The MPRE, otherwise referred to as the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, is a way for United States jurisdictions to determine the knowledge and understanding of the prospective law professional's standards with law practice. Law students are allowed to take the MPRE whenever they desire to do so, and the weight the MPRE holds, along with the scores deemed necessary to past, vary for each jurisdiction.
By learning more about the MPRE and the registration process, you can make an informed decision as to whether or not it is appropriate for you to take, and you can begin the preparation process for the MPRE. The following is a complete overview of the MPRE and the registration process, including what it is exactly, how to register for it properly, the cost of the examination, test day policies to remember and information about how the MPRE is scored.
What is the MPRE?
The MPRE is a relatively short two-hour test that consists of sixty questions about law-related issues, particularly as it pertains to the professional conduct of the law professional. It is important to keep in mind that it is not a test of the individual's moral standards but rather a way for jurisdictions to determine if the examinee is capable of practicing law in a professional manner.
The exact purpose of the MPRE as it pertains to the ability to practice law is entirely up to the jurisdiction, and all but two jurisdictions inside the United States require law professionals to take and pass the MPRE.
The MPRE is put on by the NCBE, which stands for the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The NCBE hosts several very important tests law students are required to take, including the UBE, MBE, MEE and MPT. Each test serves a different purpose, and each jurisdiction, rather the NCBE themselves, determine what is considered a passing score for the examination.
However, the NCBE does carry out the examination for all who are interested, and you can easily register and learn about the test day policies on their website. They also are readily available each day, and you can contact them if you have any additional questions about their bar examinations.
The MPRE, in particular, is important and many jurisdictions require a passing score before allowing law students and graduates to become law professionals. Subsequently, it is important to know the proper way to register and how to effectively prepare for the day of the examination.
Passing the MPRE is a first step towards achieving what is essentially every law student's dream — becoming a practicing lawyer, judge or another form of law professional.
How to register for the MPRE
The MPRE is held three times each year. The first test takes place in the spring and is typically around late March. The second test is in the summer in early to mid-August. The third final exam of the year is in early November. Law students can take either of the three at a time that is most convenient for them. Of course, it is helpful to consider the most opportune time and schedule the test well enough in advance to give yourself ample opportunities to properly prepare.
Another important note to make is that the NCBE is beginning the process towards switching the MPRE from a paper-based exam to a computer-based exam, and the process will take place in stages. Since they are currently in the middle of the transition, those who take the exam in 2019 — and possibly early in 2020 — may receive either the paper-based version of the test or the new computer-based version, although the questions themselves for each option are the same.
The registration process is simple, but it is essential to have a good understanding of how to register the right way. To register, you will need to create an online account with NCBE, which is easy to do and only takes a minute. If you already have an account, be sure not to make a second account and seek assistance if you have forgotten your login information. After your account is successfully created, you can begin the online registration process for the MPRE examination. If you register for the final exam in 2019, then you may have the option to choose between either the paper-based version or the computer-based.
The MPRE also works with examinees who are in need of testing accommodations, ensuring they have all they need to perform to the best of their abilities on the exam. If you have a qualified disability and are able to provide accurate and honest documentation of the disability, then be sure to inform the NCBE about the necessary accommodations. Also, ensure you provide the NCBE with enough advance notice so that they can properly arrange the requested accommodations.
Each jurisdiction may have its own standards for application to take the MPRE, so be sure to check the specific jurisdiction information for your state. If you have any questions about the registration process, then you can easily contact the NCBE. They can provide additional details about late registration issues, test center locations, and answer questions or comments about testing conditions.
We encourage everyone to read through the MPRE requirements on the NCBE website, in addition to their own jurisdictions' own stands and registration requirements. While law students are able to take the examination at a time that is most convenient for them, it is helpful to have an idea as to when taking the exam is best and to properly prepare for the day of the examination.
The Cost of the MPRE
The fee for the MPRE varies depending on when you register. If you register before the initial deadline, then you receive a small discount, whereas those who register between the first deadline period and the late deadline pay more. The fee to register by the regular deadline is $125, and the fee for the late deadline is $220. The fee must be paid through a credit card on the NCBE website.
