This week the IRS sent a reminder to preparers about the Registered Tax Return Preparer Competency exam. Now is the time to start preparing. Many of us feel the same way about the exam – Why now? Why me? If you haven’t taken an exam in years, then just going through the process of taking a standardized test is daunting. Even if you’ve prepared taxes for decades and know the material, the test anxiety can be a real burden. But, having just taken and PASSED the exam myself, I can tell you it isn’t so bad – IF you’re prepared!
To prepare for the exam, it’s important to put together a study plan. Here are some tips to get started:
1. Go online to the IRS site at www.irs.gov/PTIN
and read about the exam, including what publications are involved. The IRS even provides a short video that demonstrates the testing experience and what to expect at the exam center.
2. Select a test prep study course. These courses will pinpoint the information that is being tested, saving you the time of going through all those publications yourself! Drake offers the RTRP Test Study Course and the RTRP Test Tips and Overview courses at discounted prices to our customers – just $99 and $19 respectively! Plus, you can earn 10 CPE credits for taking the course, and the credits apply to your annual CPE requirement. Go to www.DrakeETC.com
to learn more and to register.
3. Set a time frame for studying. Do not procrastinate! Sometimes it is better to schedule the exam a few months away so that it forces you to get started now.
4. To prepare for taking the multiple choice and true/false questions you’ll encounter on the exam, practice by taking a sample test. A practice test is offered with Drake’s RTRP Test Study Course and you can take it multiple times (with questions being pooled from hundreds of questions in our test bank) until you are comfortable with the questions and material.
5. Relax. You have until December 31, 2013 to pass the exam and it’s OK to fail it. You’re allowed to retake it until you pass. But, I bet you’ll feel relieved the sooner you pass, so get started now.