Taking the Online CPC® Exam

Taking the Online CPC® Exam

Wondering if the online CPC® exam is right for you?

If you’re trying to decide whether to take the Certified Professional Coder® (CPC®) exam in person or online, the following information can help. There are added requirements for scheduling your exam online, so be sure to read through our full list of FAQs below before you decide.

About the Exam

What are the requirements for taking the online CPC® exam? You must meet the following requirements to take an online exam:

  • Your computer must pass the minimum system requirements
  • You will be required to use an external webcam that can be placed to show:
    • Your face
    • Your hands
    • Your keyboard
    • The area surrounding your keyboard (about 10 inches)

What books can I use for the online CPC® exam? You will only be allowed three coding books on your desk (one of each type listed below). Online proctors will do a thorough review of your books before you begin the exam. It is highly recommended that you use current year books on your exam. Note: Printed guidelines will not be allowed during the online exam.

  • 2019 or 2020 AMA CPT version only
  • 2019 or 2020 Your choice of ICD-10-CM
  • 2019 or 2020 Your choice of HCPCS

What can I have in the room with me during the exam? Along with the three coding manuals above, you may also have a drink on your desk and a whiteboard, dry-erase marker, and eraser. You will be required to show your clean whiteboard (front and back) to your proctor before the exam and after the exam.

How many attempts will I get for an online CPC® exam? Members taking online exams will receive one attempt at a lower cost than the standard two attempts in person.

For members with open exam vouchers, the voucher can be transferred to online.

Example 1: You make a new purchase for an online exam — you will get one online attempt.

Example 2: You have already purchased two live exam vouchers or have unlimited vouchers — if you choose to convert to online, you will be in an exception group and will get two online attempts.

Example 3: You have already purchased two live exam vouchers or have unlimited vouchers — if you have already used one exam attempt and you choose to convert to online, you will have one online attempt.

How will the test be administered? A blackboard will be utilized to take the exam, with our partner Examity proctoring the exam online.

How do you prevent people from cheating (using Google, cellphone, etc.)? The integrity and security of our exams continue to be our focus. With the combination of AI and a very low ratio of one proctor per two examinees, we have closer monitoring than with live exams.

Important Note! Any member who violates our code of ethics by cheating will lose their credential(s) and will not have the opportunity to sit for any future AAPC exams.

How do I schedule my exam? Scheduling will happen directly through Examity after the online exam voucher has been applied to your AAPC account.

Can I see my scheduled online exam and exam results in the My AAPC app? Not at this time. While we work to enhance the app with information from the new online exam, please use the member area under My AAPC > Exams to see your scheduled exam details and results.

What is the online exam cancellation and rescheduling policy? If you cancel or reschedule your exam date/time prior to 24 hours before the start of your exam, there will be no fee. If you cancel or reschedule within 24 hours or less, Examity will charge a fee for each occurrence.

What is the no-show policy for online exams? If you do not show up to your scheduled exam OR you do not meet the requirements to take the exam, Examity will charge a $30 fee for each occurrence and your exam may not be rescheduled until paid.

Taking the Exam

Will the exam still be 5 hours and 40 minutes? The exam has been split into two parts with a maximum time limit of 2 hours and 45 minutes per part. The two exam parts can be scheduled on the same day at different times or on different days if you prefer.

If I have extra time from Part l of the exam will I be able to use it on Part ll? No. Extra time does not carry over. The two exam parts are considered separate tests, and each will have a time limit of 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Can I skip questions and come back to them? You can skip questions or move back and forth between questions within each part of the exam (part I or part II). However, once you submit that part, you will not be allowed to go back to it.

What type of questions will be on the exam? The online exam follows the same criteria as the in-person CPC® exam. See the breakdown of areas and number of questions here.

Exam Results

Will I receive my exam results immediately? Exam results will be available within five business days of completing the second part of the exam. Results will show in the member area under My AAPC > Exams in the exam details.

Will areas of study be available when I get my online exam results? Not at this time. Once both parts of the exam are completed, you will receive a Pass/Fail and an overall score. If you would like areas of study, please contact our support team.

General Questions

Are online exams offered for credentials other than CPC®? The CPC® credential is the only one offered at this time. After evaluating the success of the CPC® exam, we will notify members if others become available.

Is this option also available in other countries? Yes, this option is available worldwide.

Will ADA accommodations be made for the online CPC® exam? Not at this time. ADA accommodations will be provided at physical locations. We are working toward this and will let members know as online options become available.

I’m signed up for a test date in the summer. Should I pre-register for the online exam just in case my exam is cancelled? We do not see a reason to switch at this time. If your exam is cancelled, we will allow a transfer to an online exam. Examinees with dates that have been cancelled will be top priority for online exams.

