Picture of Adrian Fe
CPC exam- any tips?
by Adrian Fe - Thursday, 14 February 2013, 7:02 PM
 

I am scheduled to sit for the CPC exam this Saturday.  I have finished the tests for Module III and am working on the coding exams, but my priority has been the board exam preparation for the last 2 weeks or so.  The test site is so close that I had to at least try.

I have 2013 coding books (from the approved lists), the email with my list of what I will need from the proctor, I made a little recon trip to see where the test will be...  any other tips? 


I am SO NERVOUS and am so glad that there is a free retake opportunity.

 
Picture of Instructor Debby
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Instructor Debby - Thursday, 14 February 2013, 7:21 PM
 

I'll send you a email via the school.

Picture of Paulette JM
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Paulette JM - Thursday, 14 February 2013, 9:29 PM
 

Best of luck to you, Adrian! I am scheduled to take mine on March 30th! :)  Can't wait to hear that you passed with flying colors!

 

Paulette

Picture of Denise Fo, CCS, CPC-A
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Denise Fo, CCS, CPC-A - Friday, 15 February 2013, 9:22 AM
 

Hi Adrian,

PLEASE try to RELAX! I know that's harder done than said, but I just took my first try at the CPC on February 4th and did not pass. This course truly prepares you for this exam; just believe in yourself. Instructor Debby will have some great advice for you.

I believe I didn't pass the first time because I was very nervous and afraid I wouldn't finish. There is plenty of time - mind you, just don't take too long on any one question. Stop every so often and just take a deep breath.

It sounds like you prepared just the way I did; I spent about 2 weeks preparing, bought the 2013 books, and made a recon trip the day before so I'd know where I was going. Of course, we had a small snowstorm here the day of the exam (I live in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI, and we haven't had much snow this year - it figures), so I was a bit nervous driving over. Yikes.

I also got more nervous when the proctor came over to check my coding books. She leafed through to see if there were any loose pages; she didn't look to see what/how much was handwritten in them. I also had a tab for each major section in the CPT at the bottom of the book. I pretty much know where everything is in the CPT, but I figured I might forget because of the nerves - so I tabbed. The proctor didn't care how many tabs were there, either.

So, good luck! I hope your outcome is more successful than mine. I'm glad too that we get that 2nd retake. I'll be doing that soon.

Picture of Michele P
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Michele P - Friday, 15 February 2013, 9:37 AM
 

Good Luck to you!!

I am taking mine on Saturday the 16th also.  I am feeling a bit sick today and nervous also.  I purchased the practice exams on AAPC and have been doing them for months.  I am just afraid of not finishing.  

When you get the test, go over it and do the easy ones first.  Then go back and do the longer ones.  That way you won't spend too much time on one question and run out of time later.  I think I will tab my CPT book today also.  Good Luck to us both!!!

Picture of Lana Fr, RHIT, CCS, CPC-A
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Lana Fr, RHIT, CCS, CPC-A - Friday, 15 February 2013, 10:48 AM
 

I just wanted to wish you guys good luck.  I can feel all the nerves way over here in Arizona.  I really hope and pray that you pass.  Do you find out you pass on the day you take the test?  

Again.....GOOD LUCK....and GOD BLESS!

Picture of Adrian Fe
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Adrian Fe - Friday, 15 February 2013, 12:41 PM
 

Aww, thanks so much, everyone!  Good luck to us all!


We are supposed to have results on myAAPC.com within 7-10 days.  I cannot remember off the top of my head if this is business days or not.  I'm positive I'll be checking every day- ha!

Picture of Gloria Da
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Gloria Da - Friday, 15 February 2013, 9:19 PM
 

Hi Adrian,

First of all, good luck on the test!  Just try to breathe and pace yourself.  I tried to keep reminding myself that on Saturday at 2 pm or whatever time the test ended, it would be all over and I could relax and make plans to do something fun. 

I just wanted to let you know I took the test on a Saturday and got the results back the next Tuesday or Wednesday morning, so not very long to find out, good thing it's not too long to wait!

