evidence mbeMultistate Performance Test Tips (MPT Tips): Looking to score high on the multistate performance test (MPT) ? It is well worth it to perfect your MPTs considering they are worth 20% of your overall exam score in UBE states. Here are just a few  multistate performance test tips that will help you do just that.

Multistate Performance Test Tips 

1. Start early.

Don’t put off MPTs until the last minute. Your MPT’s are worth 20% of your score. This is equivalent to 40 multiple choice questions! They are an important piece of the test, and you can give yourself a huge advantage if you start early. You should also start early if you have trouble with timed exams, if you speak English as a second language, if you have no experience working in a law firm or other practical legal experience.

2. Follow directions.

When you practice writing MPTs, you will find that there a  “task memo” enclosed. The task memo will tell you exactly what to do. Remember to follow the task memo carefully. Constantly refer back to it to make sure you are following directions. If you do not follow directions, you will not get full credit! Get in the habit of structuring your entire response around the directions contained in the task memo. And get in this habit early on! Those who can follow directions will be rewarded!

It is an easy way to gain points!

3. Figure out how to answer questions that ask you to write persuasive briefs and objective memorandums.

Persuasive briefs and objective memorandums are the most common types of MPT tasks, as you can see from this multistate performance test chart. Because these are so common, and because the likelihood is that you will receive at least one of these types of tasks, it is good to have a good strategy for them.  Read our strategies for writing a stellar persuasive brief here. Read our tips for writing an outstanding objective memorandum here.

4. Don’t shy away from “odd” MPT tasks.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), which writes the MPT, has been in the habit of occasionally giving students an unusual task to complete. For example, they will ask you to draft a contract. Or, they will ask you to draft provisions of a complaint. It is a good idea to try a couple of these more unusual tasks just in case you see something unusual on your bar exam.

So, take some time to skim an unfamiliar MPT task (e.g., Logan v. Rios from the February 2010 exam, which asked examinees to write part of an early dispute resolution statement).

If you have an unusual question on your exam, instead of panicking, you will be happy to have had the practice ahead of time.

5. Practice timing yourself.

Students fail the MPT (and the bar exam) every single exam because of a lack of time management. We have students email us because they ran out of time on the MPT. Every. Single. Exam. And their number one regret is that they did not practiced enough timed MPTs prior to the actual exam. They are usually intelligent and dedicated students who simply assumed they would have no problems with the MPT. And unfortunately, they did.

To avoid this very avoidable error, we recommend you time yourself regularly. For example, set aside one day a week to time yourself. I used to set aside every Friday morning to complete a timed exam. It doesn’t have to be a “full” timed exam every week. Start small—i.e. with one MPT—and then add more essays or MPTs each week until you are completing a full timed exam. For additional timing tips, please see this post on how to improve your timing on the MPT.

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