CFA CFA Level 1 How and what to prepare for Ethics

How and what to prepare for Ethics

  • This topic has 17 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated Dec-17 by Maverick.
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    • Farooq
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      Hello Everyone. I am just starting to plan my studies for level 1, Dec attempt. Of all the areas, ethics (as a subject) is most alien to me. I am not found for dry theory anyways. So I am frankly not sure how to handle it. Can anyone please guide me what I should read for ethics like which book, how many times and how much time should I give to this topic. Finally, and most importantly, what should I memorize by words and what things I should just focus on getting the concept.
      Thanks.

      Note: As I am a student and don’t have a tight schedule this semester so I have easy 400ish hours for my whole preparation.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Hey @Farooq‌ , welcome to the community!

      You can always tackle Ethics last if you prefer, if you think you’d forget the dry sections earlier, but make time for it! 

      My suggestion would be to refer to CFAI curriculum for the Ethics section, and do all the End of Chapter (EOC) questions at the end of each learning session.

      Then, you’ll learn and refine your understanding finally when you’ve finished your revision and start tackling the practice questions. 

      And definitely no need for memorizing here. Understanding the key concepts is all you need as Ethics questions are vast but all center around the key concepts you need to understand.

      Here are a few useful blog post about nailing Ethics:

      1. CFA Ethics: Why You Need to Master It
      2. 3 Must-Know Tips to Nailing Ethics

      Hope this helps!

    • Farooq
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      Thanks @Sophie. Hope I can become part of the community in the long term 😉
       
      That sounds like a good plan. It’s a relief to  know that I don’t have to memorize it all. But I am very unreliable to leave it to the last, will have to do it first and then do it once more at the end as well. The blogs you shared are great.

      Thanks, helped a lot..

    • edulima
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      I tend to agree that it’s better (for most people) to do the “ethics sandwich”: start with Ethics, do everything else, then end with Ethics before doing final reviews and mock exams. 

      One other thing to remember is that it’s virtually impossible to get every Ethics question right – there are lots of ambiguous situations when the right answer is somehow hidden within the 3 multiple choice options; so you should not get discouraged if you start off with 30% conversion. What will make the difference for the exam is to improve your understanding of the material to the point where you can get about 70%+ conversion in your practice sets, right before the d-day.

    • Farooq
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      @edulima Didnt know its called ethics sandwich, but this makes ethics a little more acceptable. 

      So you mean 30% on the questions in the curriculum and when I start doing practice sets then it should be 70% ?

    • tacheman
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      Ethics sandwich’, I love that term @edulima! summarizes what I try and do perfectly.

    • edulima
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      😀 @Farook, @tacheman, I guess I just invented the term “ethics sandwich”… LOL

      @Farooq, these are just ball-park estimates. What I tried to say is: don’t get too discouraged if you start off performing poorly (20%-40%) in Ethics early on in your preparation, but if you study effectively (and hard enough!) your performance should steadily improve, and an acceptable level for passing the exam is around 70% or more. Hope this clarifies.

    • Farooq
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      @edulima Makes perfect sense. Got it, Thanks alot. 

      Keep on inventing such things, this will make things easier for people like me :smiley: 

    • surangasa
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      This won’t make sense for most ethical people. @edulima Did you made that word up from what is known from the double irish dutch sandwich. Maybe with a bit of bermuda or is it your own creation? 

    • d3v1l_dare
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      Well first 18 questions of the CFA L1 exam will be ethics questions. My target is to prepare in a way so that I can finish them in 10 minutes. This will probably give a moral boost in the beginning of the exam and also I can save time for critical questions with calculations.

      I’m making my short notes while reading the materials. Once done with the concept, I’m planning to read in a day, seven case examples, one from each standard and attempt five questions a day. Each case/question taking 5 mins, I should be done by an hour/day. 

      “ethics sandwich” approach sounds good but only way I can memorize is by doing it frequently and repeatedly. So, gonna stick to my plan.. 😀

    • Farooq
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      18 questions on ethics? Isnt ethics supposed to be 15% of the whole exam (like 35 questions or so??)

    • christine
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      Farooq said:
      18 questions on ethics? Isnt ethics supposed to be 15% of the whole exam (like 35 questions or so??)

      Yep @Farooq‌ you should get 36 questions on Ethics in the exams in L1.

    • edulima
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      I think @d3v11_dare meant 18 in the morning and about 18 in the afternoon, which kinda makes sense.

      But @d3v1l_dare, don’t try to push too hard on this envelope… 18 questions at 1.5min/q means you could allocate 27 minutes for it without seriously jeopardizing your performance on the other topics. A goal of shrinking that to 10 minutes may be unrealistic, and perhaps self-defeating (if you obsessively try to stick to that goal).

      Also, it’s not that much about memorization and you need to give yourself enough time to think about the ethical situation in each question.

      Having said that, I’d agree that you can save a bit of time in that section of the exam if you don’t hit a mental roadblock.

    • Farooq
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      edulima said:

      I think @d3v11_dare meant 18 in the morning and about 18 in the afternoon, which kinda makes sense.

      Yes i guess thats the case..

    • d3v1l_dare
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      edulima said:

      I think @d3v11_dare meant 18 in the morning and about 18 in the afternoon, which kinda makes sense.

      But @d3v1l_dare, don’t try to push too hard on this envelope… 18 questions at 1.5min/q means you could allocate 27 minutes for it without seriously jeopardizing your performance on the other topics. A goal of shrinking that to 10 minutes may be unrealistic, and perhaps self-defeating (if you obsessively try to stick to that goal).

      Also, it’s not that much about memorization and you need to give yourself enough time to think about the ethical situation in each question.

      Having said that, I’d agree that you can save a bit of time in that section of the exam if you don’t hit a mental roadblock.

      Yeah you got it right. Of course first 18 in the morning & afternoon.

      I wouldn’t argue on rest of your comments either. I guess it would even take more than 10 mins just to read on the scenarios. lol.. Thanks

    • Maverick
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      Can I state I’m a little confused on this;- Not ethics, but the format here. I personally thought that the exam would run with Subject A, then Subject B, Subject C…. morning done, afternoon session Subject D, Subject E…. Finish.

      Are you guys saying that it’s more like two exams than one contiguous one? Half of ethics in the morning, then half of subject B,C,D… X etc all the way though all of the subjects in the morning, then repeat the process for the other half of the exam weight in the afternoon?

    • edulima
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      It’s like the second of your descriptions, @Maverick: it’s more like 2 exams. Sometimes the weighting of each subject slightly varies between morning and afternoon (especially in Level 2), but basically you go through the same sequence of topics in the morning and then again in the afternoon. The mocks (both CFAI and Schweser) also mimic this approach.

    • Maverick
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      Thanks @edulima. Not that it essentially matters how the format is run, but still, perhaps they thought it would be too easy if you are allowed to get into a “flow” and thought that it would be more challenging if subjects are broken up in two chunks 🙂

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