An Ultimate Guide to MPT Passing Score, Scaled Score and Percentiles
The Multistate Performance Test (MPT®) is one of the three sections of the bar exam used to examine the ability to use lawyering skills at a fundamental level on essential tasks in a realistic legal situation. Depending on your jurisdiction, this test can account for a significant percentage of your bar exam score.
Below, we answer questions about the MPT scoring, including the MPT score range and other commonly asked questions. Continue reading for answers.
How is the MPT Graded/Scored?
In scoring the MPT, jurisdictions use what's known as "relative grading." This means that each answer is scored and ranked in a fashion that's relative to other answers on the test. Generally, a raw score is given by grading each answer on a numbered scale based on its difficulty level. Raw scores vary between jurisdictions, and most don't publicize that information.
MPT Grading Scale and Score Conversion
While it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the MPT grading scale has the same basic formula. Each question is rated on the given scale. Then those scores are combined to create your raw MPT score. That raw score is then scaled to the MBE to determine the final grade/MPT passing score. In UBE jurisdictions, your MPT score is combined with your MEE score on a scale ranging from 1 to 200. This scaling adjusts for possible differences when administering the exam. The scaled score is then weighted accordingly. With the previously mentioned exceptions of South Dakota and Palau, UBE jurisdictions will weigh the MPT at 20% and the MEE at 30% for a combined 50% weight.
Is MPT Graded Differently in Different States?
The MPT bar exam is graded differently in different states and jurisdictions. While some states have the same grading scale, many states do not.
- Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington state grades on a scale from 0 to 6
- Colorado has a scale that goes from 1 to 6
- Massachusetts has a scale that goes from 0 to 7
- New York has a scale that goes from 0 to 10
- Missouri has a 10-point scale
- Arkansas has one of the more unique scales with one that ranges from 65 to 85
As previously mentioned, some states have additional variants, with South Dakota combining 2 MPT questions with MEE essays and a South Dakota Essay; Hawaii requires 2 MPT tasks with 6 MEE questions and 15 multiple choice questions about Hawaii ethics; and Wisconsin combines MPT, MEE, and local essays to varying degrees, depending on the test.
How do you calculate MPT Score?
Calculating your MPT score is tricky since it can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. If you get a raw score around 4, you receive a passing grade. In a UBE bar exam jurisdiction, the MPT and MEE are counted as 200 points and make up 50% of your score. This means that 80 of those points will come from your MPT.
What is the MPT Passing Score and Average Score?
As we previously discussed, whether or not you pass the MPT is based on how your jurisdiction scores its bar exam. Typically, you want to aim for a 4 on your MPT score. A 3.9 is a passing score when a UBE score of 260 is required to pass, a 4 is passing when 266 points are required to pass, a 4.1 is considered passing if you need 273 points to pass your bar exam, and a 4.2 is considered passing when you need a total of 280 points to pass the bar exam in your jurisdiction.
When are MPT scores released?
Your MPT score is released with the rest of your bar exam results. The time you have to wait to find out if you passed the bar exam can vary depending on where you took it. Some jurisdictions have a wait time as short as four weeks, while others can take as long as 12 to 13 weeks. In New Jersey and New York, while there's no specific time frame, if you take the test in February, you could find out your results sometime in May, and if you take the test in July, you could find out the results sometime in November. Not all states give a breakdown of how each section of the bar exam is scored. Thus, you may never know your actual MPT score.
Tips to Maximize your Score
If you want to find ways to maximize your score, there are five ways you can do it.
- First, you must thoroughly extract laws from the library to properly deal with your MPT task.
- Then, look at the issues presented and ensure you are answering the call of the questions.
- Use only relevant facts.
- Distinguish the client's case from cases provided in the Library.
- Make sure your MPT answer is organized and properly formatted.
If you want to gauge how well you will perform on the MPT, there are a handful of questions you can ask yourself:
- Did you identify the problem?
- Did you address all relevant legal issues?
- Did you use the appropriate tone?
- Did you communicate well enough with the given time constraints?
- Are all of the ethical dilemmas presented resolved?
- Did you communicate in a manner that was appropriate to your audience?
- Did you format your answers appropriately?
Answering these questions can give you an idea of how well you have done on the MPT.
What is the weightage of MPT Score?
If you’re taking the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE®), the MPT is worth 20% of your overall passing score. This average MPT score applies to every UBE jurisdiction. Most non-UBE jurisdictions also weigh the MPT as 20% towards your final bar exam score. That said, there are a few jurisdictions that have their own unique way of weighing their MPT score.
- In Georgia, the average MPT score weight is 21.4%
- In Hawaii, there are 2 MPT tasks in, 6 Multistate Essay Examination (MEE®) questions, and 15 multiple-choice questions about ethics that combine and make up 50% of your test score
- In Mississippi, the MPT is weighted at 15% and covers one item
- Nevada is similar to Mississippi, except it's weighted at 10% and covers only one item.
- South Dakota requires an average score of 75% for the written part of the exam. This written component includes 2 MPT questions, 5 MEE essays, and one South Dakota essay.
- Wisconsin gives a varying combination of MPT, MEE, and local essays that vary in weight in each exam
- Guam only has one MPT question weighted at 11.1%. Palau requires that you get a score of 65 or higher on the MPT.
An MPT score of 4 is a passing grade in most jurisdictions. Anything above a 4 is considered an above average score.
MPT point sheets describe the factual and legal points involved within the lawyering tasks to be completed in each question and outlines the possible issues and points that might be addressed by the NCBE. Recent MPTs and Point Sheets are available for purchase at the NCBE Study Aids Store.
Your MPT score is scaled to the MBE and UBE scores.
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