Today is the results release date of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) given in March. Some students feel relieved to have the MPRE over with. Others, however, find that they failed the MPRE and are left wondering what went wrong. “I failed the MPRE. What should I do?” is a question we hear a lot more often than you may think!
First, relax. You can take the MPRE again. It is not a one-shot deal. If you still have additional semesters of law school left, you should feel even more relaxed as it will not delay your ability to take the bar exam (in fact, only a few states make it a prerequisite to taking the bar exam. Most states allow you to take the bar exam prior to passing the MPRE).
Second, there may be a silver lining. In fact, some students even tell us they are glad they failed the MPRE! Why is that? Here are the benefits students tell me they see from failing the MPRE:
- You are forced to examine your study skills early on and fine-tune them prior to studying for the bar exam.
- it will help you take the bar exam very seriously. Some students go into the bar exam with an inflated sense of confidence which affects their ability to study as effectively as they would otherwise. However, students who failed the MPRE tend not to do this! They know that standardized tests can be tricky!
- Lastly, if your state bar exam tests Professional Responsibility on the bar exam, you will be extra prepared for it! Having to go through the MPRE more than once will help you to really learn and internalize the most highly-tested material.
Now that we know that failing the MPRE isn’t the worst thing that can happen, let’s look at how to pass the MPRE the next time. Here are some questions to reflect on prior to signing up for the next MPRE.
Questions to Reflect On If you Failed the MPRE:
1. Do I need to dedicate more time to studying for the MPRE?
A weekend is not enough to learn all of the law covered on the MPRE for most students. Many students do not dedicate enough time to studying after they hear how “easy” the MPRE is from their peers. (As a side-note: I am not sure why there always seems to be a rumor going around that the MPRE is easy — It is actually a tricky exam. It is hard to pick out the right answer when you are taking a multiple choice exam on legal ethics – which is one of the most easily-debated areas of law!) You truly need to put in the time to learn the law tested on the MPRE and learn how to apply it.
2. Do I need to study for the MPRE in a better way?
Did you actively and repeatedly review your outline? If not, start by doing that! Read, re-read and quiz yourself on your outline. Don’t just glance over your outline then answer a bunch of questions — that is not the best way to learn the law.
We also highly recommend you make a one or two page MPRE “attack” outline closer to the end of your studies. This can help bring everything together.
3. Did I practice enough MPRE questions?
If your answer to this question is, “Yes I did every question in the book!” maybe it is worth it to look at different questions, slow down, and take a more methodical approach. It is also a good idea to obtain a variety of questions. Start by looking at the sample questions and buy the practice exam from the ncbex.org website. If you only did Kaplan questions, add in some Barbri questions or questions from other sources. There is also a plethora of free online MPRE questions (stay tuned as we will be writing a post on this soon!).
4. Was I getting a high enough score on my practice questions?
To see what a passing score in your jurisdiction is, please read this post. If you are wondering if you are achieving a passing score when you practice, please read this post to find out about how many questions you should be answering correctly when you practice (and it may surprise you to know that it is almost the same number of questions that you need to be answering correctly to pass no matter what a “passing score” is in your jurisdiction!)
5. Should I consider tutoring?
If you have any questions about the MPRE or if you are looking for MPRE tutoring or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We help students pass the MPRE each administration. We tutor students for sometimes two hours alone to teach the multiple-choice strategies that help them on both the MPRE and the bar exam. Some students sign up for our “full” MPRE tutoring — or five two-hour sessions. We have a very high success rate!
Looking to Pass the MPRE?
We offer the following services:
- A free MPRE Course which provides you with high-quality and tailored instruction focused on the highly tested areas of the MPRE. You can also get real MPRE questions with the course here.
- MPRE private tutoring to help you learn everything you need to pass the MPRE, including an MPRE outline and an MPRE study plan tailored to your individualized needs.
- A variety of excellent and free MPRE resources to help you conquer the MPRE.