The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credential demonstrates expertise in coding medical services and procedures performed by physicians. This includes coding patient symptoms and diagnoses, as well as diagnostic tests.
100 multiple-choice questions
Online or in-person options
AAPC offers online and in-person proctored exams. Choose to take the exam at home in a quiet, private location or through your local chapter or a licensed instructor. Learn more about the online proctored exam and how to prepare for the current exam.
In-person and online exams are administered in one sitting, with four hours to complete the exam.
Equipment required for online exam
A reliable internet connection and an external webcam that can be positioned to show your face, hands, keyboard, and the area around the keyboard (about 10 inches) are required.
A high-level knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, and pathophysiology, along with understanding of the proper application of CPT® procedure codes, HCPCS Level II procedure and supply codes, and ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes.
If you don’t have medical experience or working knowledge of these subjects, we offer prerequisite courses to prepare you for the CPC certification training course. Learn more.
If you are already up to speed on medical terminology, pathophysiology, and anatomy, you can start right into our CPC certification training course.
Approved code books
AMA's CPT® Professional Edition, as well as your choice of ICD-10-CM and HCPCS Level II code books
Maintaining your certification
To maintain your credential, you must maintain your AAPC annual membership, and earn 36 continuing education units (CEUs) every two years.
One attempt for $399 or $499 for two attempts. Of note:
80% of AAPC students pass on the first attempt.
Students who train with AAPC are three times more likely to pass the certification exam.
The CPC exam is a test of medical coding proficiency consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions that assess 17 areas of knowledge.
Most questions present a coding scenario to test proper application of CPT® procedure codes, HCPCS Level II supply codes, and ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes — all of which medical providers use to submit claims to payers. During the test, you will reference approved code books — the AMA's CPT® Professional Edition, as well as your choice of ICD-10-CM and HCPCS Level II code books.
Whether you take the exam online or in-person, you must complete the CPC exam within four hours and answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass.