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PassKey EA Study Guide: My 3 Pros and Cons

passkey ea guides

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

It doesn’t offer the same interactive experience than other online courses, but quite a few candidates find it sufficient. Let’s take a look at the products and the pros and cons. 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!

PassKey EA Study Guide Overview

1. Study Guides

The signature Passkey EA product is the EA study guide, known as the PassKey EA Review Complete. The textbook is about 800 pages thick covering all 3 parts of the exam:

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

There are practice questions at the end of each unit.

You can also get the supplementary workbook which includes 6 random 100 question tests for each session. And these are used as mock exams.

2. Online Learning

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

3. Live Classes

PassKey runs occasional 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 product — the textbook and workbook.


1. Well Written and Easy to Understand

One of the best reasons to pick 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 a hold of the book on Amazon. It is usually selling at $150 and if you have Prime, your shipping costs will be $0:

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


1. Mixed Review on Practice Questions

I have come across two comments regarding the practice questions begin too easy, and as a result, study plans were thrown into chaos because people had to spend extra time on supplementary practice. However, I wouldn’t choose PassKey if you’re not a semi-tax expert already. If you’re trying to learn all the tax laws and rules for the first time, and/or you are not good at taking standardized tests, then PassKey may not be for you.

Also, I can only estimate the number of practice questions but I believe the total number of questions, even with the workbook, is considerably lower than most online courses.

At the same time, I do 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.

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 Computerized Format

This is a book with no online offering. Given that the exam is 100% computerized, you might need to find a way to try out the simulated testing environment.

4. No Customer Support

Understandably, with books, you don’t even have an email address to ask questions. And except for any study buddies you might have, you are on your own in the EA exam journey.


All in all a solid product with good value. I would highly 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 which offers a more guided approach for 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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