How to Pass The IRS EA Exam in Less than 60 Days!

Our user Ran Chen explains how he passed all three parts of the EA Exam with PassKey in 40 days (check out Ran's fantastic charts!). You can read more stories like this in our EA Exam study forum!


Hi, thank you all for providing such a great service, I just passed all three within 40 days, and I want to share with you how I did it. 

My background: I have zero experience in Tax. I am an engineer and moved to the US a few years ago. All my taxes are done through Turbo Tax where I only have w2, mortgage, INT, DIV, capital gain, and nothing else. A few months ago I started to research the financial planning domain, and I found EA is a good start for me that's why I decide to do it. I have a daytime job, so my study is done part-time.


Joined Passkey: Oct 26, 2022
Pass Part 1: Nov 7th (11 days)
Pass Part 2: Nov 23rd (15 days)
Pass Part 3: Dec 5th (11 days)

The major reason I choose Passkey is that I found everyone is recommending their books, and then I google it and found the service, and it provides subscription mode! that's my favorite. 

How I studied

My general method is to go through all videos once (1.5x speed, otherwise I could not focus), 2-3 videos per day, go through slides once, take the practice exam 30-50 times, take the timed exam once, store all the wrong answers and go through it multiple times. I didn't read through the book.

Part 1

Practice Exam: 43 times. Average Score: 73%. Timed Exam: 79%.

Ran Chen Testimonial part 1 Chart

Part 2

Practice Exam: 40 times. Average Score: 76%. Timed Exam: 82%.

Ran Chen Testimonial part 2 Chart

Part 3

Practice Exam: 36 times. Average Score: 81%. Timed Exam: 92%.

Ran Chen Testimonial part 3 Chart


The graphs above are drawn by myself with Google Spreadsheet. I love to record the data and analyze it. 

IRS Exam

The SEE Exam is more detailed than the exam in Passkey, however, since it's scaled based on how other people answer the questions, it's harder, but you might get better scores.

Here is the comparison I have:

The difficulty for me to remember and understand: 1 > 2 > 3

Scores I got in Passkey (high to low):  3 > 2 > 1

Scores I got from the SEE exam (high to low): 2 > 3 > 1 (doesn't quite align with the offline test)

Overall, in Part 1 there are too many things to remember, and I found it most challenging to me. Part 3 everyone says they are easy, but in the real exam, there are also lots of details (like years) I didn't recall. Part 2 is just okay to me.


That's it, I feel I am lucky and wish everyone good luck as well. Thank you all for providing such a great service!

Ran Chen Testimonial

posted Dec 12, 9:43 am (47 days ago)