Medical coding is always a booming career for healthcare professionals. In this field, you keep on learning new things and new facilities, which are very interesting to learn. I have never thought a numerical code can define disease or diagnosis and procedure. However, it is quite interesting from the beginning to till now. I always say if you want to achieve something, no one can stop you. Therefore, when I thought of taking medical coding as a career I wanted to be called as a Certified Professional Coder (CPC).So, to achieve this I started working hard and appeared for the CPC exam of AAPC. It was really a joyful moment when I cleared the CPC exam without any training. So, you can also do it and it is not a rocket science. If you are confident and serious about CPC or CCS exam in medical coding, then you should go for it. I am just here to share few tips about preparing and clearing CPC exam which helped me to pass this exam in first attempt.
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Always Stick to the Guidelines
Now, when I say guidelines you have to follow them blindly. We have both ICD 10 and CPT guidelines questions in CPC exam. Since, we have new ICD 10 codes, please try to clear all your doubts about these codes. Since, these codes are alphaneumeric you need to really concentrate more on finding the correct ICD 10 code. Try to avoid the common mistakes of ICD 10 codes by medical coders. If you know the guidelines, you can clear CPC exam easily. Codebooks will be with you during the exam, just read the guidelines and answer the questions following guidelines. Do highlight the difficult section in guidelines like pregnancy, sepsis, diabetes etc. to save time during exam. These techniques do work in exam and can help you finding your answers. ICD guidelines are given in front of ICD 9 codebook, while CPT guidelines are given with their respective section. If you want to clear the CPC exam in first attempt just stick to the guidelines. You can get the best sample CPC exam guide here which will surely help you in clearing this exam.
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Be Calm and focused during CPC exam
We know everyone has exam fear. Now, CPC exam has 5 hours 40 minutes duration. During exam, the time goes very fast and we tend to finish paper fast in last hour. During last half an hour, we might get scared of not finishing the paper. Therefore, I would suggest keeping a bottle of water with you during exam to keep yourself calm. Do take 1 or 2-minute break if you feel too much pressurized. We might get anxious in last few minutes but if you finish you paper before half an hour it would be great. Always keep some time at the end to just check if you have answered all the questions. If you keep a balance between your mind and brain, you can easily find the correct answer.
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Attempt all questions of CPC exam paper
You must always finish the whole CPC exam paper. There are no negative marking in CPC exam, hence it will be foolish if you leave any question unanswered. There are 150 questions in CPC exam and all are objective questions. So, do try to find answers for questions, which you know first and then trying answering the difficult ones. Do plan how to solve the question paper. Do not start with the difficult section in CPC exam because we would lose a lot of time in the beginning. This will eat up your time and will not allow answering whole question paper. So, do start with section, which is easy, and less time-consuming and then finally go for the difficult questions. Such trick will help you solve the whole CPC question paper and increases the possibility of clearing the CPC exam in first attempt.
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Try to finish CPC exam in 5 hours
When I was a school student, my teachers always use to say to finish the paper before time. Here, also same rule applies. The simple formula to learn here is we get a lot of time to check our errors in the answer sheet. I have come across to few unanswered question during my CPC exam while checking my paper in the end . Hence, it is very important to check the question and answer once again before finishing the whole exam. We may be in hurry to solve the CPC questions, which may commit errors, so it will be good to check at least once the question paper and the answer sheet before finish time. Most of the silly errors during CPC exam cost you too much. So, to avoid those silly errors do finish and check paper before time. If you follow these techniques, you can remove all the errors and pass the CPC exam in first attempt.