Choosing the right EA review course is the single most important decision you will make on your Enrolled Agent journey.
Consider how competitive this industry has become— the BLS expects positions to decrease by 4% over the next ten years1, with automation being one of the core causes2. And while this will probably lead to increased salaries over the long term, it also means that you’ll need to work even harder to achieve success in your career.
A lot of the hard work is studying so you can pass the IRS Special Enrollment Examination (SEE). But in order to make those hundreds of study hours count, it’s crucial to find the course that best fits your learning style and background.
So here’s the good news – I have personally tested every major EA review course on the market so you don’t have to!
The comparison chart below will help you figure out which EA review course best fits your needs.
Which EA Course Is Right for You?
This short questionnaire will help you decide what is the best option for you when it comes to preparing for the EA exam.
What Are The Best EA Review Courses? These are the Top 5 Best EA Review Courses in 2022 ( December):
Here are the best EA review courses & EA study materials to help you pass the exam on your first try and become an Enrolled agent.
How do you rate Surgent EA Review ?
Surgent EA Review Course (Rank: #1)
Surgent EA Review offers a wide range of materials in order to appeal to every type of student. You’ll find something you like here no matter what your learning style is.
When you enroll in a Surgent prep course, you can expect a traditional study experience. Their enrolled agent exam prep curriculum includes a wide range of materials: lectures, practice questions, and virtual coaching. All of this is paired with an excellent adaptive learning program that ensures you’re always spending your time in the most productive way.
Additionally, everything Surgent offers is available on mobile and desktop. If you’re interested in trying them out, we recommend the Ultimate Pass course; it comes with 2 supplementary courses on Microsoft Excel and professional ethics, in addition to everything I mentioned above.
Surgent Enrolled Agent courses come with a wide array of materials, such as:
- 1,800+ Practice Questions
- 25+ Video Lectures
- Unlimited Practice Exams
- Adaptive Learning Technology
- Printed Textbooks
- 1-on-1 Coaching
Surgent EA Pros & Cons
- Adaptive Technology: Surgent believes in helping their customers study smarter, not harder. That’s why their course includes an adaptive learning system. This technology allows the course to shape itself around your strengths and weaknesses— meaning you aren’t forced to revisit subjects you already understand.
- 1-on-1 Coaching: Surgent offers an additional coaching program for anyone using their Ultimate Pass course. Each coach helps to reinforce everything you’ve learned through the rest of the course. And since these sessions are 1-on-1, you have the full attention of your teacher.
- Audio and Video Lectures: Lectures are a major part of Surgent’s study program. They offer over 25 video lectures for all exam sections, as well as audio-only versions. Feel free to watch one lecture on your computer or tablet and listen to another one while on your commute or at the gym.
- Multilingual: Surgent offers their courses in multiple languages. If English isn’t your first language, this course should be your first choice— this is one of the only Enrolled Agent exam prep courses that offers this feature!
Bottom Line: Surgent is an excellent option for anyone who wants a no-nonsense approach to studying. They have plenty of excellent study options for anyone hoping to become an Enrolled Agent.
Surgent EA Review Course Discounts & Promo Codes
Gleim EA Review Course (Rank: #2)
Gleim’s EA review course is designed to replicate the exam-taking experience as accurately as possible. This means you can become familiar with both the test content and format at the same time.
As I mentioned previously, Gleim’s course focuses heavily on content that realistically compares to the actual exam. This includes unlimited practice exams with detailed answer explanations. You’re free to prepare for the test on your own terms when you enroll in the course, but Gleim’s instructors recommend mimicking the actual exam conditions when using their practice tests.
Much like Surgent, Gleim offers 3 different course options. Firstly, you can just buy the test bank for $379. Next is the Traditional course for $503, which adds the adaptive course technology and some audio lectures. Finally, the Premium course costs $598 and comes with a series of video lectures and instructor support.
Gleim’s focus on testing shines through their materials, which include:
- 4,000+ Practice Questions
- Detailed Answer Explanations
- SmartAdapt Technology
- Unlimited Practice Exams
- Digital/Printed Books
- Digital Flashcards
Gleim EA Pros & Cons
- Detailed Answer Explanations: Every test question comes with an in-depth explanation for the answer. That way you’re still learning even when you’ve got a question wrong. Plus, it’s a great way to understand aspects of the answer that you may not have understood otherwise.
- Custom Practice Exam: Anyone using Gleim’s program has the option to create their own practice exams. Doing so lets you focus on areas that you know you need extra help in. Plus, you can exclude questions from areas you’ve already mastered.
- Course Analytics: Gleim’s EA course comes with a SmartAdapt learning platform that contains detailed analytics. Using this platform will allow you to track your progress and identify the areas that you need extra help in. Plus, it’s a great tool to let you know when you’re ready to attempt the exam.
- Limited Focus: Gleim’s greatest strength can also be a bit of a weakness. Anyone who has a different learning style that doesn’t prefer repetitive practice exams may not find Gleim as effective. There are a few alternatives included in their catalog — such as coaching — but there’s an obvious bias towards practice tests.
