Enrolled Agent Test Prep Courses

Enrolled Agent Test Prep Courses

Enrolled Agent Test Prep Courses

If you decide to pursue a career as an enrolled agent (EA), representing US taxpayers in front of the IRS, and you are not a past IRS employee, you will be expected to pass the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE).

The SEE is a difficult exam and stringently monitored. You may take the entire exam, or parts of it, four times in any test window. If you fail any part of the exam after four attempts, you must wait until the next test window to take that section again.

Due to the difficulty of the SEE, one of the best ways you can improve your chances of success is to seek out a suitable EA test preparation course.

What Can the Right EA Test Prep Course Do for You?

There is no doubt that taking an EA test preparation course can improve your chances of passing the SEE with fewer attempts.

Build Familiarity With Test Questions

One of the best ways to reduce exam tension and prepare you for the SEE is to practice sample questions. An EA test preparation course will feature hundreds of practice questions.

You will learn not only the subject matter that is covered by the test but also the format and logic of the questions you are likely to face.

Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

By practicing sample SEE questions, you will learn where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

While it is important to cover all of the material, topics and question formats, you can spend more time on areas that you are less knowledgeable about and on question formats that you find more challenging.

Study in a Way That Suits You

There is a wide selection of EA test preparation courses on the market. These courses vary in format, access and price, providing you with the opportunity to find a course that suits the way you want to study.

Removes the Guesswork About What to Study

An EA test preparation course will provide you with a study plan to follow. This ensures that you put in sufficient study hours and cover the subjects that you will be tested on in the SEE.

What to Consider When Choosing a Prep Course

As there are so many EA test preparation courses available, it is important you find a course suited to your individual needs. Here are some factors to consider when making your choice.

Learning Style

How do you like to learn? Do you find it easier to absorb information from video lectures, one-to-one tutoring or written materials?

Finding an EA test preparation course that suits your learning style will not only make it easier to learn but may reduce the number of study hours you have to put in.

Training Schedule

When considering your training schedule, think about the following questions:

  • How will you fit the preparation course into your daily life?
  • Can you commit to long periods of study, or would bite-sized study sessions be better for you?
  • Can you keep to a set schedule, attending sessions on a timetable created by the course provider, or do you need a more flexible arrangement?

Your best option is an EA test preparation course with the right level of flexibility and length of study sessions to fit into your existing schedule.

Cost

Prices for enrolled agent test preparation courses vary from a basic offering at $59 up to $999.

Some course providers give a discount to certain candidates, while others offer financing.

Some courses are accompanied by a ‘no pass – no pay’ guarantee too.

Course Access and Level of Support

How long do you want access to the course material? Some providers offer unlimited access, while others place a time limit on the material’s availability. The benefit of unlimited access is the ability to revisit course materials should you fail any element of the SEE.

Can you access the entire course on any device, or only on your computer? Is there a separate app? It may be that you are happy to take the preparation course entirely on your computer, or you may wish to study part or all of the course on the go with a mobile device.

What level of support is provided on the EA test preparation course and how is it accessed, for instance, by phone or email?

Practice Exams

Does the course offer practice exams? The practice questions provided by your test preparation course of choice help build familiarity with the content and format of the SEE questions.

Practice exams will increase this familiarity by demonstrating how long you can spend on each question and providing exam conditions.

Number of Practice Questions

Each EA test preparation course provides practice questions, but the number of these varies greatly between courses.

The more practice questions you take, the more prepared you will be for the SEE. Make sure the course you pick has the minimum number of practice questions for your needs.

Free Trials

Do you want a course provider that offers a free trial before you spend any money? This can be an excellent way of finding out whether the course material and format suit you. However, not all EA test preparation course providers offer free trials.

5 Best Enrolled Agent Test Prep Courses
5 Best Enrolled Agent Test Prep Courses

Top 5 Enrolled Agent Test Prep Courses

Now you know what to consider when making your choice, here are our top five enrolled agent test preparation courses currently on the market.

These are not in any order and the variety in their offering means that there is generally a course here for every set of requirements.

1. Surgent EA Review

Cost: From $189 for an individual course to $999 for the Ultimate Pass
Practice questions: 1,800+
Videos: 25+ as part of the Premier or Ultimate Pass
Practice exams: Unlimited
Pay monthly? Yes
Free trial? Yes
Pass guarantee? Yes
Pro: Comprehensive range of topics covered and unlimited practice exams
Con: One of the most expensive courses

The Surgent EA Review is available in a number of formats:

  • Essentials Pass – $499 – Surgent’s most basic format
  • Premier Pass – $699
  • Ultimate Pass – $999 – Surgent’s most extensive course format
  • Individual courses – $189 – Part 1: Individuals; Part 2: Businesses; Part 3: Representation, Practices and Procedures

Depending on which course you choose, Surgent offers award-winning software, the opportunity for one-to-one tutoring, digital or printed textbooks and flashcards, and access to course materials on a one-year or unlimited basis.

