cpc exam - doing pretty good

jrintrieri71

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I am taking the CPC exam this staurday. anything anyone can tell me before I take the test. Getting a little nervous now that it is coming up so soon. I have been taking alot of practive exams and doing pretty good. Any thing I should go over this last week that is important. thanks any information would be appericate.
 

jmcpolin

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I studied the day before pretty hard then I gave my brain a bit of a break the night before, someone told me to take trail mix because chocolate can help with memory, I did that and I passed the first time.
 
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Make sure you know the ICD-9 coding guidelines front and back. Also bring little small (quiet) snacks with you. Best of luck!!!!

Kristen Thomas CPC
 

drado72

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Pay careful attention to the questions, they can give you clues to help select the correct answer. Such as if the question mentions that patient X is a patient of Dr. A but for some reason has to see Dr. B on this visit, then you know the patient is established and you can exclude any new patient eval codes from your selection choices.
 
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Don't get bogged down in any questions. Answer the ones you know first, mark those you don't know and come back to them. Do not leave any questions unanswered (you have a one in four of guessing right if you have to guess...but if you don't answer at all then you don't get any points)

If the question doesn't make sense...mark it and come back to it. There are plenty more that you DO know how to answer.
 

swright01

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swright

I've passed the CPC last month and my instructor advise me to go to the back of the exam and answer the coding guidelines, medical term. and hcpcs questions 1st, which i did great, then go back to the 1st questions and answer the shortest questions and save the paragraph questions for last. And this work for me. Good Luck !!!
 

Pam Brooks

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After many years as a CPC, I recently sat for my CPC-H. I purchased the study guide, three practice exams and took an 8 hour boot camp. I probably could have skipped the bootcamp, but it was helpful, and provided me with an additional practice exam. Frankly, the years of experience are a definite bonus with regard to passing additional certifications, but I think I can offer some advice in regards to test-taking strategies, just the same.

Look at the answers first....this way you know where in CPT/HCPCS/ICD-9 you need to be in order to research the question. Find those pages in your books, then go back to the question, highlight the main terms as you read the question carefully, in order to understand the question. Although I've heard that there are no 'trick' questions, there were some questions where a single word made the difference in choosing the correct answer.

Know your anatomy and terminology, because there are very few lookups in the approved manuals for answers to those questions---although you can sometimes search the CPT index to find terminology and get an idea from there. There are over 30 questions on both terminology and anatomy, not including the surgical questions. If you miss the majority of those, you could easily fail even if you do well on the rest of the exam. Know how to use your appendices and what's in them.

I did not skip around, as some suggest. I went from question 1 to question 150 in order, mostly because I was concerned that if I skipped around, I might lose my place and mark the wrong answer number. If I struggled with a question, I gave it my best guess, and then made note of that question on the answer grid....once I'd finished all of the questions, I went back to those that I wasn't sure about and spend additional time researching. I felt that 5 hours and 40 minutes was more than enough time....if you're familiar with all of the material. If not, then you will struggle with the time factor. So if you don't feel that you're prepared, spend some more time studying and reschedule your exam.

I also didn't bother with food or snacks, but did bring water. The fewer distractions you have, the better. Have a good breakfast including protein, fruit, and whole grains (not a big greasy donut) and then plan to eat afterwards. A bag of crunchy granola would be distracting to your fellow test-takers, and not the best choice (nutritionally) for boosting brain power (since it's loaded with fat, sugar and often preservatives.)

Know that there will be questions that you just cannot answer, so give it your best shot and move on. I've heard that answer "C" is a good guess if you have no idea at all.

If you're scoring in the mid-80's or better with the practice exams, you should be able to pass the real thing. I found that there were a number of questions on the real exam that were duplicates of the ones in the practice exams, so it pays to purchase those in advance and study them carefully. I also felt that the real exam was a tad easier than the practice exams, if that helps!

Be prepared with the current year's books....several sharp #2 pencils, and a photo ID. Without the ID, the proctors will turn you away. Without the books, you might as well go home, and don't take a chance that someone will lend you a pencil!

Focus, but relax. It's not brain surgery, really. It's more about knowing how to find the correct answer, not how to memorize everything.
 
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