By paying for the MPRE, you are entitled to access to the final score, and the testing results are sent to the jurisdiction of your choice without having to do so yourself. Also, keep in mind that the fee for the MPRE is non-refundable, so be sure to make the necessary accommodations so that you are available without any distractions that might call you away on the day of the examination. If you do not establish a jurisdiction before you take the exam, then you may be subject to an additional fee to have the results sent.
Test day policies to know
There are certain test day policies to be familiar with and follow to ensure everything goes smoothly before, during and after the examination. Be sure to also familiarize yourself with the precise test day policies for your jurisdiction in particular as the requirements may vary from state to state.
First and foremost, it is essential to bring a valid government-issued ID with you. You will also need a passport-type photograph to further confirm your identity. Make sure that your identification is current and not out of date. Licenses work great, but it must not be suspended or revoked for more than six months. Some forms of identification such as birth certificates may not be accepted. Also, make sure the information is correct, and update any name, address or social security changes before the exam.
You are allowed to bring a sealed clear plastic bag along with you on the day of your test, in which you can place your personal belongings such as identification, wallet, keys, etc. You may also bring with you hygiene products(hand sanitizer, etc.), pencils(non-mechanical), erasers, pencil sharpeners, etc. Cough drops and hard candies are also allowed, although be sure to unwrap them before the test begins. Prescribed medical aids such as cane, crutches, walker, wheelchair and service animals are also allowed, but you may have to verify certain aids with the examiner before the test begins.
Items that are prohibited but may not necessarily be limited to electronic devices(cell phones, digital watches, headphones), written material, scratch paper and food and drinks. Also, keep in mind that the NCBE in regard to the MPRE have a very strict no electronic device policy, and your test results will more than likely be discounted if an electronic device of any kind goes off during the examination. The testing center is also not responsible for holding and caring for your personal belongings during the test, so be sure to only bring the essential items along with you to the exam.
If there is a distraction during the examination from another examinee, then the situation will be assessed and those affected will either have the option to retake the test or be refunded for the cancelation of the current exam. You will have the opportunity to provide a written test center review after the examination is over, in which you can place any concerns you had with the testing center.
Understanding The MPRE scores
Although the standards for what is considered passing varies for each jurisdiction, there is a universal scoring method that the NCBE uses for the MPRE. The scores range from 50 as the lowest possible score and 150 as a perfect score. All but two jurisdictions require the MPRE, and the average passing score is approximately 85. However, be sure to look up your own state's passing score standards before you take the examination. You can find the list of passing scores for each jurisdiction on the NCBE website.
Since each MPRE examination is likely to look different than the previous one, the way the scoring is determined varies, and there are adjustments place depending on the average score. This ensures that test-takers who receive more difficult versions of the MPRE are not unfairly penalized and everyone has the same opportunity to perform well.
Your MPRE score should show in your NCBE online account approximately five weeks after you take the exam. It is your responsibility to save the results, and the testing scores are taken down after the next MPRE exam takes place. Therefore, if you take the spring exam, you must save your scores officially before the Summer exam takes place. If you do not save your score and need to access it after it has been taken down, then contact MPRE score services and request an MPRE unofficial score transcript.
You have the option to select a jurisdiction before the day of the MPRE, and the testing results are reported to your jurisdiction after you take the exam. If you did not report a jurisdiction before the exam, then be sure to contact the NCBE and ask to have your score reported to your jurisdiction. There may be an additional fee for reporting the score if you did not verify a jurisdiction in advance.
The Bottom Line
The MPRE is an important test for those who aspire to become law professionals, whether it is in the form of a lawyer, judge or in another capacity. With the MPRE, the timing is important. It is our recommendation to take the MPRE before your final year of law school. By doing so, you can shift focus primarily towards other essential tests such as the Bar Exam.
Be sure to plan for the day of your test and give yourself plenty of time to properly prepare. To recap the aforementioned procedure, you can register for the MPRE through the NCBE website by creating your own account(make sure you only make one), and then signing up for the exam of your choice and paying for registration.
Also, keep in mind that there are three different test dates each year, which occur once in the spring, summer and late fall. You can contact the NCBE for more information about testing dates and what is required on the day of the examination. The examination may seem intimidating at first, but with proper preparation, you can make the process easy and focus solely on doing your absolute best on the day of your test.