Frequently Asked Questions about the CPC Exam

Frequently Asked Questions about the CPC Exam

You’ve been considering taking the national Certified Professional Coder exam- but you have a few questions, including what is a CPC exam. Following, you will find a few of the most frequently asked questions from those who are preparing to obtain their certification. For the most updated information and additional details, you should take some time to visit the website for the AAPC- American Academy of Professional Coders.

How Much Does the CPC Exam Cost?

In order to take the CPC exam, you must be a member of the American Academy of Professional Coders. The exam will cost you $300 and a membership in the AAPC will cost you $125. If are a student and you have proof of this, you will qualify for a student membership, which is only $70.

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How Can I Sign Up for the CPC Exam?

In order to take the CPC exam, you need to register and schedule it at least 3 to 4 weeks in advance. The dates of the exam can be found on the website for the AAPC. You can take the exam through all of the local chapters of the AAPC and there are typically several chapters within each state. Each chapter will offer the exam 4 times per year- so chances are that you can typically find an exam within a few months in your area.

Where Will I Take the CPC Exam?

You will be required to visit your local testing center in order to take the exam. You can find your local testing center by following these steps:

  • Visit the AAPC website
  • Click the option stating “Locate/Schedule Exam”
  • Choose the state you are in
  • Choose the location and date you’re interested in

Can I Bring Any Notes or Books with Me to the CPC Exam?

On the day of the exam, you are allowed to bring in the three code books you have been using to study with: ICD-9, HCPCS, and CPT. These code books must be current or from the year before. You cannot have anything glued, stapled, or attached to- or in- your books. However, you can make handwritten notes in them, have tabs in them, and have things highlighted.

How Many Questions will be on the CPC Exam?

There are 150 questions on the CPC exam and you will be given a time limit of 5 hours 30 minutes to take it.

What Types of Questions are Included on the CPC Exam?

Approximately 70 percent of the questions on the CPC exam are about various coding scenarios. The rest of them will cover topics such as human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and other topics covered in your training.

What Score is Required to Pass the CPC Exam?

You will need to obtain an overall score of 70 percent in order to pass the CPC exam. The results will be given to you within 7 to 10 days after you take your exam.

What if I Don’t Pass the CPC Exam?

If you are unable to pass the CPC exam the first time around, you will be provided the scores of your weak areas so that you can study for a second attempt. The payment for your first attempt includes one free retake. You will be able to retake the exam as early as the next scheduled test date.

What is Apprentice Status?

If you have not gotten 2 years of work experience before you take the CPC Exam, you will be given a CPC-A credential upon passing. The letter “A” identifies you as an “apprentice.”

After you send in proof that you have 2 years of work experience in coding, you will be able to have the “apprentice” status removed from your credential. Many of the training courses do qualify for one of the two years that are required- check with your training program to find out more.

Will I be Required to Recertify if I Decide to Move?

Since the CPC certification exam is a national one, it is recognized in all 50 states. Once you have passed the exam, you will not be required to retake it- as long as you submit at least 36 continuing education units (CEUs) to the AAPC every two years. For more information regarding CEUs, you should visit the AAPC website.

How Do I Prepare for the CPC Exam?

Everyone has different ways that they study and prepare for exams. Figure out what learning style fits you best and study in that way to help you understand and remember the information.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the CPC exam. When someone asks you what is a CPC exam, you can explain to them that it is a portion of the process of becoming a certified medical coder.

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