fail the mpre, survive law schoolWhat if I fail the MPRE?

If you fail the MPRE, you are not alone! Despite its (undeserved) reputation for being an “easy” test, a large percentage of students fail the MPRE every single administration.

What if I fail the MPRE?

You may be wondering what happens if you fail the MPRE. The good news is – not much! The names of those who took the MPRE are not public. Nobody can find out that you failed the MPRE unless you share that information with them. And you can simply retake the MPRE at a later date.

There can also be some beneficial consequences to failing the MPRE: for example, some students who fail the MPRE say that they work harder when they study for the bar exam. Some have even attributed passing the bar exam on the first time to a prior MPRE failure.

There are, of course, potential negative consequences of failing the MPRE as well. For example, if you fail the MPRE, you may suffer extra anxiety when you study for the bar exam. It may lower your self-confidence. Also, some jurisdictions only allow you to take the bar exam a certain number of times without a passing MPRE score. (Most jurisdictions allow you to take the bar exam once without passing the MPRE, but this is worth it to look into when you determine which MPRE exam you will take next!)

What should I do if I fail the MPRE?

If you fail the MPRE, we recommend changing your approach for the next exam. Here are some tips on how to change your approach:

1. Start early

Sometimes students fail the MPRE because they try to study for it in two days. Instead, start early and space out your studying over time. This will give you time to learn the rules and practicing answering multiple-choice questions.

2. Learn the law first!

A lot of students dive right into MPRE practice questions when they study for the MPRE. This is generally not a winning approach. The reason for this is that you are trying to apply the law but you have not even learned the law! Further, while answering questions is a great way to actively review the law and will help the law be more memorable to you, you will get much more out of it if you actually take the time to learn the highly tested laws first. That way, if you answer a question incorrectly, you know where it fits in the “bigger picture” of the law and you are much likely to remember the law that you had forgotten.

If you want a convenient way to learn the law, check out our MPRE cheat sheet here.

3. Study smart.

When you are reviewing the law, pay close attention to the highly tested areas. For example, nobody really seems to love learning about Conflicts of Interest. However, it makes up a large percentage of your overall exam score (lawyer-client relations makes up 10-16%!). Other rules are much less significant (judicial conduct makes up 2-8% of MPRE questions; lawyers duties to the public and legal system makes up 2-8%, etc.). By focusing on the “big ticket” items, you will be preparing intelligently for the MPRE.

4. Use real MPRE questions.

Many students use questions invented by a commercial course. These questions are not bad, but they are also not the best source of questions. We recommend that you use real questions released by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. These questions will be much closer to what you see on the actual exam. (Note: You will not see these actual questions repeated. However, they reflect the format and difficulty of the actual MPRE so they are worth studying!)

5. Get help if you need it.

If the MPRE is a high-stakes exam for you (e.g., it is the last hurdle to practicing law or you are flying in from a different country to take it), if you have failed the MPRE multiple times, or if you simply want to make sure you pass the MPRE the next time you take it, then don’t be afraid to seek outside help! If you are considering using an MPRE tutor, check out this post which gives guidance on whether you should get an MPRE tutor.

  • 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.