The contribution of more than one carrier to the conductivity in modulation‐doped field effect transistors (MODFET) affects the resultant mobility and complicates the characterization of these devices. Mixed conduction arises from the population of several subbands in the two‐dimensional electron gas (2DEG), as well as the presence of a parallel path outside the 2DEG. We characterized GaAs/AlGaAs MODFET structures with both delta and continuous doping in the barrier. Based on simultaneous Hall and conductivity analysis we conclude that the parallel conduction is taking place in the AlGaAs barrier, as indicated by the carrier freezeout and activation energy. Thus, simple Hall analysis of these structures may lead to erroneous conclusions, particularly for real‐life device structures. The distribution of the 2D electrons between the various confined subbands depends on the doping profile. While for a continuously doped barrier the Shubnikov–de Haas analysis shows superposition of two frequencies for concentrations below 1012 cm−2, for a delta doped structure the superposition is absent even at 50% larger concentrations. This result is confirmed by self‐consistent analysis, which indicates that the concentration of the second subband hardly increases. © 1995 American Institute of Physics.