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Performance Test Strategy: Simple Trick to Add 5 or More Points to Your Score

And the votes are in…we all hate the Bar Exam Performance Test!  Whether you are taking the 90 minute MPT or the dreaded 3 hour California PT, the Performance Test is a grueling part of the Bar Exam that tests your organization, focus, and analytical skills in a very short time frame.  So, we wanted to share some Bar Exam Performance Test strategy that will gain you at least 5 extra points on the Performance Test, particularly if you struggle with finishing the PT on time.  We shared this trick before the February exam and received extremely positive feedback from exam takers.  We hope it helps you, too!

After reviewing the Performance Test memo and library materials, and after completing an outline of your attack plan, we highly suggest writing a brief conclusion BEFORE jumping into the meat and potatoes of your PT.  It doesn’t necessarily need to be the first thing you write, but do this as soon as possible.  And it doesn’t need to be spectacular, just a few sentences that give your Performance Test the appearance of completeness.  If you happen to have time at the end, you can always go back and revise it. 

You will be writing furiously, and as time comes to a close, and you have 15 minutes to complete 1 or 2 important sections of your answer, the last thing you want to worry about is a conclusion.  We’ve used this trick on multiple bar exams, and it works.

A grader only has several minutes to review your answer.  Even if you run out of time, that conclusion paragraph will signal that you were able to manage your time well and complete the task assigned.  It’s an easy way to earn a few extra points (or at least prevent the grader from docking you for an incomplete Performance Test).   We spoke with a colleague who is an exam grader for the CA bar exam, and she agreed this was an excellent strategy given their grading methods. 

We hope this little trick helps!


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