How to Manage Your Time during the CPC Exam

The Certified Medical Coder (CPC) exam offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) is highly regarded by medical coders because of the better prospects it offers in terms of career progression. People who have taken the exam successfully have gone ahead to get better jobs and higher salaries due to the high demand for coders by employers.


The exam usually consists of 150 questions that you are supposed to complete in a period of 5 hours and 40 minutes. When you make your calculations, you find that you need to answer each question within 2 minutes without a break in between. You have the freedom to refer to reading materials for answers, but the main issue here is time. If you do not know how to use the time you have, you will end up answering only a few questions. The following guidelines will help you manage your time well when taking the CPC exam.

The Multiple Passes Strategy

The good news is that there is a strategy that has been tried before and found to work effectively. The questions that you will encounter are not all equal; some will be hard while others easy. This strategy works in a way that you go through the question paper in three passes. The first pass will be to identify and answer the easiest questions, the second pass to handle the moderately hard questions while the last pass the most difficult questions. This will give you more time to concentrate on the most difficult questions that require a lot of thinking.

Keep Track Of the Time

You need to monitor your progress as you answer the questions. The CPC answer sheet provides you with five columns each holding 30 questions. You can allow yourself one hour each column so that you have 40 minutes at the end to review what you have done. When you are stuck on a question, move to the next one so that you can progress.

Attempt all questions

When you have attempted all the questions, you are sure of, use the remaining time to come up with answers to the difficult questions. Do not be afraid to guess because you will get a 25% chance of getting the question right. This is because each question has four choices for you to choose the best.

Practice, Practice and More Practice

The best way that you can apply the strategies discussed above is to practice. Various resources offer sample exams for you to take. You can use past exam papers or online simulations to increase your confidence and speed.

Once you know how to handle the time in a CPC exam, you will avoid any stress that comes with knowing that the time is limited yet you have not answered all the questions. IF you are looking for a great CPC certification online course, click on the link.


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