Exam Certification FAQs

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Electronic devices with an on off switch (cell phones, smart phones, tablets, etc.) are not permitted in the examination room. Failure to comply with this policy will result in disqualification of your exam. Do not bring them as there is no place to stow them.

For a complete list of approved and recommended resources, please refer to the "Approved Resources" document.

Due to the diverse languages spoken in certain countries, AAPC may determine additional policies relating to approved resources. In such instances, we will communicate with examinees through exam confirmation emails prior to each event to ensure that everyone is aware of the local stipulations.

The ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines are allowed in all exams that list the ICD-10-CM as an approved resource. Highlighting, underlining and brief notations needed for day-to-day coding is permitted on the printed side of the pages. Long passages of information are not permitted on the blank pages of the print out.

Manual calculators and highlighters are also allowed for all exams.

Since the code sets for each coding book are updated every year, it’s essential for coders to have the current year’s books/manuals to ensure accurate performance. Reporting wrong codes can lead to denied claim submissions and substantial penalization. It’s clearly very important to get an education on the annual code set updates and to obtain new code books every year.

All AAPC exams are based on the current calendar year’s code sets, so we strongly suggest you use the current year’s books. The previous calendar year’s books may be used on an exam, but you would be at obvious disadvantage doing so. The upcoming year’s books are not allowed for exam use. The exams are updated every January for the new code sets. Examinees using their second attempt in the next calendar year will not be permitted to take the previous year's exam.

Note: Please make sure you are now using ICD-10 CM or ICD-10 PCS when needed.

Handwritten notes are acceptable in the coding books only if they pertain to daily coding activities. Questions from the Study Guides, Practice Exams or the Exam itself are prohibited. Tabs may be inserted, taped, pasted, glued, or stapled in the manuals so long as the obvious intent of the tab is to earmark a page with words or numbers, not supplement information in the book. Altering, whiting out, painting, or printing over any pages within the code books (e.g., marketing pages, table of contents, reference pages, etc.) to supplement information is prohibited.

No materials (other than tab dividers) may be inserted, taped, pasted, glued, or stapled in the manuals.

  • Exam application submitted 3 weeks prior to the exam date
  • Exam payment submitted 3 weeks prior to the exam date if payment for exams is not made prior to exam registration deadline you will not be allowed into the exam.
  • Current membership with the AAPC

CPMA®, CPCO, CPPM®, CRC, CIC, CPB and Specialty credentials are stand-alone certifications with norequirement to hold a CPC®, COC (formerly CPC-H®) or CPC-P® credential. Letters of recommendation are not required but these are difficult, high level examinations and are not meant for individuals with little, limited or no coding or relevant professional experience.

  • There is no requirement for the amount of experience in the specialty, although two years of experience in the specific fields are highly recommended.

$350/specialty credential exam (1 free retake is included and is to be used 1 year from date of original exam).

The exam payment will be held on file and you will receive emailed instructions on how to register for any upcoming exam date in your area that is convenient for you. Please make sure you are adding your current email as this is how we will be contacting you.

Two letters of recommendation verifying 2 years of on the job experience using the CPT®, ICD-10-CM, or HCPCS code sets. One letter must be on letterhead from your employer. Both letters are required to be typed and signed and will need to outline your coding experience and amount of time in that capacity.
A minimum 80 hours of coding education and one letter on letterhead from your employer verifying one year of on the job coding experience. Proof of education may be sent in the form of a letter from an instructor on school letterhead stating the amount of contact hours earned, a certificate/diploma stating at least 80 contact hours or a school transcript.

If you have finished the Distance Learning course by AAPC your education hours will be removed automatically, you do not need to submit a certificate.

Note: AAPC’s Practicum allows an individual to meet 1 year of coding experience toward the removal of the apprentice designation.

Each exam payment includes one free attempt for the same type of exam as long as it is taken within one year of your original exam date. You can register for your free retake by logging into the Members area, click on "My Events" and select the examinations tab, locate your last exam, click details and schedule your retake.

This service is available on our website for your convenience, located under your upcoming events, on the main page. Click on the “Cancel This Exam” link.

  • US Exams must be canceled 21 days prior to the scheduled exam date, or a service charge of $100 will be assessed.
  • International Exams will assess a service charge of $150 for all canceled exams

The Exam Service Charge must be paid in full prior to rescheduling your exam.

An AAPC Exam Service Charge will be assessed ($100.00 US and $150.00 for all international exams). The Exam Service Charge must be paid in full prior to rescheduling your exam.

No, all exam fees are non-refundable / non-transferable. However, you have one full year to take the exam from the date of purchase. There will be no exception to this policy.

Exam results are normally released within 7 to 10 business days after the exam has taken place. Please do not call AAPC for exam result until after the 10 business days.

Due to the grading process of the CIC exam it may take 10-15 business days after the exam has taken place.

Exam results are released online in the My AAPC account, as well as mailed. Results are never given over the phone.

Online practice exams are for individual use only and access is available for one year from purchase date. Due to access of content the online practice exams are non-refundable. Online practice exam access date cannot be extended.

It is recommended that you arrive 30 minutes prior to exam start time. Doors will be locked at exam start time and late entrances will not be allowed.

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