Picture of Adrian Fe
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Adrian Fe - Saturday, 16 February 2013, 12:09 AM
 

That's great to hear, Gloria.  I just can't believe that this day is finally here.  I wish I could relax, y'all, but there is so much riding on this...  It's ok if I don't pass, though.  As long as I learn what to do next time, this is worth it.

Many of our hospitals around here cover an expensive medical treatment that my little girl needs as part of their benefit packages (our insurance has never covered it).  The day I finally land a job, all of you will probably hear my entire family cheering.  Thank you for the prayers; they are much appreciated! :)

Picture of Michele P
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Michele P - Saturday, 16 February 2013, 5:09 PM
 

Well the test is over for me.  Not sure how I did but 5 hours and 40 minutes is a long time!!!  Yikes.  I had to guess at some as i was running out of time.  Find out in about 5 days I guess if I passed...

Picture of Adrian Fe
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Adrian Fe - Sunday, 17 February 2013, 1:36 PM
 

Michele- my experience was about the same.  I got there a little later than I had planned to and the only seat left was front row, dead center, right in front of the proctors.  I threw up before I went in, so I thought I'd be fine from then on.  Nope!  My stomach made these horrible LOUD noises during the exam.  This has never happened to me before.  It was so loud!  I hoped that no one heard, except the proctors started looking at me every time they happened.  LOL!  I had tissues, breath mints, and even a pencil sharpener, but I was not prepared for a loudly protesting stomach. 

Y'all, it was so funny.  It wasn't yesterday.  I came home, the sitter for my kids left, and then I bawled my eyes out.  Today, however, I started being able to find some humor about yesterday. 

The style of the test is very different than our schoolwork, but what threw me a little was that I wasn't always able to eliminate the answers down to only 2 out of 4 for some questions (like I had thought I would be able to). 

I went through the test once and quickly answered the "easy" stuff (all questions have the same weight as far as grading).  Then I went back through and rated the questions either one or two dots.  I worked on the most difficult cases last.  They were not all towards the back or front of the test, either.

I had a 20% (?- can't remember if there were 4 or 5 answers) chance of being right on the questions I didn't get to, so I filled those bubbles in right before the test ended. 

Earplugs.  I am SO GLAD I brought them!  If I could have, I would have offered them to the poor people sitting next to me.  One poor guy behind me was moaning after every question, especially towards the end.  Bless his heart.

Picture of Michele P
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Michele P - Sunday, 17 February 2013, 5:40 PM
 

Adrian:  That is funny about your stomach because mine was doing that too.  I was not right in front of the proctors though.  The room was ice cold and I could not feel my fingers and put on my coat.  They then had the heat put on and it was so loud it drowned out my stomach sounds.  LOL.  No moaning though at mine and no men were there.  I had purchased the sample tests from AAPC site and they helped me get ready for the format of the test.  I was not that fast though.  Oh well, I'm old so I'm slower.  LOL.  Hope we both passed!!!!

Picture of Carmel Si
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Carmel Si - Monday, 18 February 2013, 7:25 PM
 

Good luck to both of you! I take mine the end of March and it's helpful to hear others' experience...good and bad...best of luck to you both.

Picture of Michele P
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Michele P - Thursday, 21 February 2013, 3:39 PM
 

I failed by 5 points!!!  Dang it.  :(  Did you check online for your results?

Picture of Adrian Fe
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Adrian Fe - Thursday, 21 February 2013, 11:13 PM
 

I failed as well, but I sure learned from the experience.  I have already made plans to supplement my preparation for the next exam.  Didn't hit bottom, just bounced a little.  It's hard to keep this girl down!

Picture of Debbie Sh
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Debbie Sh - Friday, 22 February 2013, 8:03 AM
 
Adrian and Michelle, From your experience of taking your CPC exam...is there any advice you are willing to pass along to those of us who are anticipating taking it one day? I wish you two all the best!
Picture of Debbie Han, CCS, CPC, CMT
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Debbie Han, CCS, CPC, CMT - Friday, 22 February 2013, 6:18 PM
 

Michele and Adrian - I am really sorry to see this. I was thinking about both of you all week and I was so hoping to see that you both passed. Better luck next time!

Linda Andrews, Director
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Linda Andrews - Sunday, 24 February 2013, 8:44 AM
 

I have a question for all of you, whether you passed or failed the exam. Where were you in the course when you took the test? I'm wondering if that has some bearing on the results. You get to retest anyway, so if we find that it's a matter of rushing a little too fast to take the test, no harm done. It's good practice. I am thinking though, that it may have been just a little bit (not much) too early in some cases. Let's look at where everyone was and see what effect that may have had on the results. Taking the test just a tiny bit too early could make a huge difference. 

BEFORE anyone else takes the exam, check with Instructor Debby and ask her if you have covered the material you need to have covered. That won't be the 100% solution, but it can't hurt.

One more thing I'm going to suggest for right now. Before you take the test, check with Debby again, this time to see if there are any supplemental test prep materials that she would suggest. She may just suggest that you go over some of the materials you already have. However, she's your best resource.

Picture of Michele P
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Michele P - Sunday, 24 February 2013, 12:02 PM
 

Linda,

I was ready and Debby did give me supplemental work and I ordered the AAPC packet of three tests.  I just feel I need to manage my time better.  I ran out of time and had to guess at the end on quite a few.  I think that brought me down.  I need spend less time on the questions I think.  

BTW, I'm in Module IV, Section 13 right now, so almost done.

Linda Andrews, Director
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Linda Andrews - Monday, 25 February 2013, 8:10 AM
 

Thanks, Michele. That's helpful information.

Picture of Carmel Si
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Carmel Si - Monday, 25 February 2013, 6:21 PM
 

Paulette, I take mine on March 30 also!

Sorry to hear your news Adrian and Michele, but I have a feeling I may need to retake mine as well...yikes...but I regard this first attempt as a "practice" and this way, you have a better sense of what to expect. At least the retake is free!

Best of luck to ALL of us struggling to get through this and pass the exam!

Picture of Terry Ma
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Terry Ma - Tuesday, 26 February 2013, 9:15 AM
 

Good luck to everyone taking the exam!

Mine is March 9 and I'm pretty apprehensive.  I've got to go to the southern part of the state which is a 5-6 hour trip depending on the time of year and sport season, so I'm heading down a couple days early to rest, decompress, and have some cajun food before my long test day.

I went to a class given by my local chapter on what to expect from the exam and I think it helped.  I've got the study guide and the practice exams.  I'm also working through the supplemental exercises Debby gave me.

The lady that held the class suggested that we time ourselves on the practice exams to get a feel for doing the questions under pressure.  That's approximately 2.6 minutes per question for a total of 113 minutes for one practice test.  I think.  Some will take longer and some much less to answer.  

After my usual study time, that's what I'm working on.  Hope it helps!

Terry

Picture of Terry Ma
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by Terry Ma - Wednesday, 27 February 2013, 8:36 AM
 

Oh she also advised us to become familiar with the burn codes as there is a good chance that a question on burns will pop up in the exam and people often seem to struggle with it.

Picture of LaRae Ja
Re: CPC exam- any tips?
by LaRae Ja - Wednesday, 27 February 2013, 1:26 PM
 

My advice is to use your time wisely.  The test is divided by sections so I saved the specialty that always takes me the longest for last.  I also looked for questions that were simple to answer and saved the questions with more than 3 or 4 codes for later. ICD9 codes are always easier so I looked for thoses too.  Don't spend a lot of time looking for an answer that you may be stuck on, just move on. (I drew blanks on a few and wasted time). If you can, order the 3 study tests from AAPC and time yourself while taking them.  It really helped me and gave me an idea of what I could expect.

Good luck to those taking the test.  Remember that you are an Andrews student and you will do great!