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What is the Multistate Performance Test? The Ultimate Guide to the MPTBar Exam Success

What is the Multistate Performance Test? The Ultimate Guide to the MPT

Passing the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) is an essential step toward becoming a lawyer in many United States jurisdictions. Learn more about the exam format, tested subjects, registration, and other crucial details.

Intro to the Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) is one of the three components of the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE). The MPT consists of two 90-minute assessments.

According to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), the MPT is designed to assess whether an examinee can apply real-world lawyering skills to an assignment with which a new lawyer would likely be tasked.

The MPT is intended to test the following six skills:

  • problem solving,
  • legal analysis and reasoning,
  • factual analysis,
  • communication,
  • organization and management of a legal task, and
  • recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas.

The NCBE provides an outline detailing these skills.

Taking the MPT

The materials for each MPT include a file and a library. The file consists of the facts of a fictitious case and will also include legal documents related to the case. The file will also contain a memorandum outlining your task. The library will contain statutes, cases, and other forms of rules. The file and library will include both relevant and irrelevant information; it’s up to you to figure out what you’ll need to complete your task. You’ll also be expected to recognize when facts are inconsistent or missing, as well as identify sources of additional facts.

MPT States and Jurisdictions

The MPT is administered in every jurisdiction that has adopted the UBE. Many non-UBE jurisdictions also use the MPT. A total of 45 United States jurisdictions administered the MPT in 2017. Those jurisdictions are:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • Guam
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Virgin Islands

Preparing for the MPT

Unlike other components of the UBE, the MPT is not a test of substantive knowledge. Thus, there is no material you’ll need to memorize for the MPT. It’s all about practice. Many examinees overlook the MPT in favor of studying for the black-letter law sections of the bar exam. Don’t fall into this trap—you’ll need to be highly efficient with your time to succeed on the MPT.

The best way to learn time management is to familiarize yourself with the structure of the test. For example, each MPT item typically includes two questions, which can vary in complexity. It’s important for examinees to be able to quickly determine how to allocate their time between the two questions. By practicing for the MPT, you’ll learn how to identify the complexity of different types of questions.

Additionally, you’ll want to pay careful attention to the instructions given in the memorandum of your MPT task. The instructions will often contain vital information about the proper format of your answer. Graders will be looking at how well your answer adheres to the instructions. These are easy points that you should never lose.

If you’ve graduated law school, you’ve already learned and developed the skills that the MPT tests. Now, you just need to apply them.

MPT Practice Questions

The NCBE provides several previous MPT questions and answers to help you study for the MPT. And if you’re in a UBE jurisdiction and are looking for more ways to prepare for the MPT, be sure to check out Quimbee Bar Review.

Quimbee’s Bar Review Course

Quimbee Bar Review offers everything you need to succeed on the MPT, including 22 practice MPTs modeled after the NCBE’s official test. With Quimbee Bar Review, you’ll never have to worry about whether you’re studying the right material for the right amount of time. Quimbee Bar Review will give you a daily study schedule, so you can focus solely on learning.

MPT Scores

Each jurisdiction grades the MPT and determines its own policy in regard to the weight given to the MPT. In UBE jurisdictions, the MPT counts for 20 percent of an examinee’s total score.

MPT Test Dates

The MPT is administered by participating jurisdictions on the Tuesday of the bar exam.

In 2019, the MPT will be administered on the following dates:

  • February 26, 2019
  • July 30, 2019