How to Retake the CPC Exam If You Fail the First Time

A grueling examination for would-be medical coders, taking nearly 6 hours long, the CPC or Certified Professional Coder certification exam by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) is brutal and does not boast of a very high passing rate for first time test-takers. If you have failed the CPC exam, trust me, you are not alone. Even though the CPC exam is an open book exam, there are a great many factors to take into consideration.

First, you must get a passing rate of 70% to pass the CPC exam. It used to be that you need to get 70% on each of the 3 sections of the CPC exam, which means that should you fail to reach 70% on just one section you will not pass the CPC exam.

For this reason, there are plenty of study guides out there to help you get ready to retake the CPC exam. There are a few recommended by the AAPC, as well as online prep courses by experienced trainers and coders that can help you hone your coding skills.

You can retake the CPC exam within 12 months of your failed test without having the pay the hundreds of dollars that the first test cost. That alone should be a relief to you, so now not only do you have the opportunity to sit for the exam again but can do so at no further cost to you. The thing to remember is that you have to take the test within 12 months of the initial exam or you will be charged a fee. Don’t delay too long in retaking the test because all the study you did will still be fresh in your mind. If you have to wait longer before retaking the CPC exam, then you’ll have to maintain your study efforts at a high level to ensure you don’t forget and lose the information you’ve worked hard for.

When you receive your scores, you will be notified which sections were problematic for you, so you can focus your studies and improve on your weaknesses. Being able to fine tune your studies to pass the CPC exam is a great benefit to you. Not only will you see which areas you succeed in, but being able to target your low scores makes it much easier to focus all your energy and effort for the next round. Talk to other students as well as your mentor or coach so you can target the weak areas specifically.

Take more timed practice exams to get back into the rhythm and refine your study and question-answering strategies. When testing day rolls around again, you’ll be more at ease and be better prepared for the CPC exam. Don’t let your nerves get the better of you. Go in with a positive and confident mindset that you’ll do well this time around.

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