Monday, December 20, 2004

MPRE scores

I've noticed a lot of people getting to my site with the search term "fail MPRE." I figured I should respond to this, although I am not sure exactly how.

First off, the wonderful thing about the MPRE is that you can take it again. No one wants to, I'm sure. It's a miserable test. I finished it in an hour and left not knowing whether I had answered one single question correctly. I hated it.

If you haven't taken the MPRE, but are looking for hints: study for it. Take the BarBri or some other prep course, where they hand you a book of the essentials, take the practice exams, and hope for the best. You should start studying at least a week in advance - I picked up the book exactly one week in advance and just took a practice test every night before the exam, trying to learn what was on it. Perhaps this isn't the ideal way to 'learn' but trust me, the MPRE is not a test based on what you 'learn' - it's a test based on how you take tests.

I suppose the other option is always to sit for a bar in another state with a lower required MPRE score. My roommate has a theory that the MPRE, because it is scaled, actually scales you according to your ethical abilities to practice in each state. For instance, if you receive one point below the required MPRE score for say, New York, but it exceeds the requirement for Nebraska, what the MPRE did was test you and say, "Well, he's not ethical enough to practice in New York, but definitely ethical enough for Nebraska. Let's assign him this score." I think it's an amusing theory.

I'm fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend a prestigious law school. Let me assure you, there are people everywhere who fail the MPRE. I know several people who didn't pass their first time. The MPRE, which is the same for the bar exam, I'm told, is failed only if 1. you didn't prepare or 2. have difficulty with multiple choice tests. Or both. The only hint I have for the multiple choice thing is, read the answers first, then read the question, then eliminate two obviously wrong answers. This is what Princeton Review teaches you for the SATs and LSATs, and it works.

You're without a doubt more ethical than the MPRE says you are. Ethics for lawyers by lawyers is screwed from the start. Don't worry, you'll be fine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting choice of states for your "ethical enough" example. I would have framed it the other way: ethical enough for New York, but not ethical enough for Nebraska. I'm used to my home states being used as the standard classroom examples of what uneducated farm folk might do for the sake of outlandish tort hypotheticals, but ethical is kind of our thing. (And no, I'm not talking "family vaules," red-state sort of ethics, I mean cheat your neighbor and lie sort of ethics.)