- 100 multiple choice questions (proctored)
- 4 hours to finish the exam
- Open code book (manuals)
- $299 for 1 attempt
- $399 for 2 attempts
Reviewed by a General Surgery Steering Committee:
- Connie Martin, CPC, CGSC
- Rhonda Buckholtz, CPC, CPC-I, CENTC, CGSC, COBGC, CPEDC, CPMA
- Rebecca Queer, CPC, CEMC, CGIC, CGSC, COBGC, CPMA
- Shelly Cronin, CPC, CGSC, CANPC, CGIC, CPMA
- Debra Mariani, CPC, CGSC
Specialty exams measure proficiency in the correct application of specialty-specific ICD-10-CM, CPT®, HCPCS Level II, modifier usage, and regulations.
- Must schedule examination four weeks in advance
- Must have current AAPC membership
- We strongly recommend that you have at least two years of experience in the specialty prior to sitting for the certification exam. Please be aware that these are difficult, high-level examinations not intended for individuals with little, limited, or no coding experience
Passing & Certification
Each specialty certification exam must be taken separately and passed. To obtain all certifications, you must test in all specialties.
An overall score of 70% or higher is required to pass the certification exam. If you don't pass, the areas of study/categories with a score of 65% or less will be provided for your preparation to retest. The areas of study reported reflect scores based on the number of questions in each category/section of the exam.
Maintaining your certification will require Continuing Education Units (CEUs). For CEU requirements please see our CEU Information page.
Approved Manuals for Use During Examination
- CPT® Books (AMA standard or professional edition ONLY). No other publisher is allowed.
- Your choice of ICD-10-CM
- Your choice of HCPCS Level II
Highly Recommended References
- One book/reference of your choice
Confirm what reference materials are allowed during the specialty certification exam.
Electronic devices with an on/off switch (cell phones, smart phones, tablets, etc.) are not allowed into the examination room. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disqualification of your exam.
Any officially published errata for these manuals may also be used. No other manuals are allowed. Each code set is updated annually, so it's essential that you use the current calendar year's code books when taking the certification exam.