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Enrolled Agent Course: Top 4 and My Best Recommendation [2018]

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Here is my analysis on the pros and cons of popular Enrolled Agent course providers based on readers’ experience and comments from participants in major accounting forums.

Let Me Find the Best Enrolled Agent Course for You!

I don’t believe in people who say their study materials are the absolute best because different Enrolled Agent courses suit candidates with different backgrounds and learning styles. However, I am confident that you will find one that suits you the best here. Disclosure: The I Pass Team may earn a small amount of compensation if you purchase from our links; our team uses these revenues to maintain the site and produce awesome free content just for you!

Enrolled Agent Course gleim enrolled agent course

Gleim EA Course (Premium)

fast forward eaFast Forward Academy EA Course (Smart Bundle) surgent enrolled agent course

Surgent EA Course

Passkey EA complete

PassKey EA Book

NAEA/top tax prep firms endorsement
Video/Audio-Visual
EA Question Bank 5-star 5-star 5-star n/a
# Practice Questions 3,500+ 3,500+ 1,800+ ~1,000
Audio Review
Free Trial
Money-Back Guarantee*
Customer Service Personal
counselor
Online Forum Technical
support
None
Access Time-limit Until you pass* Until you pass* Until you pass* n/a
Pricing (3-parts) $380 – 630 (save 20% automatically on Gleim Premium) $599 (539.10 w/ coupon – auto applies) $499 (save 15% w/ code IPASSEA15) $173 (save 9% instantly)
Pricing (single-part) $120 – 230 N/A $189 $60
Further Analysis Gleim
Fast Forward
Surgent
Passkey

* Conditions apply. Please check with the respective providers for details. For Gleim EA, the Access Until You Pass feature is only available on the Premium EA Review System.

Detailed Enrolled Agent Course Comparison

Gleim EA Review Course

Gleim is the most established and widely used EA review course.

Pros

  • Very established; one of the earliest providers of an Enrolled Agent course (as well as for CPA, CMA and CIA).
  • The Gleim EA Review System offers an integrated learning approach with videos/audio-visual presentations, the largest question bank, text books, and an online review platform and study planner.
  • Most comprehensive practice questions that closely simulate the real test experience.
  • Free trial with full access to Study Unit One
  • Money-back guarantee & access until you pass.

Cons

  • You can choose from the tradition to premium version at different price level, but generally it’s more expensive.
  • Although audiovisual lectures are included, there are no professor-led video lectures. The audiovisual lectures are similar to an animated PowerPoint presentation.

Recommendation

If you have some tax background and are the type of candidates who learn from practice i.e. doing lots of practice questions, I have no doubt that Gleim’s enrolled agent course is the best for you.

Check out Gleim EA Review

Fast Forward EA Review Course

All the bells and whistles at an affordable price.

Pros

  • Course is very well designed and easy to use.
  • Fast Forward is the only enrolled agent course that offers video lectures.
  • Huge test bank & unlimited practice exams.
  • Money-back guarantee & access until you pass.

Cons

  • Answer explanations are not as in-depth as Gleim. Some answer explanations only state why a correct answer is correct and there isn’t more information provided about other answer explanations.
  • Video lectures are sampled from Fast Forward’s CPA course and while they are appropriate, I’d prefer lectures to be created specifically for EA candidates.

Recommendation

Fast Forward offers an affordable course that provides EA candidates with a lot of value, and I’m encouraged by all the students who have used this enrolled agent course to pass. I am impressed by this offering and do recommend it.

Surgent EA Review Course

Surgent is an accounting test prep developer that prides itself on a unique offering — a software that learns from your answers.

Pros

  • The ASAP (adaptive learning) technology that analyzes your weakest areas based on the performance of each study session has a lot of potential.
  • There is a money-back guarantee as long as you are a “good student” (parameters include how much time you spend on the questions and the percentage of questions you answer correctly in the end).

Cons

  • There are fewer features (e.g., no video lectures, audio reviews, or flash cards) than Gleim and Fast Forward, although this is somewhat reflected in the lower price.

Recommendations

This is a good choice for those who know the exam content but need test prep software for exam preparation. It is also a great choice of supplement if you are looking for an additional set of practice questions.

Check out Surgent EA Review

Passkey EA Study Guides

#1 best selling under the tax law book category.

Pros

  • Affordable: complete guide selling at less than $180 for all 3 parts with a work book (for mock exams) for another $60
  • Books well written

Cons

  • Books do not include online access and candidates cannot practice in simulated testing environment
  • Mixed review on practice questions
  • Completely on your own — no customer support rep or personal counselors

Recommendation

Great if you are only looking for a book; but in this era of computerized tests, I personally would prefer something online to get the simulated exam experience, and tools for performance tracking and time management.

Check out Passkey EA Study Guide

Other Enrolled Agent Course Providers

They don’t make it to my top 3 list, but I am listing here for your reference:

H&R Block Income Tax Course

  • Pros: live classes available in more than 10,000 locations
  • Cons: Not a tailor-made course for the EA exam.

Lambers EA Review

  • Pros: Instructor Arthur Reed has a good reputation
  • Cons: Sales relying more on aggressive marketing than maintaining quality; too expensive at $900

Taxmama.com by Eva Rosenberg

  • Pros: Eva has the experience (e.g. setting up an EA course for UCLA); live webinars available
  • Cons: Too expensive at >$1,000

My Recommendations

gleim-ea-review-2For serious takers want to pass on first try:

I recommend Gleim EA: NAEA endorsed, has the best practice questions, personal counselor support, free trial and all with the Gleim Guarantee. Plus, with our Gleim enrolled agent course discount, you can save 20% on your course.

 

  • Sheebu says:

    Stephanie,

    Why haven’t you included Fast Forward Academy’s EA products in your comparison? i used their materials to pass the exams two years ago and loved them.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Sheebu, thanks! You are the first reader to tell me this (and I don’t see Fast Forward mentioning in any EA discussion forum either). Glad you like it and I will once I get a few more feedabck from other readers. Regards, Stephanie

  • Dana says:

    Dear Stephanie, thank you for observation. What can you say about Hock materials? Are there popular among those students, for whom English is not native?

  • Sonya says:

    Looking for a program for someone retired and new to tax looking for a part time tax season career.

    • Stephanie says:

      I guess any of those from the chart is good. You may want to sign up for those with free trials and give them a try first. Cheers, Stephanie

  • Yolanda A says:

    Thanks for the information, but I was anxious to see how Fast forward academy stood up to Gleim.

  • Chris Onuekwusi says:

    Hi Stephanie

    This is slightly off topic but I will appreciate your feedback.

    I am retired and trying to find a new way to make a living. I have no accounting experience but have been preparing my own taxes for years which I enjoy very much. What are the employment prospects for an EA. I will hate to invest my time and money, hopefully pas the three-part exam only to find out it is difficult to get a job.

    Thanks for all the good work.

    Regards

    Chris Onuekwusi

  • Charlene says:

    I bought Lambers. Passed the first time. Loved how it has a pretest to see what you know and then quizzes. There a tests and timed tests to get you ready for the exam. Arthur Reed is a good instructor keeps my attention and the is hard because sometimes the material can be dry. The only con was it was expensive. By I wanted to pass the first time and I got what I paid for and that is all that matters.

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