The Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

The National Conference of Bar Examiners has produced the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) since 1997.

NCBE offers two 90-minute MPT items per administration. A jurisdiction may select one or both items to include as part of its bar examination. (Jurisdictions that administer the Uniform Bar Examination [UBE] use two MPTs as part of their bar examinations.)

The MPT is designed to test an examinee’s ability to use fundamental lawyering skills in a realistic situation. Each test evaluates an examinee’s ability to complete a task that a beginning lawyer should be able to accomplish. The MPT requires examinees to (1) sort detailed factual materials and separate relevant from irrelevant facts; (2) analyze statutory, case, and administrative materials for applicable principles of law; (3) apply the relevant law to the relevant facts in a manner likely to resolve a client’s problem; (4) identify and resolve ethical dilemmas, when present; (5) communicate effectively in writing; and (6) complete a lawyering task within time constraints.  Each jurisdiction determines its own policy with regard to the relative weight given to the MPT and other scores. (Jurisdictions that administer the UBE weight the MPT component 20%.)

Jurisdictions Using the MPT in 2017

Map of the United States shows the 45 jurisdictions that used the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) in 2017. This includes all states EXCEPT California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. It also includes the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but NOT Puerto Rico.

NOTE: The following jurisdictions will begin using the MPT in future administrations: Massachusetts (July 2018), North Carolina (February 2019), and Kentucky (July 2019).

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