Tricks & Traps

People frequently refer to tricks/traps in questions while preparing for the exam. What situations do you feel consitute a trick? For example, someone once said to not fall for the trap of forgetting to fully solve for the quantity in question when dealing with transformed variables. Is this really a trick?

Are there any truely misleeding situations, or is it meerly a function of improperly implementing a concept? Any examples?

I really don’t think there are “tricks” involved in the exam - you either know what you are doing or you don’t.

What i feel people consider to be tricks are careless mistakes exam takers make - which will obviously give them an answer that is a part of the options available . e.g, being given a risk premium, and the risk free rate at the same time on a question that asks you to calculate the required return of an investment. Under exam pressure, many will simply subtract the risk free rate from the risk premium - and loose marks in doing so.

You don’t think it’s a trap to put an answer on there that you could calculate using the wrong method? Obviously, if I can’t get to an answer using one method (let’s say temporal/current rate method) I will know to try the other method and then maybe I could get the answer. However, if I had just used the wrong exchange rate but instead of checking the rate decided to see if my calc would work with the other method and I got an answer that would be one hell of a trap.

I think ‘trick’ is actually an appropriate word. Because having no idea how to solve the question will actually give you an edge over having a very strong understanding but missing one critical piece (you’d get the wrong answer every time while a guesser would be 1/3).

i felt there were very less tricks. I made some silly mistakes 4-6 times but that answers was not in options

Who’s the better analyst: someone who’s clueless and knows it, or someone who thinks they know something but always gets it wrong?

There were a few questions in the schweser mock exams and at least one in the actual exam where I really felt tricked.

This one from schweser I remember well: In one question you needed to get the required return but it didn’t really say how. Since the risk free rate and beta was given I figured I should use the CAPM but there was no market return or risk premium or sharpe ratio. I just didn’t think to go back to a previous section of the same vignette in which a company in the same industry had a beta of 1. Thus I should have taken the return of this other company as the market return. Sounds easy enough but in an exam situation who would think to go back to check for something like that? I certainly wouldn’t.

That is why I believe “tricked” is used correctly in such a situation. A question like that does not test your ability to use these concepts in real life at all, only whether or not you can think outside the box under pressure, but is that the purpose of this exam?

Relative to EOCs, the real thing tends to have more answers that you could arrive at if you’ve made a mistake during the calculation steps. In my opinion there are also a few questions that try and lead you into the wrong answer, if you know your stuff and you’re not under too much time pressure you should be able to manouevre round it but it’s easy to make mistakes under exam conditions.

People refer to them as tricks because it would be feasible to sit the exam and think you’ve nailed it when you really really haven’t.

omg dint remember anything like this sad

i dont remember anything,

You missed one then nbd


Well, I just remember my mistakes now… =/

So at this point, I’ve just convinced myself that failing is inevitable.

i hope i missed max 3-4 such tricss


It made a difference for one, and I’m positve for that, the other one not so much. You really think the CFAI would miss an opportunity for an easy trap cheeky

damn i dint even see this

and what footnotes man

No, i do not think so. But what better way to set “traps” than make candidates think they are actually smart enough to spot & run from a trap - when in actual fact they are running into one?