September 22, 2022
AAPC Phasing out In Person

AAPC is Phasing out all In Person Certification Tests

By Janine Mothershed

The AAPC provides training and certifications for professionals working in Medical Coding. It also offers certifications for various other roles in the medical industry, such as practice managers, auditors and compliance specialists. Certifications are awarded to individuals who have successfully passed the exam. While the CPC exam is the primary credential offered by AAPC, it also offers more than 30 specialties to choose from.

Taking any AAPC certification test in person will phased out completely by 2024. This includes the exam to become a Certified Professional Coder. There will no longer be any in person exams. Everything will eventually be online only. All specialty certification tests are already online.

All AAPC exams are now available electronically. This option has made it much easier for test takers to become certified in the comfort of their own homes. Medical Coding students are able to take the CPC Exam and other tests from wherever they wish to. The new test format is designed to accommodate new technology. The AAPC is so excited about the flexibility that electronic exams bring that soon all in person Medical Coding and other specialty certification tests will be a thing of the past.

The new format allows for the AAPC to give certification exams with fewer questions. With this change, in 2022 AAPC shortened the test to 4 hours and it now only has 100 questions. It was previously 5 hours and consisted of 150 questions. The exam is made up of two parts. Psychologists have found that tests with shorter time frames are more reliable and offer better content validity. In addition, the shorter exam format is more appealing to the average test taker.

AAPC released this announcement:

We are excited to announce that the option to take an exam electronically through live remote proctoring (LRP) will be available for all AAPC Certifications immediately. By expanding our electronic exam platform to include all AAPC certifications, we’re confident that members will be more apt to take their exam in the convenience and comfort of their own home.

A few things to know about this change:

Any existing online CPC exam vouchers will be transferred to our new system by September 16th, except for exams already scheduled through September 30th. If your examinees hold a current voucher, we have already notified them about important next steps. We will be launching a new enterprise exam tool soon. This online tool will give you the ability to manage vouchers, view scheduling and results info with ease. There will be no changes to the process of purchasing and assigning vouchers.

You are welcome to continue proctoring in-person exams for your students through December 2023. At that time, we will be making efforts to offer AAPC Exams exclusively electronically through testing centers or live remote proctoring.

We understand your students will have questions moving forward to which you can refer them to the public information found on our website.

As a licensed education provider with AAPC we appreciate your support with this change and your efforts in advancing the business of healthcare.


The AAPC Exams Team

What is Live Remote Proctoring (LRP)?

Live remote proctoring is a convenient and efficient way to complete an examination. You can choose the exact time and date of your exam and receive a notification by email. You must be sure that your email address is up to date and accessible. However, be aware that the testing center may close on US holidays. Live remote proctoring is a relatively new way to deliver certification exams. Live remote proctoring is an online exam administration service that allows candidates to take exams from their own computers.

Rules and Suggestions For Online AAPC Exams

There are a few rules and suggestions for taking the online AAPC exam. Test takers should review the list of AAPC’s rules and the major and minor infractions prior to beginning the Medical Coding certification exam. The testing environment must be quiet and free of distractions. In addition, the computer should have an external webcam. The proctor must be able to see your face, hands and keyboard, along with 10 inches surrounding it.

Using your webcam, you will need to do a 360-degree room and desk pan.  A microphone and stable internet connection are a must. If you have a laptop, you will need to be next to a plug to ensure that your laptop does not run low on battery. Be prepared to show a government-issued photo ID and the name on the ID must match the name on the confirmation notice.

Clear all items that are not allowed. Here is a list.

References Not Allowed

  1. Study Guides
  2. Procedural Coding Expert
  3. Any Procedural Professional 4. CPT Plus! – PMIC
  4. CPT Insider’s View – AMA 6. ICD-10-CM Easy Coder

Live Remote Proctored Prohibited Items

  1. External monitor
  2. Pets or other people in the room
  3. Electronic devices- phones, tablets, calculators
  4. Headphones

You should answer as many of the easy questions as possible. This stimulates associations and allows you to take the test with fewer mistakes. The AAPC suggests that you answer every question, even if you are unsure of the answer. Eliminate as many wrong answers as possible, then select the correct answers. If you are unsure, you can guess, but not respond with a blank response.

Learn more about the 2022 exam changes here.

Read more about the 2022 ICD10 changes here.

2023 is quickly approaching. Be sure to look out for a Coding Clarified Blog with the 2023 changes in the near future.

If you are not a CPC currently, apply now for a FREE scholarship to get certified.

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