It’s time to make a plan. The fee to take each part of the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) will increase by $70, from $111.94 to $181.94, on March 1, 2018 to facilitate running the exam. It isn’t an astronomical jump in price, but when you’re already paying a large sum of money for these fees and a review course, not to mention spending a lot of time preparing for and taking the Enrolled Agent (EA) exam, every little bit counts. If you haven’t sat for an exam part yet, you could be paying $210 more for your designation beginning March 1, 2018. A penny saved is a penny earned, and there are important dates coming up you should know if you want to avoid these higher Enrolled Agent Exam Fees. There is still time to schedule an appointment for the current testing window, so if you’ve been studying, make a plan to sit for part of the exam today!
EA Exam Testing Windows
If you are preparing to take the EA exam, you should consider scheduling a part in the current testing window (May 1, 2017 – February 28, 2018) to avoid the increased Enrolled Agent Exam Fees. The holidays are (unfortunately) over, but that means there is plenty of time to buckle down and finish studying before the window closes. It is important to note that appointments scheduled for the current testing window (May 1, 2017 – February 28, 2018) cannot be rescheduled for the next testing window (May 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019), so missing your appointment will result in you having to repay any exam fees. Be sure to plan out your time and decide if you can sit for one or more parts of the Enrolled Agent Exam before scheduling, because it may be worth paying the increased Enrolled Agent Exam Fees if you are not confident you will have time to prepare for and pass a part in the current window. It costs more money and time to retake an exam part, no matter which window you take it in.
Aside from some new retroactive tax laws that will be testable, large exam changes have not been announced, so the exam will be functionally the same in both windows. Candidates will be able to schedule an exam appointment for the May 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019 testing window beginning March 1, 2018, so if you’re unable to sit for an exam part in the next month and a half, start planning for the spring.
Making an EA Study Schedule to Avoid Higher Enrolled Agent Exam Fees
Candidates technically have two years from the time they pass their first exam part to pass the other two, but you should plan to complete all three parts within 1 year. The knowledge required for each part builds on what you’ve already learned, so if you take too long of a break, you may have to spend extra time re-learning material you already studied. You can take the EA exam parts in any order but, based on candidate feedback and the fact that each part builds of the previous part, we recommend you take them sequentially. Candidates need to be knowledgeable about topics covered in Parts 1 and 2 before they sit for Part 3.
A higher earning potential is powerful motivation to earn your EA designation. Putting off taking the exam could cost you in terms of potential earnings.
If you’re able to sit for a part in the current window, you can make it part of your New Year’s goals to pass the Enrolled Agent exam! Earning an EA designation is a great career move that anyone should feel proud of.
Candidates with our Premium Enrolled Agent Review System have access to a Personal Counselor, an exam mentor who can help guide you through the EA exam process from start to finish and even help you set up a study schedule in our interactive study planner. They can help you choose which window to test in and are a resource that should not be discounted.
The Best Way to Study for the EA Exam
Play to your strengths! Everyone’s schedule is different, and not everyone is capable of sitting still for more than a couple hours at a time, especially after a long day at work. Studying is difficult, and it’s difficult to make time for, so you want to set yourself up for success.
If you need to listen to music while you study, find somewhere comfortable where you can do so. If you need quiet and to free yourself from distractions, head to a library. Look at your priorities and set aside a solid chunk of time when you’ll be able to study your best, without interruptions. Whether it’s on your lunch break or late at night, find what works for you and stick with it. There is no “one size fits all” option for study habits, but there are two tips we guarantee can help:
- Set attainable goals for each study session. When you sit down, you should know the topics you’re going to work through and how many practice exams you’re going to take. Passing the Enrolled Agent exam is hard, but when you break it down into little goals, like “read chapter 1 and take a quiz,” it starts to look easy.
- Set up a regular study schedule. Humans are creatures of habit. The hardest part of a study session is often making yourself open the book (or pressing play, if you prefer our audio lectures). Once you find how you study best, make it part of your weekly routine.
It can also be helpful to tell your friends and family your goals. You’ll have people you trust who can help to hold you accountable, and they’ll know not to be offended when you set aside time to study.
Remember to focus on the goal: passing. Don’t wait for mastery of a topic before moving on to the next, and don’t wait to schedule an exam part until you’re acing your practice tests. If you’ve been studying but haven’t yet taken a part, you should have time to get ready and pass Part 1 before the Special Enrollment Examination fees increase on March 1, 2018.
Study More Efficiently with Gleim
The cost of the EA exam is increasing, but it’s worth it to increase your earning potential. You can pass faster (and try to beat the Enrolled Agent exam fee increase) with the most widely used Enrolled Agent exam prep course. It contains the largest bank of questions on the market (including questions released by the IRS) and comes with access to our team of Personal Counselors and Accounting Experts, who will work with you to help you pass. For more information about the EA exam itself, as well as more study tips, check out our free EA Exam Guide.