What to expect from
the CPC exam if you're
taking it for the first
Written by Jim H May
Here's a quick rundown on what to expect from the CPC exam. You'll already know the exam
consists of 150 questions with multiple choice answers. The questions are different and can be
as simple as a true or false statement. Or it could be as long a full page operative note, but
usually consists of a few sentences. The CPC exam is timed so you have 5 hours and 40 minutes
to answer all 150 questions. On average this gives you a little over 2 minutes for each question
to read and answer. Of course not all questions require equal effort and time, so you'll need
some good strategies to maximize your chances of passing the exam.
The CPC exam is divided into 3 sections. Each section consists of 50 questions, making up 150
questions. The three sections are:
Section 1: Medical Concepts.
Section 2: Surgery and Modifiers.
Section 3: Remaining CPT codes.
Each of these sections is then further divided, with each topic having 5 to 10 questions to make
up 50 questions as follows:
Section 1 (50 questions)
- Payment management
- Medical terminology
- ICD-9-CM codes
- HSPCS codes
Section 2 (50 questions)
- Hemic/Lymphatic systems
- Male and female reproductive organs
- Maternity/Endocrine system
- Nervous system
Section 3 (50 questions)
- Evaluation and management
As can be seen from the structure of the CPC exam, it is created for diversity with various
difficulties to really test the candidate's knowledge and skill. If you're taking the CPC exam the
first time, you should already have done some timed; full-scale test runs to ensure you can
finish answering. Developing or learning about proven CPC exam-taking strategies such as
marking up your CPT book or time management can mean the difference between getting
certified or not.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, nervous, or unsure about your chances at passing the CPC exam,
why not check out Laureen Jandroep's review videos to help you pass the exam on your first
or next try!
Jim regularly updates his website HowToStudyForCPCExam, about how to prepare and study for
medical coding certification, medical coding in general, the certification exam, and related news about
the industry. You'll find more great tips and useful resources to help you get certified.
Click on this link to visit Jim’s website now!