CPC Practice Exam

CPC Exam

CPC Practice Exam

CPC practice exam
Our 150 question CPC Practice Exam is available for purchase.

This practice exam has been constructed to reflect the actual CPC exam as closely as possible. It has been updated for 2024!.

You will find that each question and its answers closely simulate those on the actual CPC exam as well.

The layout of the exam is also the layout you can expect to see on exam day.

cpc practice exam stamp of approval Click here to see sample questions and find out more about this superior and highly affordable practice exam.

The CPC exam is offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and awards examinees the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credential upon passing.

The CPC credential is the most recognized and sought after medical coding certification in the professional coding community.

The exam is five hours and forty minutes long, is offered in almost every state year round, and provides multiple career options.

Learn More About the CPC Exam Below:


CPC Application and Membership

If you choose to take the CPC exam then you will be working with the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

In order to sit for any of the AAPC's examinations individuals are required to obtain an AAPC membership.

Membership can be obtained by completing an application and paying the annual fee of $120.00.

AAPC membership gives participants discounts on coding books and education seminars, a twelve month subscription to the "Coding Edge" magazine (which offers each offer 1 CEU per. issue).

Members also receive a bi-weekly e-mail containing the "Edge blast" (each worth 1/2 CEU), and the permission to sit for the CPC exam, as well as any other AAPC coding examination.

In order to sit for the CPC exam AAPC members must submit an examination application and pay the $300.00 exam fee. Once approved this fee will allow individuals to sit up to two times for the selected coding exam.

Upon passing the CPC exam the examinee will be awarded the Certified Professional Coding (CPC) credential. This credentials must then be maintained through an annual membership and the accumulation of 18 CEUs each year.

CPC Exam Details

The CPC exam is one-hundred and fifty multiple choice questions and is five hours and a forty minutes.

The time given to complete the CPC examination gives examinees a little over two minutes per question if no breaks are taken.

Examinees are permitted to take break time, however, this is deducted from the total exam time.

cpcexambooks The CPC Exam is Divided into Three Main Sections:

  • Medical Concepts
  • Surgery and Modifiers
  • Remaining CPT codes
Each of these three sections are then further divided into smaller headings.

Medical Concepts:

This portion of the exam is sub-divided into smaller, more specific classifications.

The following sub-divisions are each assigned 5-10 category specific questions:

  • Guidelines
  • Payment management
  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy
  • ICD-10-CM codes
  • HCPCS codes

Surgery and Modifiers:

This section is mainly sub-divided to reflect the surgery section of the CPT book.

The following sub-divisions are each assigned 5-10 category specific questions:

  • Integumentary
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Respiratory
  • Cardiology cpcexameraser
  • Hemic/Lymphatic systems
  • Mediastinum/Diaphragham
  • Digestive
  • Urinary
  • Male and Female reproductive organs
  • Maternity/ Endocrine system
  • Nervous system
  • Eyes/Ears
Remaining CPT Codes:

This portion of the exam focuses on the remaining CPT codes.

Each of the following sub-divisions are assigned 5-10 category specific questions:

  • Evaluation and Management
  • Anesthesia
  • Radiology
  • Pathology
  • Medicine

There are also several versions of each CPC exam. This is done to ensure that if an individual does not pass on their first attempt that they will not be given the identical examination on their second attempt.

This also helps to discourage cheating.

**For examples of questions similar to those found on the CPC exam click here.**

CPC Examination Tools

cpc exam book When sitting for the CPC exam individuals are instructed to bring the following:
  • Current photo identification
  • AAPC membership card
  • Current years AMA published CPT book, professional or standard edition
  • Currents years 10-CM, Volumes I and II
  • Current years HCPCS, Medicare National Level II Codes
  • Several #2 pencils
  • At least one good eraser
  • Calculator (not cell phone calculators)
The medical coding books are also allowed to have personal notations and highlights. Items may not be photo copied, stapled, taped, or glued into these book though.

Hand written notes, such a medical terms, anatomy notations, and highlighting of existing material are approved. Extensive notations that are considered an "advantage" over other examinees is not permitted and can disqualify an individual.

Notation approval is ultimately up to the proctor. If in doubt contact your proctor prior to the exam date.

Examinees are also allowed to place tabs in their coding books for easier referencing. Items such as sticky notes are not approved and will be removed.

CPC Exam Rules

Once the exam application is approved examinees should receive a packet or e-mail containing the:




~Both proctors' contact information

cpcexambreak Most proctors requested the examinees to arrive one half hour prior to the medical coding exam in order to inspect books, explain rules, and answer any questions.

Upon arrival individuals will be required to provide a photo ID and have your books checked for unauthorized notations.

