More advice on the Online Certification Test

posted Dec 12, 2010, 11:22 AM by Wayne Culp   [ updated Nov 15, 2013, 12:44 PM by Wayne Culp ]
I've come up with some suggestions that I'm hoping will eliminate some difficulties with signing up for the L&L test. I realize that all TRS and most Instructors have already gone thru this process, but maybe this could be passed down to this year's volunteers, in order to make it easier, and so TaxAide can get proper credit for tests taken.

1. Sign up for a NEW user this year - even though it may appear to let you use last year's info. When signing up for a new user, the first 2 boxes are being mis-marked about 50% of the time.

2. The first box shows "1-VITA" as the type of volunteer. It is necessary to click at the end of that line and choose "TCE - AARP" from the drop-down menu. (That assures that its a TaxAide test-taker - IRS collects this data for use in evaluating users.)

3. The second box will show as "Link and Learn Taxes - e-learning". That needs to be changed to "Publication 4491", using the drop-down menu. (That indicates that we teach using Pub 4491, not the L&L course. OK, we may use L&L for the new optional courses, but in general its Pub 4491. Again, IRS collects this data.)

4. When creating a new account, be sure to check incoming e-mail to make sure that the proper e-mail address has been registered. If no e-mail shows up from DONOTREPLY, then it may be impossible to reset a forgotten password, and the entire test will be unavailable. If no e-mail arrives, check the Profile to be sure the address was entered properly, and if so, check any SPAM or JUNK folders to make sure it didn't end up there.

5. There is no need to get complicated IDs - some have used the same 6-digits issued for their Practice Lab use, and that works. Others have used the first part of their e-mail address. Some have used just their first name followed by a few numbers that mean something (address or birthday) - these are all things that are easily remembered.

6. DO NOT get too complex with passwords. This isn't an area where identity theft is an issue. Using a combination of letters & numbers with a CAP or two thrown in, all intermingled, is pretty much going to guarantee forgetting a password. (If #4 above isn't followed, that password is then gone forever.

7. Don't use personal, very private passwords, as ID & password information needs to be shared with Instructors. (That is, if the Instructor is going to follow up on questions missed on the test, and be able to talk with the student about them.)

8. Instructors - when checking a student's missed questions, also check their profile to assure that the top two boxes are correct - if not, you can change them, then click on Update.

Bobbie Seabolt