Finding the best Enrolled Agent course to help you pass the enrolled agent exam is pretty difficult because there are so many options for EA study materials out there. How can you choose between 16 EA prep courses all claiming to be the best? Furthermore, is there really a difference between them and will any of them help you pass the EA exam more than the other?
The short answer is: There are a lot of differences between all of the EA study materials out there that will make a difference in your exam performance. However, I don’t think there is one “best” enrolled agent study guide that works perfect for everyone. Each course is designed slightly differently and benefits candidates differently. Hence, the important thing is that you look at what EA study materials fits your learning style and study schedule best.
For instance, if you have a busy schedule, a course that has long lectures probably won’t work that well for you. Therefore, you should look for EA study materials with short, bite-sized lessons that will fit into your schedule. Likewise, if you learn best by watching videos, you will be much better off with a study materials that includes a heavy amount of video lectures.
Most likely, you will spend over 100 hours preparing for the EA exam. The last thing you want are EA study materials that will get in your way, because you learn less efficiently, and add study hours to your schedule. Ultimately, you want something that works for you.
That’s why I’ve reviewed all of the best enrolled agent classes and study guides. I walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of each course as well as the software features. This way you can decide which study materials are right for you.
After all, the last thing you should be worrying about is which EA study materials to buy. You have an exam to ace. 🙂
These are the Top 5 Best EA Exam Review Courses & EA Prep Courses in 2020 (December):
- Surgent EA Review Course
- Gleim EA Exam Review Course
- Fast Forward Academy Enrolled Agent Review Course
- Lambers Enrolled Agent Review Course
- WiseGuides EA Prep Course
Surgent EA Review Course
Surgent’s enrolled agent exam prep is a handy tool for Enrolled Agent hopefuls. Additionally, the program has a relatively low cost and lots of materials designed to cut study time and maximize learning. Furthermore, this course has awesome features like adaptive learning software, user-friendly course design, and a wealth of practice questions to test your knowledge.
The adaptive learning tech that the platform is built on learns about the user’s strengths and weaknesses as they begin to move through the study material. Next, a personalized study plan is generated to help the student overcome any weak points in their EA knowledge. This feature, combined with Surgent’s user-friendly design and hundreds of practice questions, is what contributes to this Surgent programs phenomenal EA exam pass rate: over 80%. New financing is available for Surgent EA, starting from $44/month.
There aren’t too many negatives associated with Surgent’s EA review course. It’s a low-cost and personalized study material. For a while, the only real setback to this course was the lack of additional features for students who might need more help than their current offerings. However, Surgent’s brand-new Ultimate Pass fixed this issue by including several appealing new benefits for EA candidates.
Some of these features are small enhancements to existing ones, such as physical versions of their digital textbooks and flashcards. They’ve also added some extra video content to their already expansive library, as well as some audio lectures. But what’s most appealing about this new package is their Ultimate Customer Support and EA Exam Expert access. With these two additions, you can now receive hands-on instruction equivalent to your own private tutor.
Gleim Enrolled Agent Course
Gleim has been providing extremely comprehensive enrolled agent study guides and review courses for decades. Furthermore, they are widely recognized as one of the best courses and most comprehensive study materials because of their thorough approach to presenting the information. It’s pretty much impossible to go through a Gleim course and not understand the topics. Yes, it is that in-depth.
Gleim has the largest collection of study materials for EA candidates: over 3,900 multiple-choice questions, more than 1,200 true and false questions, and over 450 video lectures taught by a university professor and tax professional.
If you’re worried about making your way through this gargantuan course, take note of the SmartAdapt technology that’s been integrated into every aspect of it. This is designed to save you time by identifying which areas you need to spend the most time studying while also keeping you motivated with progress trackers.
You also get access to a personal counselor who will help keep you motivated, on schedule, and understanding the information in the study text. This is a huge benefit that other courses don’t offer.
Ultimately, I think this is the best overall course and would recommend it to anyone who is serious about passing the EA exam quickly and wants great EA study materials. It even includes a full final exam review that you can use to prep yourself before your exam day. This is a great course. 🙂
Fast Forward Academy EA Review Course
Fast Forward Academy offers innovative enrolled agent classes, and has taken the idea of efficient learning to new heights. Essentially, they have pioneered and perfected the adaptive learning course that actively tests you to decrease your study hours. Overall, FFA produces great EA study material.
Fast Forward Academy EA review’s adaptive course uses software that tracks your answers to understand your knowledge of the subjects. Consequently, once it knows your strong areas and weak ones, it tests your weak areas to improve them. This way you aren’t going over topics that you already understand a million times.
The Fast Forward EA test bank is the second largest and includes over 3,100 multiple-choice and essay questions. This is particularly important because you don’t want to review the same questions over and over to the point that you memorize them.
