Last night I took the Basic Exam for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Care for the Elderly (TCE) Certification Course. It's pretty tough, with 30 questions ranging from filing status to dependency questions. You also have to fill out two complete 1040's along with supporting forms to answer some of the questions and then do a review of someone else's form. The test is administered electronically.
The big news: I passed!! I'm now officially certified. I've probable spent somewhere around 40 hours working on this and probably around 20 of those in the last 3 days. So this was a big victory for me.
Tonight I start the software training, 6 nights of classes, 2.5hours each night. Then I start preparing taxes the following weekend. Right now, I'm just enjoying looking at my laser printed - suitable for framing, certificate.