About a week before I took the CPC, I was really nervous about having enough time to finish the test. One thing that I thought might help would be to use the tabs that came with the CPT, so I spent an afternoon tabbing the book. I made sure that the tabs were easy to find for the sections I had most frequently used. I tabbed categories II, III, and the appendices. I even used the blank tabs for sections I thought I might have difficulty finding, like "Conscious Sedation" and "Otorhinolaryngologic Services." (Yes, my anxiety made me a little bit crazy . . .)
As it turned out, I never even used the tabs. I had practiced for so long without them that when I was actually taking the test, I looked up the codes the same way I always had. And it didn't make any difference. I finished the test in 2 hours and 55 minutes. Which, I know, seems like I was cutting it close. But when I finished the last question and looked at my watch, I wanted to jump up and down and shout "Whoo Hoo!"
The way you work during practice is the way you will work during the test. Choose what works best for you.
Good luck to everyone studying for an exam!