Additionally, FFA’s analytics are also extremely detailed, as they are part of the adaptive course. And on the subject of adaptive learning, their newly added digital flashcards are fully customizable. This means that students are free to organize their premade decks into ones that focus exclusively on their personal study needs.
Unlike most of the other EA study material, Fast Forward also includes video lectures that discuss the most difficult topics covered in the course. Basically, if you learn better by watching a teacher or listening to a lecture, this is a great course for you.
Also included is a full set of printed and electronic textbooks.
Lambers EA Review Course
Their course is one of the most full-featured study guides and includes tons of extras and options that other companies don’t. For example, a recent redesign helmed by their subject matter expert Eva Rosenberg includes a robust study routine similar to the kind of adaptive learning technology you’d find with Surgent.
Another convenient aspect of Lambers EA Review is their reasonable pricing. Students can purchase their entire catalog for under $1,000, but they also offer smaller course packages for under $400. This is perfect for students who only need to brush up on a few specific aspects of the exam and don’t want to spend too much on their course materials.
Ultimately, the only thing really holding back this course from a higher ranking is their bog-standard content. Students interested in a traditional educational program should find the video lectures and flashcard software sufficient. However, when compared to offerings from Wiley and Surgent, there’s not much that Lambers provides to offer a better product. Still, you can do a lot worse!
Wiseguides Enrolled Agent Review Course
Wiseguides is by far the smallest company on this list. They don’t offer that many products or study resources, but their guides are extremely affordable.
This prep course includes over 2,900 multiple-choice questions and your choice of printed or digital textbooks. It also includes over 1,700 digital flashcards that you can use to practice memorizing important topics and concepts.
It also uses some pretty outdated technology. The user interface is pretty dated and not that great to use, but it is affordable. It’s less than half of the course of Gleim, Fast Forward, and Surgent.
That being said, I would recommend this as a supplemental enrolled agent study guide and not an actual exam prep course. It’s great to use for extra practice questions, but it’s not enough for a full guide.
Top Enrolled Agent Exam Prep Course Discounts from Gleim, Fast Forward Academy & Surgent EA
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Which Enrolled Agent Review Course Is The Best?
Top 5 Best EA Review Courses of 2020 – Comparison Guide!
|EA Review Courses||Best Feature||Discounted Price|
|Surgent EA Review Course||Most Comprehensive||$499|
|Fast Forward Academy EA Review Course||Adaptive Learning Technology||$499|
|Gleim EA Review Course||Best Analytics||$567|
|Lambers EA Review Course||Flashcards||$599|
|Wise Guides EA Review||Most Affordable||$470|
Common FAQs about Enrolled Agents
1️⃣What is the best Enrolled Agent prep course?
Surgent, Fast Forward Academy, and Gleim all offer compelling benefits, depending on what is most important to your study (video content, practice questions, scheduling technology, exam simulations, etc). Surgent even boasts an EA pass rate of over 80%. Every student is different however, so use my comparison chart below to see how they all stack up against each other.
❓How do you become an enrolled agent?
Unlike most other professional designations, there are no educational prerequisites for becoming an enrolled agent. Although you don’t need a college degree or diploma, you must prove your competency for tax-related matters. There are two ways to do this: you can either pass the Special Enrollment Exam (EA exam), or have a minimum of 5 years of IRS experience.
⏰How long should I study for the enrolled agent exam?
Most likely, you will spend over 100 hours preparing for the EA exam. One review course provider tells their EA candidates to budget about 50 study hours for Part 1, 40 hours for Part 3, and 85 hours for Part 2. Most candidates find that studying for 2-3 hours a night for about a month is sufficient for passing the EA exam.
💲How much does it cost to become an enrolled agent?
To be an enrolled agent, there are testing fees, enrollment fees, and maintenance fees. For the testing fees, each part of the EA exam will cost $182 (there are 3 parts), paid when you schedule the exam. The enrollment fee is a $30 fee paid to the IRS after successfully passing the exam. Maintenance fees include licensing and continuing education costs, and generally aren’t more than $200-300 a year. If you choose to use a professional study review (which we recommend), there are also costs associated with those too. Learn more here.
What is the average salary of an enrolled agent?
An entry-level enrolled agent with up to five years of experience can typically expect to earn an average of $42,000 per year. A mid-level enrolled agent with between five and 10 years of experience can generally expect to earn an average salary of $50,000. A senior-level enrolled agent with between 10 and 20 years of experience can typically expect to earn an average salary of $55,000. Agents with more than 20 years of experience may see a pay raise up to $60,000 per year.
What are the best EA review courses?
How To Become an Enrolled Agent:
- You must have a Personal Tax Identification Number (PTIN)
- Study for the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE)
- Register for the Special Enrollment Exam
- Take the IRS SEE
- Apply for enrollment and pass a tax compliance check
- Update your professional information