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Thread: Helpless nc!!

  1. #1

    Default Helpless nc!!

    AAPC: Back to School
    Just got my exam results and it wasn't good! I didn't fill in all of my bubbles. I know next time i take it. But i do need to learn and know a better way to take this exam. It's challenaging. Can someone give me some advice?

  2. #2


    I took my exam almost a year ago. My strategy was to work from the front to the back. If I hit a "long" reading question I skipped it til later, if I hit one that I was questioning which answer it could be i would skip it til later, I basically worked all of my confident, quick to find answer questions first. Then when I was at the end of the test I went back and worked the long or questionable ones. This way I ensured that I was answering the one's I knew best first. Once the proctor said that I had 15 minutes left, I started to fill in the blanks. Don't leave any "unfilled" as you at least have a 25% chance to get it right. Best of luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Coastal Coders


    Also most of the questions you can eliminate a couple of the answers right off the bat...that helps when you have to look it up. Answer the easy ones quickly then go back to the ones that take more time. And be careful to mark your answers to the corresponding questions; it's easy to get out of sequence if you need to skip a question until later. I marked the ones I needed to go back to very lightly in pencil, even if I had an answer but wanted to double check at the end.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I took the exam twice before I passed. Along with intense studying in between the two exams i found when I sat the second time:

    I marked out the choices I knew were not the answers
    I took a high-lighter and highlighted key words
    I answered from front to back skipping the harder ones and came back to them
    I made sure all bubbles were shaded (before the 2nd exam another person was telling us on her 1st exam she got off on the bubbles and didn't realize it until there was 10 minutes left - so she felt that hurt her) - so I made sure I bubbled as I went and was bubbling the correct corresponding # on the answer sheet.

    Good luck!

  5. #5

    Smile I just passed my exam

    The way I did it was i started from the back, because that was the easy part anatomy, medical term, and guidelines, hcpcs. that way I didnt use much of
    my time, and then I just worked from sections that I knew. And process of elimination really does help. I also used my ICD knowledge to eliminate some answers. But how ever you do it dont stay on the long questions over 2 minutes, put a dot and come back to it.

    mcompton from new orleans

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Everett Washington


    I bought the practice exams - they were a huge help especiallly with timing. I finished with 25 minutes left and actually passed the first time. Do the easy parts first - which ever they are for you. I too made a mark when I skipped a question so I didnt get lost on my bubbles. I didnt spend alot of time on the tests did a few each night as to not get overwhelmed. The night before my exam I went back to the areas I needed work on. Its a very gruling test. I think the biggest thing is going in with a positive attitude, you went to school, you can do this!

  7. #7


    The coding classes are nothing compared to the test. I took the CPC yesterday, and I did not finish. If I pass it will only be by the grace of God. It is a grueling test. I really don't see why it has to be so difficult. I got As in both classes but this test was over-the-top. A hundred questions would be plenty. Good Luck to everyone!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Concord, NC or Rochester, NY


    Many great suggestions above for you. I have been teaching the PMCC for 9 years and I agree with the above. Here are some tips that may help you:

    1. Eliminate down to two answers as quickly as possible.
    2. I suggest using two symbols on the exam answer sheet - check mark for answers that are eliminated down to two - therefore when finished go back and answer these questions first, question mark for questions where you have no idea - these would be the better guess questions at the end when time is up.
    3. The most common answer is 'C'. On average, not only the CPC exam but all multiple choice exams, there are 29-30% 'C' answers
    4. Do not waste time on the questions that are extremely long and go back to them at the end
    5. Eliminate either using Dx or CPT but move along quickly
    6. Know your guidelines from CPT and Dx
    7. When underlining in either book, only underline key words you would be looking for. If you underline several lines it is useless since you then have to read the whole section to understand why you are underlining.
    8. Mark up your CPT. I recommend identifying many things and use hash marks between codes to ensure you know what is applicable.

    Hopefully this helps.

    As an instructor, my student pass rate is >93%.

    Best of Luck


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