdowns in MPT performance.

If you experienced difficulty on the MPT for whatever reason, here’s what likely happened in your favor. We often see students who run out of time provide amazing answers to the first MPT. They spend the majority of their time focusing, analyzing, and writing out the answer to the first MPT. That leaves the second MPT with less time to be answered and a more frazzled answer. The answer you provided to your first MPT should help balance out your shortcomings on the second one.

If you had trouble with an area of the MPT, chances are others likely found it difficult as well. Graders are aware of the time constraints and pressures that students are under. If graders see plenty of students who ran out of time, that means their point allocations will reflect that struggle.

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