how long to study for the mptI ran out of time on the MPT. Does that mean I failed the bar exam?

If you ran out of time on the MPT, you are not alone! In fact, it is very common to run out of time on the multistate performance test (MPT) section of the bar exam. Some students (particularly in Uniform Bar Exam or “UBE” states) find that they spend too long on the first MPT and end up rushing through the second MPT. At worst, students only write a couple sentences. At best, they write more than a few sentences and still answer the essential parts of the MPT but do not provide a complete answer. 

I ran out of time on the MPT. Does that mean I failed the bar exam?

Running out of time is certainly not ideal and it can put you in a panicked mindset. But, it is quite common! We get email after email from students who have this very same experience. Many students think they are alone (so most bar exam takers do not talk about their performance or do not want to admit to running out of time on the MPT!). But you are not alone. The graders will see multiple answers that suffer from timing issues! So, yours will probably not stand out in their minds as being exceptionally unusual.

A few notes to keep in mind if you ran out of time on the MPT:

  • If you wrote something, you will get some credit. The more you wrote, the more credit you will get! But just because you fall short on time, does not mean you will get a zero! You may score higher than you think.
  • The MPT is not worth as much as the other portions of the bar exam. In most states, an MPT is worth about 10% or less of your total score. In UBE states, each MPT is worth 10% of your score (so the MPT is worth 20% total). So if you ran out of time for one MPT, you should still be able to pick up some credit – maybe 5% of the total 10% allocated. So running out of time on the MPT does not mean you will fail the bar exam!
  • If you ran out of time on one MPT, you probably provided a stellar answer to the other MPT (or if you are not in a UBE state, the other essays you were assigned)! Or at least a complete answer! Remember you can make up for a lower score on one MPT with a higher score on the other portions!
  • You are not alone! We stated this above but want to reiterate it. The graders above will see others who ran out of time on the MPT as well. The graders will also understand that you were under the time constraints and pressure of the bar exam. (They know what it is like to take the bar exam!) So keep this in mind!
  • Get in the right mindset to complete the test if you still have portions left. The MPT is behind you! There is no sense mulling over it. What’s done is done. Think positively and optimistically about the remaining portions. You can still certainly succeed on the bar exam without completing the MPT portion in time. It happens every single exam!

Good luck on the remaining portions of the exam!

  • Looking for MPT Help?

    We offer the following MPT products and services:

    • An MPT seminar for those seeking help on how to tackle the MPT.
    • An MPT guide which takes students from the beginning to end in in how to write an MPT.
    • MPT feedback for those seeking structural and organizational review of practice questions.
    • Real MPT questions! We offer all MPT released questions from 2000 to present compiled in one book.

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