The August 2017 MPRE is this Saturday and you should be preparing for it now. I compare the MPRE to the written test to get your driver’s license- it’s easy IF you know the material. However, if you don’t read the little booklet with the rules of the road, you won’t know how many seconds it takes for a car going 65 MPH to come to a full stop (approximately 316 feet). The MPRE works the same way- you only need to get a little more than 50% of the questions correct but in order to do this, you have to learn the material and how it is tested.
The MPRE covers a lot more material than the driver’s license test so plan to spend 12-15 hours preparing. Not all topics are tested equally so it’s not a great idea to try to learn all the material. Instead, start with the MPRE subject matter outline to see what is tested. For example, there will be at least 7 questions on conflicts of interest but only 1-2 on safekeeping funds. Also take a look at the MPRE Key Words and Phrases which is exactly what it sounds like: key words and phrases the MPRE questions will include. Once you know what is tested, you want to see how it is tested. Use the MPRE Sample Test Questions written by the NCBE. These questions are illustrative of what will appear on the actual MPRE.
Now that you have a sense of the what and how, it’s time to practice. Commercial bar prep companies have free MPRE prep classes that provide detailed outlines and plenty of practice questions. Do them and review them. You can read previous posts here and here on how to get the most out of practice questions.
You want to pass the MPRE so take the test seriously. Put in the time and effort and don’t make excuses. Pass it and move on.
Less than two weeks until the March 2017 MPRE which means you need to start studying now. In a previous post I talked about the MPRE in general so today I’ll focus more on how to make the most out of practice questions.
Doing practice questions should be a key part of your MPRE study plan. You need to see what material is tested and how it is tested. You want to know what questions you get right and what questions you miss. However, you have to do more than look at the results. Knowing that you got 55% or 75% correct isn’t enough. A number is not feedback.
- You have to know how you got that score: Did you know it or did you guess? Did you answer questions immediately after reviewing material?
- You have to know why you got questions wrong: Did you not understand the topic? Did you miss the issue? Did you miss important facts? Did you misread the question?
- You have to know why you missed some questions but got others correct: Did you miss tough questions and get easier ones right? Did you consistently miss/get correct questions on a particular topic? Did you miss more at the beginning? End?
In order to change the outcome, you must change the input. You must analyze the process- what you did and why you did it- to determine how you achieved the outcome. The good news is that this doesn’t require doing hundreds of practice questions. It does require focused effort and a little patience. The best part about doing self-assessment is that it’s really good practice for the MBE. More on that in a future post…
For those of you planning on taking the MPRE in 2017, the NCBE has increased the test fees. On-time registration is now $95 and late registration is $190. You might not be thrilled about the price increase but $95 is better than $190 so be sure to register on time to avoid paying double. Below are the 2017 test dates and registration deadlines but you don’t have to wait until the deadline to register. In fact, registration for ALL the 2017 test dates opens on December 12th. Your best bet is to plan ahead, pick a test date, earmark $95 and register as soon as you can.
Test Date Regular Registration Late Registration
March 18, 2017 January 26, 2017 February 2, 2017
August 12, 2017 June 22, 2017 June 29, 2017
November 4, 2017 September 14, 2017 September 21, 2017
More information on the MPRE including how to register and score services is available on NCBE website.
Not sure how to study for the MPRE? Check back in February as the Bar Exam Wizard will have a post (or two) on MPRE study strategies. In addition, most commercial bar prep companies offer free MPRE courses with no strings attached (you don’t have to sign up for the bar prep course in order to get the MPRE course).
The November administration of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) is in a few weeks and it’s time to start preparing.
Administered by the NCBE, the MPRE is a 60-question multiple choice test. 50 questions are graded and 10 are pre-test questions. The test is scored from 50-150 and in Ohio you need an 85 to pass. At first glance, you might think all you have to do to pass is spell your name correctly. After all, 100 is the mid-way point and 85 is below that. Yes, the pass score isn’t that high but you still have to know the material. You can find this out the hard way or you can prepare properly and pass the first time.
Passing the MPRE requires you to study and practice. First, learn what material is going to be tested. The NCBE has a MPRE subject matter outline with the scope of coverage and percentage of items included in each major area. This is helpful in order to see which topics are more heavily tested. For example, you can expect 6-9 questions on Conflicts of Interest but only 1-2 questions on a Lawyer’s Duties to the Public and Legal System.
Next, familiarize yourself with the material. Most commercial bar prep companies have free MPRE prep courses. Sign up for one (or more) and use the study material. The MPRE isn’t like a law school exam where you need to spend hours and hours going over your outline. Instead, learn the material in context by working through practice questions with your outline. Check each question as you answer it instead of answering sets of questions and then looking at the explanations. We learn from our mistakes so it’s best to catch them as we make them, not 20-30 minutes later.
After you’ve done a few sets of questions with your outline, you can switch to “practice for performance” mode and answer questions without your notes. Give yourself a few hours for this because you will miss a lot of questions at first. You have to remind your brain you know the information and this will take some time. What you should notice is that the more you practice (and check your work) the less mistakes you make.
Finally, your goal should be to do your best, not just to pass. It is better to over-study than to set the bar too low and fail. The bottom line is, it’s your $95 so it’s your choice if you want to spend it on another MPRE or on something else.