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Thread: notes in books for exam??

  1. #1

    Default notes in books for exam??

    AAPC: Back to School
    can you write as many notes as you want in your cpt/icd book? for ex: prefixes and abbreviations? i know they do a book check so i don't want to get in trouble for this....please advice....thanks

  2. #2

    Default Notes for test

    You can have as many notes as you wish in your books as long as they are handwritten in the books. They will not allow anything to be taped, stapled, or glued in the book. I hope this helps and wish you the best of luck!

  3. #3


    great...thanks..wasn't sure if i can write medical terminology or now..thanks again.
    p.s. do you know if the CPC-H test is harder then CPC?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Duluth, Minnesota


    just so you know - when I tested, ...in my group there were two ladies who could NOT use their books because of how much writing was in them! Just writing, (nothing taped, glued, etc)... fortunately the proctors did have extra books that they could use. I have no idea if they passed but I do know they couldn't use their own books due to all the notes they wrote in them.
    Also, the friend I took the test with was in another class and someone in her class had the same issue ONLY her proctor didn't have extra books so she wasn't allowed to take the test....

    just wanted you know... and I guess, nobody really knows how many hand written notes in the books is "too much".
    Donna, CPC, CPC-H

  5. #5


    Wow! Thanks so much for the info. I appreciate it..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Get Clarification from AAPC

    When I helped proctor an exam this summer, the instructions the AAPC sent to us stated that books should not be disqualified because of handwritten notes. They did not state that there could be too many notes. The notes do have to be written on the pages of the books, not attached in any way (taped, stapled, etc.). If I were you, I would contact the AAPC and ask them where you can find this in writing. There may be something on the application itself. Then I would suggest taking it with you on the day of the exam in case you need it.

  7. #7


    I also know someone who had too many notes in her book. Basically all the empty pages in the CPT where you can put notes, were completely filled, and she couldn't use them. I would suppose with that many notes, you could have "cheat notes" included, and how could the proctor go through them all to be sure before the test. So you can have too many.

  8. #8


    Out of all the exams that I have proctored over the last few years I never turned away anyone for "too many written notes"!! I guess you never know how many is too many.
    ~Amy, CPC, CPMA, CEMC~

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Louisville, KY


    Odd, I can't recall ever seeing anyone turned away because of "too many notes." Although I'll say I can't imagine a way for someone to have excessive amounts in there, I too know that there are always extremists in every bunch. Plus, the pressure on many folks to pass the exam must be extreme and that frequently leads people to do drastic things.

    In the past I'd heard about certain local chapters that forbade written notes, but that has been a very long time ago. I'm sure with the guidance provided from AAPC, those activities have quieted.

    But, as a Proctor, how am I to judge the difference between "too many notes" and a well-worn manual with notations? I'd be interested to see how those other Proctors drew the line.
    Kevin B. Shields, RHIT, CPCO, CCS, CPC, COC, CCS-P, CPC-P, CPC-I

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Englewood, CO

    Default Notes in Books for Exam

    The written guidelines I received for an exam I'm proctoring this weekend say: "Handwritten notes in coding books, as those commonly seen in daily coding work activities, are permitted. Otherwise, supplemental information is not allowed. Nothing may be taped, stapled, or glued into the books. Do not disqualify books due to writing in manuals." The last sentence is in BOLD letters - so I believe it means exactly that - proctors may not disqualify books due to writing in the manuals. Period. Good luck with your exam!

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