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Thread: Cpc exam

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Kochina Coders-Mesa,AZ

    Smile Cpc exam

    AAPC: Back to School
    I am taking my CPC exam on August 22nd and need some pointers on what to study for and what to expect. Any suggestion will be appreciate.

    Many Thanks,


  2. #2


    My first suggestion is to read each question CAREFULLY! If something is mentioned, it's probably important. So make sure you make note of everything given in the question.

    Secondly, you can almost always eliminte 2 of the possible answers right away, so look at the 2 you have left, and what is different about them? This should give you a good idea of what the right answer is.

    Read the section notes at the beginning of each chapter of CPT, this provides good guidance to the information you need to make a decision between codes.

    Lastly- figure out what you are most comfortable with that, and start with those questions and then go back to the other sections.

    Good luck!

  3. #3


    Study your modifiers and know them well. Also, bring something to drink and maybe some candy. 51/2 hours is a long time. Your start to get a little hypoglyemic. Know your burns coding also. Good luck, you will do great.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Daytona Beach, FL


    Buy the three practice exams. They were worth every cent! It helps you rate your speed and gives you a great deal of what will be on the exam. I was so glad I purchased them!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Kochina Coders-Mesa,AZ


    Thank you all for your suggestions. I will let you know how it turns out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Syracuse, NY


    10 things you can do:

    1. Bring two drinks, and even a small amount of food (if allowed), if you're hungry.

    2. Take practice exams before the real thing. it'll give you a good idea how to pace yourself over the 5½ hours - more beneficial than doing simulated questions.

    3. Try to eliminate one or two answers right away. Then find Dx or procedure codes in the remaining answers that don't fit the question. That helps a lot, trust me. It's multiple choice, so the correct answer is there! Trust yourself...

    4. Don't get flustered if you look at the first few questions and lose it. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and go to some questions in sections you're good at. Build momentum.

    5. Check the clock after 50 questions - if you're under 110 minutes, you're fine. If you're over 110 minutes, you need to pick up the pace.

    6. Write as much as possible in your manuals before the exam. If necessary, go to the library for an afternoon (to avoid distractions) and put things in your manuals, like: an audit sheet, insurance information, terminology, fill out your anatomy plates in front of the CPT, summaries from Carol Buck's book (if applicable), and so on...

    7. Highlight judiciously. Don't paint your manuals yellow; that will do more harm than good.

    8. Try to get up early on exam day and have a breakfast, including coffee. Better to walk in already awake and functioning, than dragging and hurrying.

    9. The night before, relax. Don't cram - if you don't know it the night before, it's already too late. Kick back and watch TV, or do something relaxing.

    10. Know your guidelines, or at least, highlight the important parts of the guidelines for each section. Everyone says that for good reason; some questions will likely bring guidelines into play.

    Also check out the Student Forum; lots of threads there giving advice.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbia, MO


    I just have one comment to add. In our area and I know others also we are told to NOT add information to our books. When I took the exam every single person's books were examined for "excessive" notes and highlighting. A couple of people had their books taken away, I had an extra set I had brought and gave to one of them, But I have noticed lately a lot of people advisinf to write notes and things in their books. Is this now allowed/encouraged? Just a thought.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  8. #8


    I think the notes you put in your book should be equivalent to notes you would use at work. Excessive notes is where you might get in trouble.

  9. #9

    Default CPC exam

    I am new to the AAPC and was wondering if someone could help me with a few questions. I recently took the CPC exam on the 1st of August and I did not pass. DOes anyone have advice on how to better myself? I did not find time to be a problem, but my weaknesses were in Anesthia, Evalution Management, and Surgery. Any advice on coding these sections? Also, does anyone know when there is another exam located in in Oklahoma? I need to sign up for the retake. Thanks and any advice is appreciated.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Duluth, Minnesota


    you know, I just have to say - all this talk about "write whatever you can in your books - you can't have notes attached in any way, but you can write whatever you want so write it all done"....well.....

    I have to say I disagree with that advice (in a BIG way) and actually, I'm quite curious about the people who DID write stuff in their books - did you really refer to it, was it helpful?

    When I took my CPC (years ago) I didn't write anything in any book.
    When I took my CPC-H (this year), I admit I was bit nervous, so after all my studying, all my practice tests,...I thought, "this time" I'm writing things in my books. Things from the practice tests / studying that I thought might be helpful, that for one reason or another I couldn't retain. So, I wrote stuff in my book.

    I never once, during the whole test refered to "my notes" in my books. ALL my answers to the test were found "IN THE BOOK"... not in my notes.. Not one answer on the test was answered by what I had written in my book.

    ok.. so I passed my CPC test (no notes in the books), I passed my CPC-H test (with notes I NEVER referred to).. I wasted so much time worrying about what I might miss andwriting things in my book.

    Think about it, really - the answers are already in the books! Why would we need to write anything else down? Why do we feel we need to add anything at all.......the answers are already there?

    and of course - this is just my opinion - but I wouldn't waste my time (again) adding anything to the books - people get paid big bucks to make sure the info we need is already in them!
    Donna, CPC, CPC-H

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