To pass the Enrolled Agent (EA) exam, also known as the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE), you only have to master one type of question: the multiple-choice question (MCQ). Though you’re probably familiar with standard MCQs, the ones you will see on the EA exam can be a little more complicated. We’ll share all of the details about Enrolled Agent exam questions and talk about some question-answering strategies so you can prepare.
Number of Enrolled Agent Exam Questions
The EA exam has three parts:
- Part 1: Individuals
- Part 2: Businesses
- Part 3: Representation, Practices, and Procedures
Each part contains 100 MCQs, and you’ll have three hours and 30 minutes to answer them. The questions are delivered in a random order, not the order in which the exam content outline presents the topics.
Types of EA Exam MCQs
Enrolled Agent exam MCQs consist of three components:
- The question stem: The question, the details necessary for answering the question, and likely some extraneous information.
- The correct answer: The answer choice that responds to the question better than the other three answer choices.
- The distractors: The three incorrect answer choices that may seem plausible in order to distract from the correct answer choice.
The EA exam uses three different MCQ formats:
Format 1: Direct Question
These straightforward questions require you to select the answer that best corresponds to the question. This is the type of MCQ most candidates are familiar with.
1. Generally, which of the following should be included in gross income?
- Life insurance proceeds.
- Child support payments.
- Cash rebate from a dealer when a car is purchased.
- Reimbursements from your employer of a moving expense you properly deducted on last year’s tax return.
Format 2: Incomplete Sentence
These questions require you to select the answer that best completes the statement.
2. The generation-skipping transfer tax is imposed
- Instead of the gift tax.
- Instead of the estate tax.
- As a separate tax in addition to the gift and estate taxes.
- On transfers of future interest to beneficiaries who are more than one generation above the donor’s generation.
Format 3: “All of the Following Except”
These questions require you to select the answer that is unlike the others because it doesn’t satisfy the statement. The correct choice will seem incorrect but is actually the best answer based on what the question is asking.
3. Which of the following does not have to be included in gross income?
- Unemployment compensation.
- Damages from a personal injury suit involving back injuries.
- Prize from a church raffle.
- Free tour from a travel agency for organizing a group of tourists.
Layout of MCQs on the EA Exam
In this image based on Prometric’s SEE Tutorial below, you can see what an Enrolled Agent exam question looks like and the elements it contains.
- Question Number: Indicates the question being answered out of the total number of questions (100 on each EA exam part)
- Section Time Remaining: Indicates the time you have left
- Progress Bar: Illustrates the completed percentage of the tutorial
- Answer Choice: Must be clicked to be selected
- Back: Moves to the previous question (backward)
- Next: Moves to the next question (forward)
- Flag Icon: Flags any question you wish to return to
- Question Mark Icon: Leads to the tutorial introduction
- Grid Icon: Leads to the section review, which lists all of the question numbers and indicates whether each question has been unattempted, attempted, or flagged
We strongly recommend you access and complete Prometric’s SEE Tutorial so you can be completely comfortable with the exam environment on test day.
Tips for Enrolled Agent Exam Questions
Get the best chance at success with EA MCQs by following these four tips:
- Work through each question systematically.
To start, read the question completely. Ignore the answer choices and focus on finding the exact requirements of the question. Try to determine the correct answer before looking at the answer choices, then carefully read and consider the answer choices to decide on the best one.
- Apply your exam time management strategy.
To ensure you answer every question, you must employ a time management system during the exam. Practice your system during your review. Giving yourself one and a half to two minutes per question lets you answer all 100 MCQs with ten to 60 minutes leftover to review your answers. If you don’t have an answer and you’re two minutes in, make an educated guess, flag the question, and move on. Your time is better spent elsewhere, and you can revisit the question during your review.
- Don’t be afraid to make an educated guess!
This can’t be stressed enough. If you encounter an EA MCQ that is ambiguous or unfamiliar, you have a 25% chance of answering correctly by guessing blindly, but you can improve your odds with educated guessing. Use what you know of the material to rule out one or more distractors and your chance of getting the question correct will increase drastically. This is especially useful for “all of the following except” questions. If you can identify what some number of distractors have in common, you can rule them out quickly.
- Learn from your mistakes.
Learning from your mistakes when you answer practice MCQs lets you avoid missing real Enrolled Agent exam questions. Every time you complete a practice quiz, read the answer explanations for both the correct and incorrect answers so you can perfect your understanding of the concepts. This will also hone your ability to identify distractors, which will make you much better at educated guessing.
Review for EA Exam MCQs
You’ll gain plenty of essential experience with EA MCQs when you review with the #1 Enrolled Agent exam prep. Gleim EA Review includes the largest test bank on the market with questions that emulate the exam more than any other course. Start practicing with our comprehensive test bank today by accessing our free Enrolled Agent Exam questions.