Medical coding careers will continue to be profitable professions. However, the Certified Professional Coder certification or CPC exam is not an easy target. The medical coding industry is rapidly expanding as the federal government pushes for the use of electronic health records such as ICD-10. This endeavor has resulted in higher pay, career opportunities, and a more competitive environment as more people get certified.
We’ve compiled a list of valuable CPC exam tips based on our experience for individuals preparing to take the CPC exam. We hope this CPC study guide may assist you in some way during your CPC exam.
The American Academy of Professional Coders Certified Professional Coder (AAPC CPC) exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. Examinees have 5 hours and 40 minutes to finish the exam.
The CPC test, unlike most other certification tests, is an open-book exam. Hence, examinees must bring copies of the ICD-10, CPT, and HCPCS manuals to the exam. The test is divided into 17 different topic areas, each with eight to ten questions.
The great news is that around 40-50 percent of all examinees pass the test on their first attempt, and there are no reasons why you will not be able to do so as well. A simple survey found that all first-time passers have good coding experience and are well-prepared. Here are some CPC exam tips to help you prepare and ace the exam on the first try.
1) Organize and Familiarize yourself With Your Manuals
The AAPC CPC covers a wide range of topics. Hence, your materials must be meticulously prepared before the exam. Bring all three manuals (ICD-10, CPT, and HCPCS) to the exam, or you will fail.
Familiarize and learn how to access information in each of the three manuals. The CPC exam will not assess your capacity to memorize thousands of codes but instead on your ability to locate these codes accurately and quickly.
You are allowed to bookmark commonly used portions of the manuals, so do so as you study for the test. You may also write marginal comments on your manual copies.
2) Practice Time Management
During CPC examinations, time management is critical. A few questions may take a few seconds to answer, but a few difficult ones may consume your time. This means answering first the questions you know.
Don’t waste time reading long paragraphs or complex situations; instead, attempt to skim the difficult questions and answer them later. After answering all of the known questions, you should have enough time to read through the entire situation to comprehend it.
Don’t let any questions go unanswered. In a pinch, read it like an eagle (search for relevant words rather than reading the entire question) and mark the answers.
3) Practice using Timed Mock CPC Test
Take as many timed mock CPC tests as you need until you achieve an 85 percent. You need a 70% to pass the actual CPC test, but we want you to aim for an 85 percent on the practice examinations to give you that cushion. Your mock CPC exam should be timed so you can adjust to the time pressure.
Practice aiming for 30 questions per hour. Draw a line after the 30th, 60th, 90th, and 120th questions to divide them into timed segments, and begin with 120-150, then 90-120. The questions towards the end are less difficult. Mark difficult questions and return to them. If you’re short on time, mark them with guesses if you don’t get back to them.
4) Take a Medical Terminology and Anatomy Course
Solid knowledge and comprehension of these two are crucial for the CPC exam. Failing this section means failing the entire examination because these areas are heavily tested. Make sure to study them extensively.
5) Purchase a Study Guide
Studying is the only way to pass any test, especially one as comprehensive as the CPC exam. Purchasing a CPC study guide will extensively assist you in preparing for the examination and guide you through each aspect of the exam. It is a review of all areas of the test that will help you understand what is ahead of you.
You may want to check out CPC Study Guide at https://www.coderstudyguide.com/. We are the industry leader pioneer in CPC study guides. With this book, you are assured of the highest quality practice at the best possible value, with comprehensive, accurate, and realistic practice exams and detailed answers and explanations.
Hope these tips helped you. If you are looking for more CPC exam tips, you can check out the CPC study guide which contains some secret less known examination tips and tricks. This guide is achieving a passing rate of more than 70% consistently. Using a CPC Study Guide now may increase your chances of passing the CPC exam on the first try.