CPC Exam Time Management – how do we manage our time? You are going to have some unanswered questions, it's very likely. Now if you are doing the hour per column method, it's very hard to leave some unanswered and stop and then move to the next column and flip your example. You got to picture this now. Remember, be visual and rehearse it. That little timer goes off, you reset it, and you figure out.
“Question 31. I got to turn to question 31 in the booklet and start that second hour.” Not that you're going to get graded on each column, but it will again give you that momentum that really push it. It's optional if you want to do it this way. That's what I recommend. You're going to have time to come back and try to answer those ones that are unanswered because it is 5 hours and 40 minutes, so if you're doing one hour per column, you still have 40 minutes left over.
You might find in another column you'll go so quick, you have time left over. You actually got them all done within the hour and go back to the ones in the other columns you didn't finish. The purpose of it is to get your speed up because you want to be able to read all the questions.
Now, because you're going to get 45 wrongs, this is what I recommend you do: Assess each questions. You go to answer it. If it's an easy one, answer it right away. If it's one that you know for you, you particularly have problems with or just scares you, rate it real quick – one dot, two dots. One is medium, two dots is really hard. Move on, just skip it. You’re doing this in your exam grid next to the numbers 1 to 30, 31 to 60. Just a light dot, you can erase stray marks at the end of the exam. Don’t put it near the bubbles; put it to the left of the number. That's your map. That scan form is your map. You don't want to put it in the booklet because then you have to flip through it.
CPC Exam Time Management – Video
It's a comfort level thing. You have to trust yourself that you can do this and that's why you practice ahead, and then move on to the next one. What that will do is all the easy ones will be answered, because remember, each question has the same value. A quickie medical terminology question carries as much weight as a cardiac cath, longish report one.
Don’t over think or read into a question – how many here are over thinkers? Probably all of you if you're really being honest. Coders, they think, “They’re tricking me. They're trying to trick me.” “Oh I know this procedure. We do it in my office all the time.” Oh! Now you're depending to reimbursement knowledge. Okay?
Deal with the facts that are right in front of you and that's it. Remember, it's a scenario where I call a blip or a blurp, it's not a full note oftentimes. Sometimes, you get an OP report that's a full OP report, but normally it's a scenario. “Mrs. Smith came to see Dr. Jones. She has been here two years ago…” That's not how a real note reads, right? Whatever they tell you, if they tell you it was a complicated yadayada and you go, “That doesn't sound complicated to me. They're trying to trick me. That's really limited. That's not complicated.” You are over thinking it. If they tell you the word, the buzz word in the blip, take it. That's a gift. Take what they give you, don't overthink it. That will come through when you're doing your practice test. If you're an over thinker and you go, “But I thought… I was over thinking it.” You’ll start training yourself to not overthink.
When you go to sit for the real exam, you'll catch yourself doing that. Remember, your job is to pick the best of the possible answers. You aren't taking a scenario, ignoring the answers, trying to code it and see if your code that you got matches one of the answers. You don’t have that kind of time. You need to look up the answers and then go read the scenario. I mean, except for maybe some medical terminology questions or whatever. Once you know what the differences are between the answers you know what to abstract for in the scenario, right? Because you're nervous and you're taking the test and you're reading everything and everything seems important, and you'll be circling and underlining and highlighting everything. Then you go look at the answers and then “Oh! They're really testing me on the difference between A and B. And you go look at, “Oh! It’s A. It is right here.”
If you keep that in mind that your job is to pick the best of the four possible answers, the answers are key. It's really what you want to start with. That’s going to help you know what guideline they're testing you on.
Coding Certificate Exam Method 1 – Here's a method, the Multiple Passes method. We talked about the one hour per column, so if you cycle through the whole exam, forget about the one hour per column thing. Just go through the whole exam and answer all the easy ones. Use the one dot, two dots for the ones that you're going to leave behind. Then, on the second pass, what do you think you're going to focus on? The one dot. You're going to go for the medium hard ones, and you're going to answer as many of those as you can. Then, on the third pass, you're going to do those two dot ones until you run out of time. That way, you are increasing your chances of success and you're leaving those 45 wrong ones for the really hard ones.
A lot of people do have time left over and you can go back and check some work, but as you’ve probably heard, your first gut reaction of what the answer is, is probably right. If you're just going back because if you have extra time and you check in — don't do that. But if you had one that you really want to go back and check, put a check mark on your answer grid next to that question number, so you don't waste time and start changing things that were already right. Once you're like, “I'm just truly not sure and I've got it narrowed down to answer A and C. But I got to come back and work a little bit, but I want to move on. I want to keep my speed going.” Which by the way, if you've narrowed it down to two which you probably will, what I do on the answer grid is I just do a light pencil mark to the two that I think are the possible correct answers. So, when I'm at the very end and I've got five minutes left and you want to fill in any empty ones. You never want to leave any blanks because you have 25% chance of getting it right. If you've narrowed it down to two, well, pick one of the two and erase the stray mark on the other bubble. Now you have 50-50 chance of getting it right because you've already thrown out two wrong answers.
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