CFA CFA Level 1 Learning Ethics

Learning Ethics

  • Author
    • Avatar of avannoordavannoord
        • Undecided

        Hey everyone,

        I saved Ethics for last, as per a lot of recommendations on this forum and from Reddit. I’m about to finish my last section before going into ethics, and seeing how important review time is for finally ingraining the material in our heads, part of me wants to skip Ethics as a whole and learn it via review and during the last two weeks of review time.

        Anyone have any thoughts on this? What has been the tactic you have used when learning ethics?

        I appreciate the help from everyone. I am a first time, Level 1 exam-taker come this December, which explains all of the questions and less answers on my end! Hopefully I can pay-it-forward after I get more experience under my belt.

      • Avatar of MarcMarc
          • CFA Charterholder

          I agree with the recommendation against skipping over Ethics now. While it may seem fairly intuitive, there are definitely questions that can trip you up. More importantly, it is 15% of the exam, which is a lot to leave until the last minute. 

          Whenever you are faced with a time budgeting question such as this, imagine yourself on the day after the exam thinking about what you would have studied if you’d had more time. Then you rub a magic lantern and a genie grants you the following three wishes:

          1) You get to go back in time to the day before the exam
          2) You get 5 more hours to study
          3) You have to forget everything you know about what was on the exam itself, but you will remember everything you knew from your preparation leading up to the exam as well as anything you learn in the extra 5 hours that you have been granted

          Will you wish that you had spend extra time trying to memorize how IFRS and US GAAP differ with respect to expensing the costs of internally-developed intangible assets? Perhaps, particularly if this topic is covered in one of the 240 exam questions. However, I suspect you would be more likely to choose to spend that time covering Ethics, which will account for roughly 36 of the exams 240 questions.

        • Avatar of hairyfairyhairyfairy
            • Undecided

            I think at the very least you should have a quick review through it, or through the main structure of the topic. Practice questions help a lot but I think it’s important to understand the basic premise of what it’s all about.

            Maybe allocate what you can for a first-pass review (e.g. 2 days) and then move on to practice, and review notes as needed.

          • Up

            Don’t really leave it for reading on the very last moment. I would say read it in between topics that overwhelm you and at the end do a review. Do not skip it and I totally recommend you to read the CFA Ethics and not from 3rd party providers.

            I took the exam in June and I read it on very last moment before review… my outcome: I should have read it one more time as the devil stays in details 🙂

            Ethics reading is common sense ( do exercises.. a lot… till you get the essence of it), definetely some details specific to CFA,, but is not a tough reading as quant or economics.

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