October 29, 2021

Taking The AAPC Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam for Medical Coding Online vs In Person

By Janine Mothershed

Learning More About the CPC Exam

Are you on the journey to become a Certified Professional Coder? To start your new career, you must pass the AAPC CPC Exam. An overall score of 70% is considered passing. You will have approximately two minutes to answer each of the 150 multiple-choice questions. The questions will focus on 17 areas of Medical Coding. You must get 105 questions correct. Practice tests are available to take prior to the exam. Study and make sure that you are prepared.

The exam is now available to take online. This option came about during the pandemic to help students stay safe. Study the differences between taking the Medical Coding exam online versus taking it in person. Decide which is the best fit for you. We almost always suggest taking the online exam, rather than taking it in person.

Taking the Exam Online

The online exam option is two sessions of 2 hour and 45 minute intervals. You will answer 75 questions in each session. Scheduling the online exam is offered same day. This will take place directly through the Examity platform. You are able to schedule the second session online when you choose. If you need to reschedule the exam day or time prior to the test, you will have 24 hours before it starts to do so without a fee. If you cancel or reschedule within 24 hours or prior, Examity will charge a fee for each occurrence. You will have one attempt to pass this test. You will get your results within five business days of completing the second part of the exam, sometimes as quick as 24 hours. The online exam will be taken at your home. The cost of the online exam is $325.

Items Needed to Take the Online Exam

You will be required to use an external webcam in order for the proctor to see your face, hands, keyboard and the area surrounding your keyboard (about 10 inches). Webcams can be purchased online for as low as $20.

You must also have a working laptop or desktop computer. A strong internet connection is imperative. If your internet glitches, you will be dismissed. You may have your ICD-10-CM, HCPC, CPT along with calculators and highlighters next to you.

Taking the Exam In Person

The in person exam has one session with a duration of 5 hours and 40 minutes. If you need to take breaks, your time is not extended. You will answer all 150 questions at once. The exam must be scheduled six weeks in advance. If you reschedule 5- 29 days prior to the scheduled day, you will pay a $50 rescheduling fee. This option does allow two attempts to pass the test. Exam results are provided to you within 7-10 business days following the exam date. The exam will be taken at a predetermined location with a group of students and a proctor. The cost of the in person exam is $425.

Items Needed to Take the In Person Exam

You may bring your ICD-10-CM, HCPC, CPT along with calculators and highlighters. Do not bring cell phones to the exam.

The Pros of Taking the Exam Online

We suggest taking the exam online if you have the capability to do so. This option will make it much easier to complete the test, as it will be split up into two sessions. This will give your brain a break and provide insight on your speed and time management for the second session. It will be much easier to concentrate as well.

You will get your results much quicker when taking the exam online. This will cause less stress while waiting. You can also take the CPC exam in the comfort of your own home for convenience. Scheduling the exam is offered same day. There is no fee for rescheduling if it is done at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled time. Taking the exam online is less expensive than the in person option.

The Pros of Taking the Exam in Person

There are a few advantages to taking the exam in person. One of the pros about this option is that you will get the exam done all at once. You will only need to commit to one day as well. This may lessen the anxiety, as you will only attend one session and get it done and over with. You will be allowed two attempts to take it, rather than one. Taking the test in person requires much less resources. If you do not have a quiet room to take the test, a computer and/or reliable internet, the in person exam will be the only option for you.

Please evaluate the pros and cons of each option to see what works best for you. We are here to help you with your Medical Coding journey from start to finish. Enroll today at no cost to you with one of our Workforce Scholarships.

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