Medical coders are in high demand everywhere because of use of ICD 10. Now, if you see most of the projects are based on ICD 10 coding. But, hiring a medical coder is a very complex process. There are two types of coders, Certified and Non-Certified medical coders.

Certified coders have Certification or credentials from AAPC or AHIMA. CPC (Certified Professional Coder) Certified coders from AAPC are more in number in the certification race. CPC exam is conducted from AAPC and has great value for jobs opportunities.

I have also cleared CPC exam long back, I really believe if you also want to make your future in coding, do clear this exam in 2018.

Now, if you are a fresher in coding and has no knowledge about this exam, then don’t worry. 

I will guide you step by step for clearing this Certification exam for year 2018. The only thing you have to do is given to follow all these tips carefully and give your best while preparing for this exam.

Successful tips for Clearing CPC exam in 2018


Know about the  CPC Exam Question Paper of 2018

If you know the question paper, then you can prepare your strategy for preparation of this exam. The CPC exam consist of 150 objective questions. The time limit is 5 hours 40 minutes.  Here, you may find the time more, compared to the number of questions, but the difficulty level of questions will be different in each section.

Surgery section is the tough one, where questions will be around 4-5 lines and it will take at least 2-3 minutes to understand the whole question. So, here you have to understand where to spend and save time while solving your question paper.

Not to worry, in the last section, you will get questions of 1 line only, which can be answered in the matter of 30 seconds. So, you should plan to solve your question paper.

The CPC Exam

  • 150 multiple choice questions (proctored)
  • 5 hours and 40 minutes to finish the exam
  • One free retake
  • $380 ($300 AAPC Students) – one free retake 
  • Open code book (manuals)

The Exam covers question from each chapter

10 questions from 10,000 series codes

10 questions from 20,000 series codes

10 questions from 30,000 series codes

10 questions from 40,000 series codes

10 questions from 50,000 series codes

10 questions from 60,000 series codes

10 questions from Evaluation and Management

8 questions from Anesthesia

10 questions from Radiology

10 question from Laboratory and Pathology

10 questions from Medicine

8 question from Medical Terminology

8 question from Anatomy

10 question from ICD 10-CM/Diagnosis

5 questions from HCPCS Level II

6 questions from Coding Guidelines

5 questions from compliance and Regulatory

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Plan before you start solving the question paper

Without planning nothing can work out. Yes, when you are giving an important exam either in 2017 or 2018, you should be able to plan every minute of the exam. Each second or minute is important during the CPC exam.

I would always suggest medical coders, to start your question paper with easy questions of 1-2 lines. If the start is good, the end will always be good, which I have learnt from all my previous exams.

If you answer some questions correctly in the first hour of the exam, your confidence will be increased which will surely help in answering the other question. The more your mind is balance the more you can easily find the answer.

DO NOT take the difficult question in the beginning hour of the exam. For example, if you solve the surgery section in the beginning, you might take too much time solving them. If you solve 10 question in 1 hour, this will automatically make you mentally nervous, since you have still 140 question left.

On the contrary if you solve around 50 easy questions in 1 hour, you will have 100 questions only left in 4 hour 40 minutes. This way you can manage time easily and can give equal time for each question.

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Solve Sample CPC Exam papers

There are many sample CPC Exam questions and answers available online of 2015 or 2016 for the preparation of CPC exam. Yes, the more you practice the more you will build confidence for clearing  this exam in 2018.

If you are really looking to clear this exam in first attempt, you should really start solving model question papers of CPC Exam. Read the rationale of each answer which will help to gain more knowledge about the question.

Practice always make everything Perfect. Hence, do not stop solving medical coding certification exam papers. Time is important factor here. When you are solving the sample questions do also learn to manage time. If you are able to solve the whole paper in allotted time, then you can easily finish your CPC exam paper on time.

Time doesn’t wait for anyone, so practice a lot till you finish the model CPC exam paper in the given time.

Read also: New updated ICD 10 codes for Breast Mass in 2018

Make use of No Negative marking

When you have a question where you do not have negative marking, then you should not leave any question unanswered. If you really want to pass this exam, you have to answer all the questions, even guessing work sometimes.

For clearing CPC exam, one must have to achieve 70% or more to pass the exam in 2018. I can definitely say, around 60 to 70% chances are always there to clear the CPC exam, if you have attempted all the questions.

I would suggest to complete the question before 1 hour of allotted time. Checking your questions and answers is also important at the end. In last hour, you need to check whether you have attempted all the questions and you have answered them correctly. Sometimes you may choose the wrong answer by mistake.

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Know every page of 2018 Codebook 

You have to carry the original updated codebooks. CPT, ICD 10 and HCPCS original 2018 codebooks will be required for solving the CPC exam. You have to follow each and every coding guideline of these codebooks.

If you are finding it difficult to search the pages or the guidelines in the codebooks then do follow the below tips.

Use a Highlighter to highlight the important points in codebook

Bookmark the page or fold the page which has most of the important guidelines.

I have followed these tips during preparation of my CPC exam and it has really helped me to find things quickly during exam.


Be calm and prepare confidently for CPC exam. Do not get nervous before or during CPC exam. If you have really work hard then you will surely pass this exam. Be focused and concentrate while preparing for this exam. You have two free attempt for this exam, but always try to clear the exam in first attempt. All the best!