Although the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) might seem like a walk in the park compared to the bar exam, you don’t want a failed MPRE standing between you and a law license.
For those of you cramming for the MPRE, here are 8 last-second tips for passing the MPRE:
- Read the last sentence of the prompt first (i.e., the actual question). This will help you know what to look for when reading the rest of the prompt. The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) provides a list of common terms used in MPRE prompts and how to interpret them.
- Similarly, when reading through the prompt, start to formulate what you think the correct answer choice might look like. By doing so, you’re less likely to waste time analyzing incorrect choices.
- Eliminate answer choices that contradict the facts in the prompt. MPRE questions will sometimes include answer choices that don’t even align with the facts is presented in the prompt. Pay attention to this–it’s an easy way to eliminate incorrect answer choices.
- Focus on the behavior of the lawyer. MPRE questions will often include irrelevant facts in order to distract you. Remember, the MPRE is testing you on the “standards related to the professional conduct of lawyers.” Any information that isn’t relevant to the behavior of an attorney is typically a red herring.
- If you’re not taking an MPRE review course (like the one offered by Quimbee), at least know the subjects that are tested. The NCBE provides a detailed subject matter outline. You can even use this outline to create your own outline, filling in relevant legal rules.
- Familiarize yourself with test-day policies. Taking standardized tests is stressful enough on its own–don’t waste any extra energy on ensuring that you have everything at the last second. Prepare everything you’ll need for test day at least one day before the exam.
- Take as many practice questions as possible. If you’re studying the day before the exam, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to retain much new information. Your time will be better spent familiarizing yourself with the structure of the MPRE’s questions.
- Many of the rules in legal ethics fall under the realm of common sense. So if you’re ever in doubt on an MPRE question, just rely on your basic instincts.
Fortunately, your American Bar Association (ABA) student membership gets you more comprehensive help on the MPRE. All ABA student members have access to Quimbee’s all-new MPRE prep course as part of their extended free trials (ABA premium student members get a 90-day trial, and regular student members get a 30-day trial, absolutely free). Quimbee MPRE prep includes practice questions designed to mimic questions you’ll encounter on the real test. You’ll also have access to 590+ ethics flashcards keyed to MPRE subjects, as outlined by the NCBE. Plus, you’ll fire up your MPRE prep with Quimbee’s 30 legal ethics videos, complete with multiple-choice quizzes and answer explanations. Quimbee MPRE prep is the most complete MPRE review on the market!
About the MPRE
The MPRE is often the forgotten little sibling of the bar exam. Although most states administer the MPRE independently of the bar exam, the MPRE is required for admission to the bars of all but three U.S. jurisdictions (Wisconsin, Maryland, and Puerto Rico). Plus, the Connecticut and New Jersey bars accept the completion of a law-school course on professional responsibility in lieu of the MPRE.
In jurisdictions that require the MPRE, applicants must obtain a passing MPRE score before they can be admitted to the bar. In some states, such as Massachusetts, applicants must pass the MPRE before they can even sit for the bar exam.
The MPRE tests your knowledge of the ethics rules regarding the practice of law. According to the NCBE, the purpose of the MPRE is to “measure examinees’ knowledge and understanding of established standards related to the professional conduct of lawyers.” The MPRE’s questions are largely based on the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, but they also cover relevant court decisions as well as procedural and evidentiary rules.
The MPRE consists of 60 multiple-choice questions: 50 scored questions and 10 unscored questions. Each question on the MPRE is followed by four possible answers. You’ll have two hours to complete the exam.
The MPRE is scored on a scale that ranges from 50-100. Each jurisdiction sets its own minimum passing score. Passing scores range from 75-86, with most jurisdictions setting their minimum at either 80 or 85.
The MPRE is offered three time per year, typically in March, August, and November. Be sure to register early—the regular registration fee is $95, while the late fee is $190. You can find all of the relevant dates on the NCBE’s website.
The exam is developed by NCBE and administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). You might be surprised to see LSAC back in your life—you probably thought you were done with them when you started law school. Hopefully, you’re still on speaking terms with LSAC, though, because you’ll have to register for the MPRE through its website.