Taking the MPT Online

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The MPT is the most difficult section of the bar exam to do on a computer. There is a lot of material to sift through, and having handwritten notes on a paper next to your computer is a bit easier than having to scroll through the documents on half a laptop screen. But, it is doable. You just need to practice MPTs in this manner from now until the bar exam.

I suggest that you do at least one per week between now and the bar exam. (Now is where I would usually suggest that you do two back to back MPTs at least twice in the weeks leading up to the exam, but since the online October exam only has 1 MPT, you don’t need to do that. Sliver linings!)

You will likely be able to highlight and make notes on the MPT on your screen. You should practice doing this with every MPT you practice. Develop a system that is comfortable to you, and allows you to easily go back and find what you are looking for without re-reading everything multiple times. Your general plan should be the same:

  1. Read the assignment memo closely and make note of your role and your tasks. You can often write out point detailed headings at this stage.
  2. Go to the library and identify the relevant rules and rule structures. Write them down.
  3. Go to back to the file and read through the facts, connecting facts to the relevant components of the rules.

I generally recommend that you write a fairly detailed outline as you go through the material on the MPT, but with the MPT online it is even more important to draft a detailed outline as you read through the material. This will prevent you from having to scroll back and forth too much. It will likely be a bit more time consuming to find your notes on the computer than it would be if you had a paper packet, so put as much as you can directly into an outline in your answer field. (Highlighting everything just means you will go back and re-read everything, which is time consuming.) Then, when you are done reading through the materials, you can go back and write the complete document directly from your outline.

As always with the MPT, be very mindful of your time. You want to spend 45 minutes reading, processing, and outlining. Then spend 45 minutes writing the document. Don’t skimp on the first 45 minutes to try to rush to writing. That will only cause you to have to go back and forth through the MPT documents more times. It is better to spend time planning in the beginning. It will ultimately make your writing more orderly and complete.

It will be an adjustment to do the MPT online. But you can do it. The key, as with all of bar study, is to plan and practice.

Breathe. Plan. Practice. Be kind to yourself.