Test Taking Tips for your AAPC Coding Exam

October 3, 2022 at 8:00 am

By: Loretta Lathon, CPC, CRC, CDEO

The best strategy to prepare for the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) coding exam is to read your code books cover to cover. Successful examinees have well-thumbed code books. Please become familiar with all parts of your CPT, ICD-10-CM, and HCPCS Level II code books, and know how to locate the codes, guidelines, tables, and instructions within them quickly. Remember you cannot glue, staple, or tape anything to your code books. The AAPC recommends going through your books to mark, tab, and, label them, making notes in them for easy reference. Please see a few examples of areas to highlight in your code books listed below:

  • Highlight certain guidelines in your ICD-10-CM code book
    • Code first notes
    • Use additional code notes
    • Codes that are excluded from a category
  • Highlight certain guidelines in your CPT code book
    • Key words in the subsection guidelines (e.g., new and established patient definition in the E/M section)
    • Key words in the Repair (closure) guidelines section defining simple, intermediate, or complex repairs
    • Make note of any symbols placed before procedures indicating the procedure is an add-on code (+13122)

If you need additional coding practice the AAPC’s online practice exams are excellent exam simulation tools. The practice exams follow the same format as the CPC and CRC exams and have been developed by the AAPC content team. Please visit aapc.com/training/practice-exams.aspx to find the practice exams.

Source: https://www.aapc.com/training/study-tips-to-pass-cpc-exam.aspx