Preparing to take the CPC

Are you preparing to sit for the CPC?

How do you feel about it? There are numerous feelings associated with this process that are completely normal… scared to death, nervous, anxious, excited, smart, prepared, not prepared, slow, crazy, wants to cry, wants to laugh, headaches, and more!!!

Really if you have never sat for a board exam these feelings are real and can be overwhelming if you don’t know how to control them!

My biggest advice is not to schedule the exam until you are prepared to take the exam! Do not rush into this as it is a big deal, and you need to prepare for every step! Follow the steps below and you will succeed!

  1. prepare by going to a local junior college, or an online program, or an approved AAPC instructor site
  2. get your books prepared– see former blog post explaining this process
  3. create a study plan
  4. know the guidelines for ICD-10-CM, CPT, Coding, Medicare
  5. purchase study guide from AAPC
  6. purchase practice exams from AAPC(there are others but I find that the AAPC are the best since this is the creator of the exam)
  7. once you have prepared and feel like you are ready schedule your exam
  8. continue to prepare

once your study guide arrives go through the entire study guide starting at page 1 and working your way through each page– taking it seriously do not skip around study each section in depth– anything you are unsure of make sure to make notes in your coding books!

Once you have finished going through your study guide– it is time to take a practice exam– this is where you really need to be serious and set aside time and a place that you will have silence– you need to get a kitchen timer or use your phone set the timer and begin your test– your goal is to get your time to under 2 minutes per question (don’t worry if you don’t have it the first time you take the test)

Take the practice exams until you get a 80% on the practice exam this will ensure that you are proficient and efficient in taking the CPC and you are now ready to sit for the real deal!

You need a 70% to pass the real test but with the practice exams if you can make an 80% you should be setting yourself up for a successful experience sitting for and passing the CPC exam*

Make sure to be completely honest with yourself when studying and taking the practice exams– if you are not then you will not be 100% ready to take the exam successfully! Remember that when taking practice exams getting an 80% on an exam that you had already taken will not count– you will take different practice exams until you reach 80%

You can reach practice sheets on this blog as well as the AAPC webiste

Good luck in preparing for your exam remember to always stay positive!

Happy Coding



*reaching an 80% is only to be on practice exams never attempted before(make sure to purchase multiple practice exams when preparing) It doesnt count if you had already taken the exam

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