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PassKey EA Study Guide: My 3 Pros and Cons

passkey ea guides

PassKey EA Study Guides are the best-selling EA exam review books on Amazon.

They don’t offer the same interactive experience as other online courses, but quite a few candidates find them sufficient. Therefore, let’s take a look at the products and discuss the pros and cons.

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PassKey EA Study Guide Overview

1. Study Guides

The signature Passkey EA product is the EA study guide, the PassKey EA Review Complete. The textbook is about 800 pages long and includes all 3 parts of the EA exam:

  • Part 1: 18 units
  • Part 2: 19 units
  • Part 3: 12 units

Practice questions appear at the end of each unit.

You can also get the supplementary workbook, which includes six 100-question tests for each session. Basically, you can use the workbooks as mock EA exams.

2. Online Learning

PassKey now offers an online learning option for those who prefer a more interactive learning experience. It includes practice questions, e-cards, timed tests, and video lessons on selected topics.

3. Live Classes

PassKey occasionally has 3-day live class “camps,” usually in Sacramento, where PassKey is based. It costs around $650, including review materials and lunches.

Pros and Cons of PassKey EA Study Guide

I will focus on the major PassKey EA products, which include a textbook and a separate workbook.


1. Well Written and Easy to Understand

One of the best reasons to pick the PassKey EA Study Guide is that the textbook is well organized. It is an easier read than Gleim’s textbook and definitely better than Wiseguides. Each chapter is nicely summarized with questions. Also, all three sections are included in one textbook, so you can more easily keep all your materials with you at all times. With Gleim, you’ll have a different textbook for each part, and some candidates may find toting around all these books to be cumbersome.

2. Very Affordable

You can easily get the PassKey books on Amazon. They are fairly affordable, too.

I strongly recommend that you get the workbook as well for practice:


1. Mixed Review on Practice Questions

I have received two comments from my readers regarding how practice questions begin too easy. As a result, these readers’ study plans were chaotic because they had to spend extra time on supplementary EA exam practice. However, I wouldn’t choose PassKey if you’re not already a semi-tax expert. If you’re trying to learn all the tax laws and rules for the first time, though, you might want to consider another EA review course. Likewise, if you’re not good at taking standardized tests, PassKey may not be for you because the guides don’t include computerized EA practice exams.

Plus, most other EA courses include many more practice questions than you’ll find in the PassKey books.

At the same time, I have readers who are pleased with Passkey. Overall, the practice questions shouldn’t be an issue, but you might want to consider a set of practice questions with great reviews from everyone. (For example, check out the test bank from Gleim EA. You can purchase it separately, and it gives you plenty of practice questions. I even have a Gleim EA discount to save you some money.)

2. Minor Editorial Issues

Here is a comment on Amazon:

… the book has a fair share of editing errors and inconsistencies. One page will say one thing and the next will completely contradict it. Expect to consult the IRC and publications to clear up the mistakes that the authors/editors didn’t find. Furthermore, topics that are difficult to understand are often taken right out the publications with no further explanations.

Also, while some topics are explained well, others aren’t explained at all. Half a section will be spent thoroughly explaining a topic then something else will be haphazardly added in.

3. Not in a Computerized Format

The Passkey books do not have an online offering. Given that the EA exam is 100% computerized, you will need to find a way to try a simulated testing environment before exam day. In contrast, courses with online components like Gleim EA or Surgent EA include simulated EA exams. And really, learning how to take the computer test is a big hurdle to passing the EA exam. So keep that advice in mind when you’re picking your EA review materials.

4. No Customer Support

Of course, you can’t contact customer service if you have EA questions if you study with Passkey. So except for any study buddies you might have, you are on your own in the EA exam journey.

Conclusion about Passkey EA Study Guides

All in all, the Passkey Guides are a solid product with good value. Furthermore, I recommend this option if you’re well-versed in tax, and a more comprehensive offering would be overkill for you. You can check out the discounted books on Amazon:

Complete Set

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

If you have the budget, I would still recommend Gleim EA Review. After all, Gleim EA offers a more guided approach to self-study.

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About the Author Stephanie

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.

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