Bottom Line: Gleim is an excellent option for anyone who wants a course with a heavy testing focus. You’ll easily pass the EA exam if you use Gleim’s unlimited exams and study their detailed answer explanations!
Gleim EA Review Course Discounts & Promo Codes
Fast Forward Academy EA Review Course (Rank: #3)
- Intricate Video Content: While the video lectures on their own aren’t particularly noteworthy, the way that Fast Forward Academy’s EA review course integrates supplementary information is impressive. Boring video lectures become informative multimedia presentations.
- Community Feedback: Fast Forward Academy EA review course integrates their community forum seamlessly with the rest of their study tools. Because of this, students can easily compare their progress with their peers as a barometer for their study efficiency.
- Low Cost: Whether a student is interested in trying the full digital course or simply wants the written study guide, the conveniently low price for either package is well within a frugal student’s budget.
Bottom Line: The affordable EA review course study program provided by Fast Forward Academy is a terrific resource for students who learn best through video content. Integrated community features are a convenient fringe benefit.
Fast Forward Academy EA Review Course Discounts & Promo Codes
Lambers EA Review Course (Rank: #4)
- Multiple Options for Review: Lambers EA review course offers students the option to review with audio lectures, video lectures, and an online workbook. The audio EA review course can be downloaded to your computer and then synced with iPods and other MP4 media players for convenient study while you exercise or commute.
- Flash Trainer: Although the traditional study materials like video lectures and audio content are included with this course, it’s Lambers’ Flash Trainer that makes this program stand out. This is a new twist on an old classic, providing a seamless method of testing your memory and understanding of EA curriculum with digital flashcards.
- Intuitive Process: With the aid of their subject matter expert Eva Rosenberg, Lambers revamped their outdated course to include a helpful and streamlined study routine. This three-step process evaluates each student’s specific educational needs and meets them with adaptive educational drills and simulations.
- Video Content: Don’t get me wrong: the video lectures provided with Lambers EA Review provides useful information to help students understand core concepts covered on the EA exam. However, the presentation for these video lectures is static and bland, feeling like a glorified PowerPoint presentation.
Bottom Line: The insight provided by Eva Rosenberg and Arthur Reed in Lambers’ EA review course is impossible to find anywhere else. With a bit more engaging video content, this would be one of the top courses on the market!
WiseGuides EA Review Course (Rank: #5)
- Low Price: Pay as little as $49 per exam section (90 days of access) or $79 for each part of the exam, or $237 for all three (12 months of access). The WiseGuides EA course includes access to all online features, practice questions and online exams, 1,500 digital flashcards and hard copy textbooks.
- Number of Practice Questions and Materials: You’ll get a total of 2,900 study questions and 1,700 electronic flashcards for all three parts of the exam, an unlimited number of online practice exams, and eLessons or printed Lesson Books for additional practice. Although the technology is old, you will get a lot of material at a bargain price, making this course a great supplement to another study program.
- Outdated Technology: In terms of layout and design, this course needs significant updates. Limited feedback and analytics are available when it comes to performance tracking, and the online tools and course dashboard are very basic and old-school. The free demo will give you an idea of the tools and capabilities you’ll get with this course, so definitely try it before you buy it.
Bottom Line: If you can manage to stomach the obsolete technology behind their EA review course, WiseGuides can provide one of the most affordable courses that still includes thousands of practice questions
Enrolled Agent FAQs
Want to learn more about enrolled agents or the EA exam process? Here are some helpful answers to frequently asked questions:
What is the best Enrolled Agent prep course?
The EA exam prep course that offers the best experience for the widest range of students is Surgent. Their curriculum is made up of several different study materials, they offer live instructor assistance, and their adaptive learning technology is second to none. Gleim also has an excellent catalog of EA exam review courses with the largest volume of practice questions and quizzes.
Is the enrolled agent exam difficult?
When looking at the pass rates for EA exam takers, it’s clear that this three-part exam is very difficult— but it gets easier as you progress through each level. According to data gathered by Gleim, Part 1 has the lowest average pass rate (around 61%), and Part 3 has the highest (around 85%).3
How do I prepare for the enrolled agent exam?
The IRS recommends consulting several of their official tax forms and documents when preparing for the EA exam.4 Additionally, they have a list of recommended prep course providers to help you understand the test material, including several of our top-rated courses like Gleim and Kaplan.5
How long should I study for the enrolled agent exam?
According to Fast Forward Academy, students typically need between 40 and 160 hours of study time for each section of the EA exam. They recommend scheduling regular study times over a period of 3 to 4 months in order to meet this goal and pass the EA exam.6
Additional Resources to Get You On the Right Track
Not sure you want to become an Enrolled Agent? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Check out my Enrolled Agent vs. CPA comparison and see what’s a better fit for you. You can also learn more about other finance and accounting related certifications: CPA Exam Courses, CFA Prep Courses, and CIA Study Materials. And if you have any Enrolled Agent questions, just drop a comment below and I’ll personally help you find the right course for you!
Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc.com, YEC.co and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created CrushTheCPAexam.com to share his knowledge and experience to help other accountants become CPAs too. As Seen On Forbes