Cpc Test - Can anyone tell me


True Blue
Best answers
Can anyone tell me if you can have notes in your book when you take the CPC test. I have been studying but wonder if notes are accepted or not ?. I also like to know what is the biggest thing to really look for, i heard the guidelines are very important-anything else. please respond - . MAYBE i am stressing to much but I want to make sure i do everything right and legal so I dont have to retake it. Again the more responds the better hopefully i feel less stress ,Thanks :eek:

THANK YOU . I am studying just have hard time on physiology and anatomy part . I have a study guide book by Carol Buck had a cd in it -took the test on it and overall scored an 82 on it. scored low on anatomy but did real well on coding questions hope the cpc is like this study guide -any suggestions on getting by with anatomy part ?
when I tested (in 2004), two women had their books taken from them and had to use books provided by the proctor because there was so many "notes" in their books. In the other testing room, the coders were talking that one of the people in their group had her book taken also.

just thought I'd share that - perhaps it's changed now.....
I just recently took my CPC test, and passed (SIGH), and just like you I try to do everything correct, thorough and legal. I talked to my proctor and you are allowed to have notes in your books, but you are not allowed to tape, paste, staple, clip, or hide any papers in your book. And you dont want to be too overbearing with your notes, because your not going to have time to sit and read through half a page of notes.
So be short and sweet with your notes, believe me, you know more then you think, and in my opinion I would read up on your anatomy and surgery.
I wish you the best of luck!!:)
Finally a CPC

E/M questions were not too hard but be sure you know the principles. The most helpful book for me was Principles of CPT Coding. E/M was the most difficult for me to grasp and this book helped me to understand it. It also helps to check/compare the information for the codes in the CPC while studying this book. The answers to practice tests and why they are right or wrong (which they give) also helps.

ABSOLUTELY, make notes in your book that will be key points for you, that you can understand and not only memorize.

Make the most of your time! They say you can take breaks and not lose the time but I think I lost out on previous tries because it's hard for the proctors to keep track and toward the end there is so much confusion and distractions. Bring water and a snack if you need it. I took the exam 4 times and PASSED on the 4th try. I did not get up from that chair once, and only took a little water once and finished 5 mins. before the proctor said "ok, pencils down."

GOOD LUCK! And let us know how you make out.

I would like to add that you might want to study your weakest area right before the exam so that it is fresh in your brain. Also, when you are taking the test, go through it and answer all the questions that come easy to you first and then go back after that to the tougher ones. You don't have to answer them in order. That is what I did, and I got done 1/2 before the test was due and passed on the first go round. You'll be fine. Please let us know how you did. Good Luck!!;)

Jill Tapia, CPC-P:)
Speed is important!

You may want to practice on your speed. The exam is timed and looking up codes in the areas you're weakest in may take a little longer. I found that knowing the Guidelines is a big plus! I passed the exam in June 2007. Good Luck!

Sthibo CPC-A
Last edited:
I made notes in my CPT when a seconardy code was used with that particular code. 23350 + 73040 and I put a + and wrote out 73040 under it, so I knew it had a code that went with it, another like 24220 + 73085 I wrote a + and 73085 under it so I knew when I selected that code it had an additional code to make the answer correct. I also went through my lesion section Removal of Skin Tags, I wrote (DO NOT USE -51) so that when I got to that section and was involved, I would see it instantly and not use it. Its tricky. Some sections you can use it, and some you can't...11101 I wrote x the # lesions, my note to myself to mulipy the number of lesions. BTW the 23350 was not on my exam...!!! thats an example only of what I am talking about. However, I will tell you to much of notes can confuse you---distract you, so write only what you really will have difficulty in remembering. In some sections--I had to many notes that distracted me and I had to try to recall why I wrote them ! :eek:
There is 4-5 empty pages in the cpt book, write all the notes that you can, fill every page with terminology, notes for that section, I just took the test and did not pass. Time is important, its good to get the review book its worth it, you will be able to practice 3 xs and see that you can complete it in 5:30 hours.
go for it

i like to get some help.
i am going for the fourth time, because of the language barrier. i am sure i'll pass this time.
i am at the college for this test for the fourth time too. teacher is very good, but she is working with me as i am a new time student. I can code easy now,( i compare to the others in class) but why i am not passing i don't feel. should i get a tutor for a few lessons?

The CPC test can be taken on this website can't it?(the test that is 5 hours long that's how I understood it).Sounds like I need to study up on medical term and anatomy before taking test. And the test costs either 300.00 or 500.00 don't remember for sure.

Thank you for your help and time:)

Amy Cunningham
The CPC exam cannot be taken online. It must be taken at an AAPC approved exam site. Under the Certification tab on the AAPC website there is a link to Locate Exam Site.
Principles of CPT coding 6th edition.

OMG!! I am taking the test on Nove 13th, for the 2nd time and I am studying this time. I am using the Princiles of CPT coding and I am finding that some of the answers are WRONG in the back of the book... I am in ch. 4 Anesthesia and the answers are WRONG.. I am so mad... Did anyone else notice this?
I recently took and thank goodness passed the CPC. I highly reccommend the CPC Study Guide and the Workbook. It also comes with a re and post test. The workbook concentrates on E & M's. TIMING is of the most importance. I reccommend taking the test in the study guide and time yourself.

Also practice the pass system:

When you get your test look through it answer All the questions you can answer right off, that's your first pass. Then go to the ones with one or two answers that's your second pass. You only get a little more than two minutes per question so knocking out the easy ones first allows more time for the hard ones later. Also HIGLIGHT the questions on your second pass that you know you have to come back to, this way when you look throuhg your test a final time you will not inadvertantly leave any unanswered.

Be very familiar with you CPT and ICD-9 books. Know your sections, ie. 7000 radiology. You can tab a section but you CAN NOT indicate codes on the tabs. I used different color tabs for my trouble areas. Definitely know where to look for ALL of you modifiers.

Get a very good nights sleep, the hardest thing I found was the length of the test.

I wish you the best of luck, please post and let us know when you get your results, which I 'm sure will be passing.
anatomy help

If you don't own see if you can borrown the 2010 HCPCS Level II by Carol Buck and the AMA it has great pictures of anatomy in the front.
Need books

Was wondering if there was anyone that want to sell their 2011 coding book and review book if you are done and have passed. I am suppose to take test on August 20th but may have to wait longer because just found out the books hve to be 2011 and I finished December 2010 and see no need to buy new 2011 books! Also looking for a used cpc reveiw book to study for exam. Single mom here wanting to pass this test the first time! Thanks
you can go to book renter and rent them thats what im doing im takiing my test on the 20the also. i rented all 3 books for 60.00
I just got my results yesterday. I passed YEAH!!!!!!:D I finished with more than 2 hours left in the exam but I had circled some questions thatI wanted to go back to and spend a little more time if I was able. By finishing early, I was able to sit back and take a short break before going back to look at the questions I wanted to revisit. An important note is: DON'T CHANGE ANY ANSWER UNLESS YOU ARE POSITIVE ABOUT THE CHANGE. They say your first instinct is usually correct.

Personally, I found the E/M codes the most difficult only because I let a couple of them rattle me.

I chose not to get up and take any breaks before completing the exam because the clock doesn't stop. So, be mindful of that.

I had a borrowed book so I couldn't make any notes in the book personally but they did allow notes just no additional papers or attachments to the books.

Good luck. Relax and you'll do fine.:)