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Thread: CPC Student Needs Encouragement...Help!

  1. #1

    Default CPC Student Needs Encouragement...Help!

    AAPC: Back to School
    I'm taking a course to prepare for the CPC exam...and last week we had a substitute ....who just happened to mention that she didn't pass the exam on her first try....this did little to boost my moral to say the least...I know we get one free re-take, but honestly I was really hoping not to have to use it...been studying hard, but I'd be lying if I said my hopes weren't a bit deflated after hearing this statement.....Can anyone offer some encouragement/wise words?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Everett, WA

    Default Not everyone passes on their first try

    ...no shame in not passing. It is a difficult test, especially for someone who has had no experience in the field. It's not meant to be easy. I'm a hard-working coder/biller and still feel very new to the field. I studied as hard as anyone could and managed to be an A student, but my first attempt was greeted with non-passing grade. Not to be discouraged, returned to study with renewed vigor and can honestly say that taking the extra time to review and supplement what I had learned before did the trick. Looking back now, am actually thankful for the experience because it sharpened my study skills. Remember, if the test were easy, everybody would be taking it and passing. The standards are rightfully raised high. Wouldn't have it any other way. So, don't let what your teacher told you discourage you in any way. Obviously, she was a motivated individual who set out to reach her goal and didn't let failure stop her. Now THAT's encouraging!
    ---Suzanne E. Byrum, CPC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Dallas Central

    Default study hard

    I was an A sudent in class and i didnt make it the first time, try to learn from the AAPC exam study guide and practice questions, they are very similar to the ones u get in the exam. The more u practice the better it is for u. Timing the questions is not a problem at all, from my own experience, i had ample time in hand to finish the exam.

    Good luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Jacksonville Florida


    One thing that helped me while taking the test was I went to the sections that I was comfortable with first. So I pretty much flipped flopped back and forth during the test. Once I got through the stuff I felt good about, I was able to take more time on the sections that were a lot harder for me. You get like 5 1/2 hours to take the test, its all mult choice, so just rule out the answers you know are wrong and that will also help you. You will do just fine. I passed my first time taking it and I was 8 1/2 months pregnant. Good luck!
    Jammie Barsamian, CPC, CCC, CEMC, CCS-P, CPMA

  5. #5

    Default Confidence!

    Elsie -

    You sound so much like me when I was going through classes to prepare for the CPC exam. Your instructor, I think was hoping to appear more human to you - I mean, she's an instructor and she also failed her exam on her first try! That proves that regardless of whether you pass or fail on your first attempt - you should keep pushing yourself. I see her as more of a success story than a failure story.

    Just make sure you know "how to use" your coding tools (books) - more important that trying to memorize everything.... just know where to look for it!

    Good Luck!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Daytona Beach, FL

    Default Study and practice!

    I was coding in an Urgent Care for 4 years and graduated with my degree in HIM before I decided to take my test. I enrolled in a six week class prior to taking the test, was an A student and when I sat for the test I left knowing I had failed. However, I was surprised when I received my results telling me I had indeed passed! It is a very hard test - I would suggest to study hard, practice taking timed tests and then try to relax on test day. What I found to be my problem is that when I took the prep class, we ran out of time to finish the material, so we never really went over x-ray, pathology, etc. near the back of the CPT book and I had no experience coding these areas. So, make sure you are familiar with all areas of the CPT book. I'm sure you will do just fine - you sound like you are doing a good job of preparing!

    Good Luck!

    Jodi Dibble, CPC
    Matamoras, PA

  7. #7

    Default Thanks Everyone

    I just wanted to come back to this thread to thank all of you that offered me advice. I didn't look at the professor as a failure by any means at the time. I was just shocked when she said she didn't pass it. I knew it wasn't an easy test, but her admission was a wake up call of sorts--and it pressed my "panic" button--but now I'm glad it did, because I think it helped prepare me for what I was facing--probably just as much as all the hours of studying did.

    Again--thanks to all of you that took the time to post your encourgement!!

    Elsie, CPC-A

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Everett, WA


    Obviously, you DID it...you did pass. Congratulations! Suzanne E. Byrum, CPC

  9. #9


    Thanks Suzanne...I'm so proud of myself...and even, as crazy as this may sound, am now thinking of getting specialized...LOL...Passing definetely boosted my confidence....and while I sometimes say to myself, "You're going to put yourself through ANOTHER rigorous test???...Are you NUTS???"....the other part of me wants to keep going and do more.....Nothing I'm going to do right away...but I'm considering the option.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sarasota FL

    Talking Encouragement

    Well. I hope I can encourage you. I took my CPC last September and had only been in my first coding job for 6 months. My work colleagues decided they weren't ready for the test so they all pulled out and waited for a boot camp to help them. I took the exam and passed. Next thing is my company wants someone to do all the anesthesia coding that we currently outsource and I volunteer. They set me up for the CANPC exam and I pass that at the first attempt (just, but there again it is recommended that you have at least 2 years working that specialty)
    I'm not boasting about my achievements but it shows it can be done with a bit of hard work and committment...also it shows that you don't really need 2 years experience in a particular to pass although it obviously helps.
    If you want to specialize you go for it.....................now what can I do?

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