How to Pass the CPC Exam

Instructor: Jessica Munk
The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam is offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), and you can find many AAPC resources to help you pass the exam. Local AAPC chapters, community colleges and all offer additional resources. Read on to learn more about utilizing these resources to pass the CPC Exam.

Know Your Prerequisite Material

The CPC Exam tests medical terminology and anatomy, so if you have not yet taken these courses, you will need to in order to pass the exam. These courses are offered at colleges and universities or you can enroll in a shortened online course offered through the AAPC. Once you enroll in one of these online courses, you have two months to complete it. You may also want to consider these online courses if you feel you need to refresh your knowledge in these two important subjects. offers additional resources to help you understand your anatomy material. You can supplement your anatomy and physiology textbook with our course, which gives you the option to watch video lessons whenever it's convenient for you. You may also find our anatomy flashcards helpful as you prep for the CPC exam.

Brush up on your medical terminology and take practice quizzes with's course in Medical Terminology. In this course, you can review medical terminology specific to each of the body systems as well as to certain parts of the body, such as the eyes and ears. Particularly important to passing the CPC Exam, you can refresh your medical terminology for diseases, disorders and pathogens.

Enroll in a Prep Program

According to the AAPC, people who take the AAPC's CPC prep course double their chances of passing the CPC Exam. The course provides 80 hours of online instruction in medical coding. It also provides you with the ability to communicate with instructors, and you will receive a textbook and a workbook.

To prepare for the exam, you can also find prep programs at local colleges that teach coding fundamentals. There are often prerequisites for these programs as well, including medical terminology. Even though they are offered through colleges, these programs are typically not offered for college credit.

Take a Review Class

Much like a prep course, review classes can be found at local colleges. These classes are meant only as a review and are shorter than prep courses.

You may be able to find a review class offered through your local AAPC chapter. These types of reviews typically only last a half or a full day. You can find an updated list of local chapters offering reviews on the AAPC's website.

Purchase the AAPC's Study Guide

The AAPC's study guide is a review of the topics tested on the CPC Exam. You can refresh your anatomy and coding knowledge, practice answering questions and learn testing tips. There are over 200 questions in this study guide, and it provides explanations for the answer choices.

Complete Practice Exams

The AAPC's website offers three practice exams that are available for purchase. You can take these three exams as many times as you like, and reviewing your results could provide you with an accurate picture of your strengths and weaknesses. These exams also explain the logic behind the answers to each question. Further, you can take these exams under realistic time constraints. Practicing the exam under these conditions can help you increase your efficiency for test day.

Earning College Credit

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Transferring credit to the school of your choice

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