So you’re a tax professional ready to become an Enrolled Agent, but first, you have to pass the IRS’s Special Enrollment Examination. Check out our tips to help you pass the Enrolled Agent Exam and get on the road to your new career.
Use These Enrolled Agent Exam Tips to Help You Pass on the First Try
Know the Steps to Become an Enrolled Agent
Before doing anything else, you should find out how to become an Enrolled Agent. It’s more than just passing the Special Enrollment Exam; you also have to obtain a PTIN, pass a sustainability check, and enroll with the IRS. Knowing your steps early will help you determine next steps as you progress toward your new career as an Enrolled Agent.
Before you jump into studying, there are a few things you should know about the EA Exam. It consists of three parts, and you can take the parts in any order. There are also specific testing windows; March and April are dark months, so you have to take the exam between May and February. You also want to get familiar with the content covered on the exam so you know what to study.
Find an EA Review Course
You can actually find all the information you need to know on the IRS’s website and through IRS publications, but they aren’t put together in a nice format specifically to help you pass the exam. If you want to pass the exam the first time without spending hours sifting through tax law on the IRS website, you’ll want an EA Review course. Look for a review course that’s EA Exam specific and walks through the specific exam content areas.
Ideally, your review course should fit your learning style. If you thrive on audio or visuals, look for a prep course with video lectures or flashcards. If you enjoy a hands on approach, look for a course with lots of practice questions. And if you like an individual approach, look for a course with adaptive learning technology.
Schedule Your Exam Early
Exam seats fill up fast, and the last thing you want is to be ready to take the exam and then have to wait a few weeks for an opening. Get on the Prometric site and schedule your exam as soon as possible. This will also give you a hard date to help motivate you to study.
Start Studying Early
Once you have your exam scheduled, it’s time to dive into studying. You’ll want to start studying early enough to give you the appropriate amount of time to get through the material without having to rush. The Enrolled Agent Exam covers a vast amount of content in a variety of areas, so jumping on the study boat early will ensure you’re ready on exam day. Take your time, start early, and make sure you know the fundamentals and basic tax equations before exam day.
Create a Study Plan and Stick to It
The hardest part about passing any exam is scheduling. Like we mentioned above, you should start studying early, but you should also study smart. Create a schedule that ends just before exam day that covers all of the topics in depth. Then, stick to your schedule. Not the scheduling type? Surgent EA review features an adaptive study planner that tells you what to study on each day based on your exam date, so you’re completely prepared when EA Exam day rolls around. Learn how you can pass the EA Exam in just 6 months with Surgent EA Review.
Budget in Non-Study Activities
It’s important to stay mentally and physically healthy as you study for the exam. Build in fun activities, workouts, or visits with family and friends into your study schedule. This will provide a much-needed break from studying and will allow you to come back to each study session feeling renewed.
Do Practice Exams and Learn How to Budget Your Time
Practice exams are major helpers before exam day. They help you become familiar with the format of the exam, and they teach you to budget your time. Each of your Enrolled Agent Exams has 100 multiple choice questions that need to be answered within the 3.5-hour window. Taking practice exams will help you budget time for each question, and you’ll know on the real exam if you’re on track to answer all the questions and finish in time.
Keep An Eye Out For Exam Changes
The tax law is notoriously dynamic; a law in place last year may not be in place this year. With tax law changes comes changes in the Special Enrollment Exam. Being aware of these changes will ensure you don’t study laws that aren’t current and won’t be tested on the exam. Better yet, find an exam review course that offers free updates to the software whenever exam changes are rolled out so you’re sure to always have updated study materials.
Ready to start on your journey to passing the EA Exam? Start studying for free today with Surgent EA Review!