Compare Enrolled Agent (EA) Exam Prep Courses

Surgent EA Review is one of the best EA review courses for tax professionals, according to several independent review sites, including Crush the EA Exam and Accounting Institute for Success. Surgent also received a Silver Stevie Award from the American Business Awards for ReadySCORE, our exam-readiness metric found in all of our Enrolled Agent prep courses.

Find the Best EA Exam Review Course

As you begin your journey to passing the Enrolled Agent Exam (also known as the Special Enrollment Exam), you’ll want to decide for yourself which EA review course is best for your individualized study needs. We’ve put together this course comparison guide to help you decide between some of the most popular EA Exam review providers, and help you choose an Enrolled Agent exam review course that helps you pass all three parts of the EA Exam in as little time as possible.

In this article:

Overview: Surgent EA Review vs. Gleim EA Review

Enrolled Agent Course Features Surgent EA Review Gleim EA Review Course
Price - Full Course $699.00 $629.95
Price - Individual Section $189 $199.95 - $229.95
Pass or Money-back Guarantee Yes Within 12 Months
Adaptive Learning Software A.S.A.P. Technology™ SmartAdapt™
MCQ Count 1,800+ 3,500+
Unlimited Practice Exams Yes No, one exam rehearsal
Average Study Time 47 Hours 90+ Hours
Mobile-Friendly Yes Audio Lectures Only
Up-to-Date, Built-In IRS Publications Yes No
Course Access Unlimited 12 Months
Video Lectures Yes No
Customer Support Available via Phone, Email, and Live Chat. 1-on-1 coaching and ultimate customer support also available. Personal Counselor, Email, and Phone Support
Average study time for Surgent is based on actual observed study times for Surgent EA Review students, and represents the average number of hours it takes students to achieve a passing ReadySCORE, our indicator of exam readiness. Average study time for Glaim calculated using number of pages in textbook at a rate of 10 pages per hour, video lecture hours, and number of MCQs at 2 minutes per question with 1.5 attempts.

Independent Research

Independent reviews of Enrolled Agent exam prep courses are important to help EA candidates get an unbiased idea of whether or not a review course is going to work for them. Surgent EA Review has been rated as the top EA review course across multiple independent, third-party reviewers.

Crush the EA Exam

Bryce Welker started Crush the EA Exam to help those looking to pass the EA Exam to the review course they need to help them pass. He rates Surgent at 5 out of 5 stars. Crush the EA Exam specifically cites Surgent’s adaptive learning technology, clear course design, and the course’s Spanish answer explanations. He explains that the clear course design, which includes an organized dashboard that clearly shows candidates’ progress, overall score, hours studying, and a countdown to your exam date, helps candidates stay focused and on track to pass.

Accounting Institute for Success

The Accounting Institute for Success (AIS) is focused on helping accounting professionals gain their credentials on first try. The Accounting Institute ranks Surgent as the best EA Exam review course. AIS cites the course’s adaptive learning software, user-friendly design, and wealth of practice questions as just a few of the reasons for naming Surgent the top EA course. They call Surgent EA Review “a low-cost and personalized study material.”

National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)

The NAEA named Surgent EA Review as a preferred partner. Together, the two organizations created The Pathway to EA™, a program that offers NAEA members who aren’t enrolled agents free access to Surgent EA Review Part 1 – Individuals, and access to ReadyPASS, our exam readiness diagnostic tool. NAEA Executive Vice President, Robert Kerr, EA, said, “Through this partnership, NAEA is providing cutting edge assistance, education, and support to those who are ready to demonstrate their tax expertise.”

American Business Awards

Surgent EA Review’s exam-readiness metric, ReadySCORE, won a Silver Stevie at the American Business Awards in the Technical Innovation of the Year category. ReadySCORE was recognized as “a pretty remarkable and innovative feature. There are many testing programs that don’t offer any guidance on testing progress, so this is a nice feature to see.”

Comparing EA Course Providers

Surgent EA Review

Surgent is known for adaptive learning technology. It’s no surprise that when A.S.A.P. Technology™, our proprietary adaptive learning software, chooses the content you need to see based on your performance in the course, Surgent students are becoming exam ready in less than half the time it takes competitors’ students. With our exam-readiness feature, ReadySCORE, students know an estimate of what they would score if they were to sit for the EA Exam in that moment, and we offer unlimited practice exams so you can feel ready, too.

Gleim EA Review Course

Gleim is considered one of the most extensive EA review courses on the market, but studying a ton of multiple-choice questions doesn’t mean you’re actually better prepared to pass the EA Exam. And, while the course provides you with analytics to track your progress, it does not provide personalized recommendations on what to study – it leaves you to figure that out on your own. Study planning can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of exam preparation, and, though they offer a personal counselor, the course offers no adaptive learning solution. With only one exam rehearsal and no tool showing exam-readiness, you’re left on your own to decide when you feel ready to sit for the EA Exam.

The Top-Rated Enrolled Agent Review Courses:

  • Surgent EA Review
  • Gleim EA Review
  • Wiley EAexcel
Make sure that your EA prep course has all of the best features available.

Adaptive Technology

Check to make sure that the EA review materials are truly adaptive, so that you don’t waste time studying materials that you already know. The course should automatically update according to your progress, and readily show you the materials you need to see to become exam ready. You shouldn’t ever have to manually change your study plan or what you study.

Course Materials

Make sure that your course works with your learning style, whether you study better with physical textbooks, self-study, a video lecture series, or interactive materials. Surgent offers three tiers of Enrolled Agent prep course to ensure you can access what you need. Included in our Ultimate Pass is printed textbooks and, unlike any other course on the market, two extra educational courses including one CE course.

Pass Guarantee

While the EA Exam has higher pass rates compared to some of the other accounting credentialing exams, you will still want a course with a pass guarantee. That way, in the case that the exam review course doesn’t work for you, you know you’ll be able to get your money back. We see a pass rate of 93% in Surgent students, much higher than the national average!


You want a course that will be available for as long as you need it. Find a review course with full course access until you pass, so you don’t wind up with less than desirable EA Exam results and an expired review course.

Unlimited Practice Exams

It’s important that you feel prepared when you go to sit for the EA Exam. Make sure that your review course has unlimited practice exams, so that you can get used to the amount of time you have for each of the three exam parts and the feel of the exam before exam day.

Got Questions - FAQ

1. What is the best Enrolled Agent prep course? 2. How do you become an Enrolled Agent? Becoming an Enrolled Agent consists of multiple steps, including obtaining your PTIN, registering to sit, and studying. You can see a full breakdown of the steps to become an Enrolled Agent here 3. How long should I study for the Enrolled Agent exam? How long you should study for depends on how much time per day or week that you can commit to study. But students can pass in 3 months or under, using Surgent's study plan - download it here 4. Do Enrolled Agents make good money? Considering becoming an Enrolled Agent, but curious about the kind of salary prospects you could be looking at? We don’t blame you – take a look at our Enrolled Agent Salary Guide 5. Is EA better than CPA? Well, CPAs and EAs have different job roles when it comes to the range of services each offers. For example, CPAs can provide a much wider scope of tax services than an EA can, but EAs tend to be a better fit for more niche accounting needs. It simply depends on what your skillset is and where your interests lie.

Need more? Check out what a Surgent EA Review Student has to say:

Passed on the first try by using this course. I like the adaptive questions, which helped me focus on the areas where I needed more study time. A huge value for the price! Highly recommend! - Angela L.  

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