Visit Surgent EA Review

2. Gleim Enrolled Agent Exam Prep Course

Cost: From $529.95 for the Traditional course to $629.95 for the Premium course. Gleim also offers the chance to buy the course in parts, priced from $169.95.
Practice questions: 4,000+
Videos: Over 30 hours for the Premium course but only audio lectures for the Traditional course.
Practice exams: Not part of the Traditional or Premium courses, but the Test Bank self-guided supplement provides a realistic exam practice environment.
Pay monthly? Yes
Free trial? Yes
Pass guarantee? Yes
Pro: Vast number of practice questions
Con: Limited practice exam offering

The Gleim EA Prep Course is available in a number of formats:

  • Traditional course – $529.95
  • Premium course – $629.95
  • Test Bank – $379.85
  • Individual courses – Part 1: Individuals, from $199.95; Part 2: Businesses, from $254.95; Part 3: Representation, Practices, and Procedures, from $169.95

Depending on which course format you choose, Gleim provides the SmartAdapt adaptive learning online platform, the largest offering of practice questions, audio lectures, personal counselor support, and access to course materials until you pass.

Visit Gleim Enrolled Agent Exam Prep Course

3. Lambers EA Preparation

Cost: From $299 for an individual course to $499 for the Crush EA Bundle
Practice questions: 2,100+
Videos: 55+ hours in the bundle
Practice exams: Simulated exam mode
Pay monthly? No
Free trial? No
Pass guarantee? Yes
Pro: Vast offering of video lectures
Con: No customer support

The Lambers EA preparation course is available in three separate parts – Part 1 Individuals, Part 2 Businesses, and Part 3 Representation, Practices, and Procedures - priced at $299 each, or as the Crush EA bundle which includes all three parts for $499.

Lambers offers online course lectures, instructor support, over 450 electronic flashcards, one year’s free access to the CE Library, and adaptive learning test prep software.

Visit Lambers EA Preparation

4. Wiseguides EA Exam Review Test Prep

Cost: From $124.95 for an individual course to $349.95 for the SEE Test Prep Bundle
Practice questions: 3,000+
Videos: Yes, but unclear how many or what availability is across the courses
Practice exams: Unlimited
Pay monthly? No
Free trial? No
Pass guarantee? Yes
Pro: Lowest priced
Con: Not as extensive an offering as other courses and outdated technology

The Wiseguides EA Exam Review Test Prep is available as a bundle, priced at $349.95, or in three separate parts, each priced at $124.95. You can also buy a 90-day access pass to course materials for $59.95.

The Wiseguides course is best suited to individuals who need a top-up or refresher rather than a complete preparation course.

Visit Wiseguides EA Exam Review Test Prep

5. Fast Forward Academy EA Course

Cost: From $494.10 for the EA online course to $629.10 for the EA Smart Bundle and Bootcamp. Fast Forward Academy also offers the chance to buy printed flashcards for $108.00
Practice questions: 3,000+
Videos: 100+ but not downloadable
Practice exams: Unlimited
Pay monthly? Yes
Free trial? Yes
Pass guarantee? Yes
Pro: More affordable than many courses and can pay over three, six or twelve months
Con: Style of video lectures is boring

Fast Forward Academy EA Course is available in three formats:

  • EA Smart Bundle and Bootcamp – $584.10
  • EA Smart Bundle – $629.95
  • EA Online Course – $494.10

Fast Forward Academy EA courses include video lessons, digital flashcards and academic support. Access to course materials is provided until you pass the SEE.

The Bootcamp is a series of on-demand webinars covering all three sections of the SEE, broken down into 23 sessions.

You also have the option to pay for the course over three, six or twelve months.

Visit Fast Forward Academy EA Course

How to Become an Enrolled Agent

The SEE is only one factor if you want to become an enrolled agent. There are a number of steps to take:

1. Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). For this you will need to provide:

  • Social security number
  • Personal and business information
  • Previous year’s individual tax return
  • Details of any criminal history and tax obligation issues
  • A payment card

The fee for obtaining a PTIN is $39.95.

2. Schedule your SEE through the Prometric SEE webpage, from which you can also access sample test questions.

4. Apply for enrollment. Payment can be made electronically or by downloading the correct form and posting it with a check to the IRS.

5. You will be expected to pass a suitability check, which ensures you have no criminal background, are tax compliant, and have no outstanding tax liability.

6. Should you pass the SEE and suitability check, and begin a career as an enrolled agent, it will be necessary to:

  • Renew your enrolled agent status every three years
  • Renew your PTIN each year
  • Meet the IRS continuing education requirements of 72 hours every three years with a minimum of 16 hours each year

Final Thoughts

If you wish to work as an enrolled agent, the best way to guarantee that you pass the SEE with the least number of attempts is to fully prepare.

Whether you wish to review your existing knowledge or would like to take a comprehensive course of study, an EA test preparation course will help.

It is always recommended that you find a preparation course that suits your individual needs, from cost and course materials and access to the style of support you will receive.


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