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Ethics - please tell me how to study it

OK so there was a discussion earlier during the week about what level of intelligence / reading comprehension we need to do better on the vignettes, mostly ethics.

The exam questions were straightforward, in plain language, easily readable and understandable.

YET, I was unsure in each and every of them.

HOW shall I study Ethics?

On the TTs my first round was 44%, then I re-read them and made notes, I did the same with all EOCs, Shweser practices. I practically learned my notes by heart.

Therefore my 2nd try on the TTs was 89%. Because I knew how to answer a certain case. Which helped me zero on the exam obviously.

How exactly shall I study Ethics???

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Yo Moosey,

I thought ethics was tricky for me but its not somewhere I am good at. I noticed quite a lot of overlap in the questions with teh CFA EOC item set questions in the curriculum as well as the embedded examples of the standards in the curriculum. I think thats the key.

If I fail, Next year I will read every single page of the CFA curriculum cover to cover!

.....woof

Hi,

I don’t have a solution but don’t worry too much: in the cfa topics test, CFA and schweser EOC, schweser mocks, I was scoring around 80-90% on ethics (on exam CFA level 1, and CFA level 2 2016 I always did > 70%).

On exam day this year, I was thinking that it just was a waste of time study ethics…

To be honest, I think that someone who didn’t study ethics at wouldn’t have had a big disadvantage compared to somebody who spent hours and hours on ethics.

I agree with you, I was surprised how the exam was written, easy and plain language, not too much text on the vignettes and on questions, but I found ethics extremely difficult. In all the exercises I did and on theory there was no one similar case.

CFA should just explain ethics on a clearer manner, not as they do just show 10000 cases which are quite obvious, but instead show less but trickier cases with an explanation how to analyze the situation.

rexthedog wrote:

Yo Moosey,

I thought ethics was tricky for me but its not somewhere I am good at. I noticed quite a lot of overlap in the questions with teh CFA EOC item set questions in the curriculum as well as the embedded examples of the standards in the curriculum. I think thats the key.

If I fail, Next year I will read every single page of the CFA curriculum cover to cover!

I read all the ethics chapter and exercises on CFA book, but I don’t agree about the overlap, absolutely not.

rexthedog wrote:

Yo Moosey,

I thought ethics was tricky for me but its not somewhere I am good at.

You make me feel insecure. Maybe I were not enough sharp to detect tricks in Ethics. You talk about the AM or the PM?

Both Pierre, trust me I made so many errors in ethics. After I left the room I was like omg, no of course it was B not C etc.

There was definitely overlap to the curriculum. I looked at teh first vignette in the CFA EOC the night before and two of teh examples came right out of that item set.

I personally think the topic tests are pointless for Ethics. Next year I will just do the examples embedded in the curriculum over and over

.....woof

I think i got probably about 4/12 in this section

.....woof

rexthedog wrote:

Both Pierre, trust me I made so many errors in ethics. After I left the room I was like omg, no of course it was B not C etc.

There was definitely overlap to the curriculum. I looked at teh first vignette in the CFA EOC the night before and two of teh examples came right out of that item set.

I personally think the topic tests are pointless for Ethics. Next year I will just do the examples embedded in the curriculum over and over

Really? I don’t remember!

I feel like ethics could go either way. Either I have crushed it with >70 % or failed it with <50 %. 

Tricky as always, but I tried to read certain words/sentences 4-5 times and not jumping the gun. Felt better about ethics than about other topics (Quants, Fixed Income and Derivatives could have definitely gone better!)

Just mark everything as C as move on to easier sections.

I’m no expert, but my approach is to focus on about 10 of the main principles they are getting across in Ethics, and just keep those in mind while doing a lot of problem sets to see how CFAI sets them up….  After a while a pattern emerges, and then it comes down to a judgment call on the harder ones. 

Be Ethical. 

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Be Ethical. 

Yes obviously. But you know, I work in banking and what I find very tough in CFAI Ethics is that you are actually ALLOWED to do a lot of things. I simply cannot own or trade shares of my clients, cannot accept any gift (above business lunch or token items level), I cannot discuss anything in relation to them, and full point.

CFAI ethics almost always goes into “grey zone” you are allowed to do things but with certain conditions. And this is where I get lost.

On the exam, for almost every question I could rule out one answer and then I was practically not able to decide between the two left. I was thinking to myself, if this happened in real life, I would go to my compliance officer or legal counsel and seek for advice because I just don’t know.

Moosey wrote:

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Be Ethical. 

Yes obviously. But you know, I work in banking and what I find very tough in CFAI Ethics is that you are actually ALLOWED to do a lot of things. I simply cannot own or trade shares of my clients, cannot accept any gift (above business lunch or token items level), I cannot discuss anything in relation to them, and full point.

CFAI ethics almost always goes into “grey zone” you are allowed to do things but with certain conditions. And this is where I get lost.

