That used to be how the exams were set up. Now you have to score 70% overall. So for 150 questions, you may miss only 45, not 49, unless it's changed since last year.
Originally Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org
Someone asked how looking at the answers first can help. This is a strategy I used to pass my CPC-H last year, and it worked like a charm. If you look briefly at the answers, you can see the section of CPT/ICD-9 or HCPCS you need to reference in order to answer the question. This way, you're right where you need to be--then look at the question carefully to rule out your incorrect answers. If you read the question first, go to your sections....you likely will have to re-read the question, which wastes valuable time.
This test is not about knowing all the codes by memorization. It's about knowing how to find the best correct answer.
Tab your books, particularly HCPCS, which has alot of helpful references. Think outside the box when looking for answers. There was a terminology question that I was unfamilar with, so I looked the word up in the back of CPT, and lo and behold! There was the code to the related surgery. By looking at the CPT code description, I was able to learn the meaning of the word.
Some people suggest using markers or different colored pens to highlight. I didn't feel like I had time to open and close markers, so I only used my pencil. You can underline words, but since you work only one question at a time, you really don't need all the color-coordination.
I also worked from #1 numerically through #150. I did not skip around, because I didn't want to lose my place and screw up my answer key. I did, however, mark the ones I was particularly unsure about, circled in my best guess, and then went back later to take more time to review the correct answer carefully.
Another tip I found helpful was to ignore the suggestions to bring snacks into the exam room. Besides having the potential to disturb your fellow test-takers as you unwrap Tasty Cakes, you only have 5.75 hours, and every single moment counts. I did bring water, but then had to wonder if I'd have to leave to use the restroom (I didn't). I was so shocked to actually see people bringing in coolers to the exam and then setting up what looked to me like a buffet. I would find that too distracting---It's a test, not a safari! If you have a medical reason to need to eat, I'd keep the snacks simple and quiet. I would, however suggest an adult beverage afterwards!
Pam Brooks, MHA, COC, PCS, CPC, AAPC Fellow
Dover, NH 03820
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