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Enrolled Agent Exam Dates and Schedule: Pitfalls to Avoid

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enrolled agent exam schedule

Now that the EA exam is a fully computerized, is there still specific Enrolled Agent exam dates, or can we take the exam in any day of the year?

Enrolled Agent Exam Dates: Open and Black-out Periods

We can take the EA exam on most days, but not every day in a year. The Enrolled Agent exam schedule is open for 10 out of 12 months, from May 1 to February 28 of the following year.

The administrators make use of the black-out months (March and April) for maintenance and for updates with the most recent tax law.

Enrolled Agent Exam Deadline

Once you register for EA Exam, you need to schedule an exam within 2 years of registration.

How to Register for the Enrolled Agent Exam

  1. Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number from the IRS
  2. Schedule the exam at the Prometric center

The Prometic is appointed by the IRS to administer the EA exam. They run exam centers in the US and in other countries around the world. They also administer many types of professional exams, such as CPA, CMA as well as non-accounting and finance related professionals exams, such as those for nursing and real estate.

How to Avoid Enrolled Agent Exam Schedule Pitfalls

In order to register and schedule the exam, you can pick a Prometric center most convenient to you, as well as a preferred time slot on a particular day.

1. Schedule in Advance

For the EA exam, Prometric allows you to schedule as late as 2 days prior to the exam date.

I suggest that you schedule a few weeks in advance to secure your preferred time slot. If you prefer Fridays or Saturdays, you should schedule at least 1 month in advance.

2. Beware of CPA Black-out Dates

Also, many professional exams have more frequent black-out periods. For example, CPA has black-out periods in March, June, September and December. You can imagine that many candidates wait till the last minute, and therefore the few days right before the blackout dates can get very full. You can keep this mind for your EA exam scheduling.

3. Check the Confirmation Email

After scheduling, a conformation email will be sent to you, with the exam date, time and location of the exam. Make sure you double check the registered name and exam details.

If you lose this email, you can you can log back in to your dashboard under Prometric.com and request a duplicate confirmation.

How Does It Look Like at the Prometric Center?

It is basically a site with a registration area and another room with rows of workstations for the examination.

The first step is to present your ID for registration. Make sure your ID is:

  • Government issued
  • Signed and not expired
  • Include your photo and name, with the name matches exactly with the registration record.

You will be given a locker to store your belongings, including food, water, notes and so on (yes, even water bottle is not allowed).

Here are the items allowed and not allowed in the exam room:

Items allowed Items not allowed * Items provided by Prometric
Thin jacket, soft ear plugs Thick coat, wallet, phone, food, water, prescription, notes Pencils, scratch paper, basic calculator (calculator also available onscreen)

* You can take a water or toilet break during the exam, but the exam clock keeps ticking and extra time is required in the check-in and check-out procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which part can or should I take first?

Candidates can choose to take the parts in any order.

If I fail, when and how frequent can I retake that part?

Each exam part may be taken 4 times per testing window.

Can I get a refund or reschedule the exam?

Refund is not available, but you can reschedule the exam.

Prometric does it for free if you reschedule at least 30 calendar days prior to your appointment date. If it is between 5 to 29 calendar days, $35 administration fee is applied. Rescheduling cannot be done with less than 5 days’ notice.

Is there a time limit that I need to finish the 3 parts of the exam?

You can keep the credit for each part for two years. For example, if you took Part 1 in January 1, 2018 and then Part 2 in February 15, 2019, then Part 1 will expire on Jan 1, 2020 and Part 2 on Feb 15, 2021. After the deadline, you will have to retake that part of the exam.

For Your Further Reading

  • Archana says:

    If I complete part 1 on jan 15 2016 and part 2 in May 2016 and if I don’t complete part 3 by jan 15 2018 will I lose credit for part 1

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