On the exam, for almost every question I could rule out one answer and then I was practically not able to decide between the two left. I was thinking to myself, if this happened in real life, I would go to my compliance officer or legal counsel and seek for advice because I just don’t know.

Good points. I think many people find it difficult. The best advice I’ve seen is to do lots of practice problems. Those help to bring out some of the subtleties.

When you do I’d also recommend reading the answer and relevant standard closely. For example, gifts from clients are different from those seeking influence such as brokers.  Doesn’t mean all gifts from clients are ok, but knowing a few things like that can help up your score on ethics.

Study Ethics From CFAI Curriculum.

Last year, I was completely unsure about Ethics. Expecting a <50, ended up in the middle band. Hence, the ethics adjustment did not help. This year I took ethics seriously, and read the stuff from CFAI curriculum. Revised for thrice.

TTs - 34/48 ,CFAI Mock - 12/18 Schweser - Mostly 8-10 correct per exam ,IFT - 9 and 10

However, exam was tricky specially the 2nd Vignette, I am sure I have never seen at least two scenarios mentioned anywhere. First half was easy, and second half was definitely difficult. I had to use common sense. 

Ethics is easily the most difficult section in Level II. I have spent many hours for ethics but still can’t say I scored 70+ for sure. But I am definitely feeling better than last year. 

IMO, you need to exactly remember those scenarios and need to practice a lot. Most of the CFAI solved cases are very obvious.Does not do a great job for Level II preparation. 

Magina, the Antimage II Final attempt at L2 II Band 9, Band 10

Deal_Clincher wrote:

Last year, I was completely unsure about Ethics. Expecting a <50, ended up in the middle band. Hence, the ethics adjustment did not help. This year I took ethics seriously, and read the stuff from CFAI curriculum. Revised for thrice.

TTs - 34/48 ,CFAI Mock - 12/18 Schweser - Mostly 8-10 correct per exam ,IFT - 9 and 10

However, exam was tricky specially the 2nd Vignette, I am sure I have never seen at least two scenarios mentioned anywhere. First half was easy, and second half was definitely difficult. I had to use common sense. 

Ethics is easily the most difficult section in Level II. I have spent many hours for ethics but still can’t say I scored 70+ for sure. But I am definitely feeling better than last year. 

IMO, you need to exactly remember those scenarios and need to practice a lot. Most of the CFAI solved cases are very obvious.Does not do a great job for Level II preparation. 

I agree.

I think everyone finds those scenarios similar and confusing at first but if you have done enough practice questions (like by level 3) you ahve seen all the different ways they can test you on ethics, and you are able to pick up clues from their language.

I find the easiest way to start is to do lectures (dvd or live) they will emphasize certain key words for you on classic exam question scenarios. And do all the EOC questions and do as many mocks as possible, redo the exams until you get them all correct!

GOOD LUCK!

NANA

Thanks for all the advices guys. If I fail I will destine much more time on Ethics (since I have a good grasp on almost everything else, I will have more time for this beast).

Honestly Ethics is just so inconsistent that I feel I’ll never do well on it. The amount of tricks they throw in there just makes it so much worse. Like that one TT where they asked about violating during a meeting, the example said the person went to the meeting and before entering did something that violated, but the answer was that they didn’t. It asked during the meeting, not as the person was heading into the meeting. Stuff like that is just annoying.

I did find that reading the question and highlighting specific stuff like absolutes (guaranteed, completely. etc) are key words to look for to determine if they violate because you really can’t do that for anything. 

MikeHams wrote:

Honestly Ethics is just so inconsistent that I feel I’ll never do well on it. The amount of tricks they throw in there just makes it so much worse. Like that one TT where they asked about violating during a meeting, the example said the person went to the meeting and before entering did something that violated, but the answer was that they didn’t. It asked during the meeting, not as the person was heading into the meeting. Stuff like that is just annoying.

I did find that reading the question and highlighting specific stuff like absolutes (guaranteed, completely. etc) are key words to look for to determine if they violate because you really can’t do that for anything. 

Yes, look for key words in the passage and also make sure you read the questions carefully, “least likely” and “most likely” violated which of the following… those ones always tricky. The patterns are quite repetitive once you have done enough practice questions, it’s doable, don’t worry!

MikeHams wrote:

Honestly Ethics is just so inconsistent that I feel I’ll never do well on it. The amount of tricks they throw in there just makes it so much worse. Like that one TT where they asked about violating during a meeting, the example said the person went to the meeting and before entering did something that violated, but the answer was that they didn’t. It asked during the meeting, not as the person was heading into the meeting. Stuff like that is just annoying.

I did find that reading the question and highlighting specific stuff like absolutes (guaranteed, completely. etc) are key words to look for to determine if they violate because you really can’t do that for anything. 

Haha, that was like a comprehension passage. Good that CFAI does not test that type in the real exam. 

Magina, the Antimage II Final attempt at L2 II Band 9, Band 10