Will online exams be a permanent offering? Due to COVID-19 and many of our test sites being closed, AAPC took our most highly sought-after credential and created an online solution that allowed those impacted to receive their credential. We will closely monitor the results and success of the online exam to determine how to move forward after the COVID-19 crisis is over.

I heard AAPC cancelled all exams until further notice. Is that correct? Exams were only cancelled through April 30. Each location is now assessed on a case-by-case basis depending on the restrictions in each state and each facility. We are contacting all exam sites to determine their ability to proctor.

Will our local chapters still be administering exams once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted? Yes! As soon as states and facilities begin to allow groups to gather, local chapters will be needed more than ever to host exams to meet demand, particularly for those members whose exams were cancelled.

12 Responses to “Taking the Online CPC® Exam”

  1. Teresa Gallaher says:

    Members need to be aware that multiple monitors are not allowed. If you have more than one monitor you will be asked to unplug the additional monitors.

    Also, keep in mind that if your computer has a built-in camera you will need to disable it before your exam. Your external webcam may not have access to the GoToMeeting or Zoom Meeting.

    Good Luck!

  2. Sheree Scott says:

    How many questions are on part 1 and part 2 of the CPC exam?

  3. Tim Brown says:

    I’d like to take the online exam but I don’t have an external webcam. What are some good models that I can purchase to take the exam?

  4. Kristina Philipson says:

    Exam takers need to understand that their webcam needs to make your hands, face, keyboard, mouse and surrounding area viewable at all times so make sure to find a good location for the camera before you get started. The exam didn’t really require a keyboard but you have to have it in view anyway.

    Also, Examity still has some kinks to work out: while taking the second part of the exam, the proctor was disconnected and I had to just keep going and hope my answers and completion time were being recorded.

  5. Michelle Papageorgiou says:

    Is the exam on zoom or GoToMeeting? How do we test external camera for that?

    After watching the live QA yesterday, I feel like AAPC is really pushing online tests. I REALLY don’t understand if you are basically asking us to do this, why can’t we get the 2 tries we are entitled to? This doesn’t seem fair. My vouchers were both paid for, so basically I lost money.

  6. Miranda Schmidt says:

    I took my exam online this week. The most challenging parts were trying to place the webcam in a way that gave the view required, not being familiar with Goto Meeting and controls – It was challenging to see the view the proctor had while doing the room scan.

    I had to switch workspaces as my current desk is a built-in and I couldn’t place the webcam in a way that was acceptable. My advice is to get this worked out beforehand. I switched to another room with a table that could be moved Away from the wall and I borrowed a professional tripod from a photographer friend.

    Overall – taking the exam went smoothly. I only had one time on part 2 where the proctor moved my mouse during a question – that startled me a moment.

    I found having the whiteboard helpful. Thank you for allowing this option!

  7. Lee Fifield says:

    There are many good webcams available on Amazon and Best Buy to match anyone’s budget. Many AAPC members suggest buying a webcam with a tripod so the exam proctor can more easily see your face, hands, and keyboard.

  8. Lee Fifield says:

    There are 74 questions for part 1 and 76 questions for part 2 of the exam.

  9. Lee Fifield says:

    Michelle: Examity uses both Zoom and GoToMeeting platforms. Your proctor will choose one and send you a link to join the specific meeting they set up. To test your camera, click the Windows icon, choose “Settings” from the Start screen, choose Privacy, click “Camera”, then choose “Let Apps Use my Camera”. If you need further instruction, you can do a Google search for “How do I activate an external camera?” Concerning your vouchers, your school only purchased one attempt for you. Please speak with your school if you need further clarification.

  10. Hashmatullah Jalil says:

    What does it meant CPC certification exam 01- G1 and CPC certification exam 01-HI

  11. Jennifer Sweet says:

    Hello. Just wondering if notes were allowed in your codebooks. I have been making notes in them while I studied but now wonder if that was a wise decision. Thoughts?

  12. Lee Fifield says:

    From AAPC: Jennifer, when taking the exam, there are some stipulations. The proctors will ask you to fan out your books to look for any loose papers. Pens and pencils are not allowed during the exam. Handwritten notes are acceptable in the coding books only if they pertain to daily coding activities. Questions from the study guides, practice exams, or the exam itself are prohibited. Tabs may be inserted, taped, pasted, glued, or stapled in the manuals so long as the obvious intent of the tab is to earmark a page with words or numbers, not supplement information in the book. Altering, whiting out, painting, or printing over any pages within the code books (e.g., marketing pages, table of contents, reference pages, etc.) to supplement information is prohibited. No materials (other than tab dividers) may be inserted, taped, pasted, glued, or stapled in the manuals. I hope this helps!

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