Eating and drinking may or may not be permitted during the CPC exam depending on the location. If refreshments are permitted it is encouraged that "quiet" snacks be selected to minimize the disruption to others.

Breaks are also permitted but the time is deducted from the total exam time.

If requesting a break the examinee must raise their hand and be approved for exit by the proctor. The proctor will allow one individual to sign out at a time.

CPC Exam Results

Exam results are posted online in seven to ten business days. The overall score on the exam is given and individuals must receive a 70% or higher to pass.

For examinees who did not pass, they will be provided the score from their three weakest areas in order to help them study for their second attempt.

For those who passed the CPC exam a certificate embossed with the examinee's name and credential is mailed within two weeks.

Those who wish to re-attempt the examination are not given a required waiting period and can apply online or mail in their request.

CPC Examination Tips

Tip #1 : Successful Book Selection

The three coding books, CPT, ICD-10-CM, and HCPCS are offered in three editions.

  • Standard
  • Professional
  • Expert

The AAPC has approved the standard and professional edition for the CPT book, and all three editions for the ICD-10-CM and HCPCS.

The professional and expert editions are slightly more expensive, but are well worth the investment when preparing for the exam.

Guidelines and code descriptions are identical in each edition, but the professional and expert editions offer added reference material.

Added material may include pages with common medical terminology and abbreviations, anatomical illustrations, color coded tabs and tables, easy to read conventions, and more.

These two editions are easier to use and understand, particularly for beginners.

While many individuals have successfully passed the CPC exam with standard edition books, if it is within your means the professional or expert editions are strongly encouraged.

Tip #2 : Optimal Time Management


  • Make sure you accurately code the bubble sheet to correspond with the exam.

  • Start in the section you are most knowledgeable in, even if that means starting in the center of the exam.

  • If a question is very long, skip it. It is worth the same amount of points as all the other questions. Leave these ones until then end of the exam.

  • Know your modifiers! When looking at the four options, two may have a modifier and two may not. By knowing your modifiers you can automatically eliminate two of your four options.

  • Skip the index, go straight to the tabular. Although every medical coding class teaches to NEVER do this, for the CPC exam you can. By providing four options for you to choose from this step has already been done. Flip straight to the tabular and select the answer that best fits.

  • Don't watch the clock. Although you have an average of two minutes per question, some may take four minutes and others may take thirty seconds. If you are constantly watching the clock then you are loosing time.

  • Make an educated guess. Eventually every one comes to a question where they just have to guess, so make it an educated one. Remembering which section you are in can be a key indicator.

Ex. If you are in the cardiovascular section of the exam and only two of your options have 30000 codes, chances are it's one of those two options since cardiovascular codes are 30000.

  • Narrow down your options. Cross out codes that repeat in all four options, this will help you focus on the differences between them. By doing this you will have fewer codes to look up.

  • Learn your books. Almost every question on the exam has the answer somewhere in one of the books. Commonly overlooked items include: Two pages of common medical terminology are located in the CPT book just before the E/M section; Common abbreviation are listed on the back cover of the CPT book; Modifiers with a short description are located on the front cover of the CPT book.

  • Make sure you accurately code the bubble sheet to correspond with the exam booklet. More than one examinee has skipped a question and forgot to skip it on the bubble sheet which throws every other answer off. Usually the mistake is not caught until the end. Continually check that your questions coorespond correctly with your bubble sheet.

Tip #3:Learn Medical Terminology

Medical terminology is one of the only things that can completely transform the way you deal with medical coding.

Learning medical terminology gives individuals a clearer understanding of code descriptions, results in more accurate code selection, and teaches anatomy in the process.

cpc exam pencils


The ICD-10 will be implemented October 1, 2015.

Individuals already holding the CPC credential will only be required to sit for an online, 75 question, competency exam.

Those who have not already passed the CPC exam will be tested on the ICD-10-CM in place of the ICD-9-CM.

CPC Exam Reminder

It is common to skip a difficult question on the exam and come back to it later.

Be sure that when skipping a question in the exam booklet that you also skip the bubble on the answer sheet.

Although this sounds like common sense, more than one student has made this error and not discovered it until the final minutes of the exam.

Professional Coding

Professional coding describes the place of service an individual codes for.

In medical coding there are two main types of coding, professional and facility.

Professional coding involves private practices, outpatient surgery centers, and emergency departments.

Facility coding focuses on inpatient hospital claims.

The CPC exam is made for those pursuing a career in professional coding, while the CCS focuses more on facility minded individuals.

cpc exam pencil eraser

Paper work must be submitted to the AAPC at least four weeks prior to the CPC exam.

This gives the AAPC time to process the paper work, verify letters, and send information to examinees and proctors.

If paperwork is received by the AAPC after the deadline examinees may be declined for their chosen test date.

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