Passing the AAPC Board Exams – Medical Billing and Coding Certification Exam

I am frequently asked by my students how to pass the CPC exam. It would seem obvious that obtaining quality medical coding education is the key. However, I have seen many who have quality coding educations test and fail.  I’ve taught medical coding and billing for a number of years. Maintaining a credential is not something that I chose to do since I was not actively coding  but teaching.  However, recently, I changed my mind and decided to sit for the CPC exam. What I took away from this experience was a unique perspective and wish that I had done so years earlier.

Passing the AAPC Board Exams – Medical Billing and Coding Certification Exam

The CPC exam is about knowing medical coding guidelines, but is also about knowing how to test well. I could write a volume of information on this subject but am going to keep it rather short for this article. Here are my thought on passing the CPC exam:

1. Do make sure that you have received a quality medical coding education.

2. Have quality study materials for the exam. I am not the type of learner that can just read something in a book and “know” it on demand. I have to “engage” with the material to have it stick in my mind. I used the Blitz videos offered her at If I was studying for the new medical billing credential, I would work through and study the Understanding Health Insurance text that we (CCO) use to teach medical billing.

3. Practice tests. I recommend having every practice test that AAPC offers and would work them over and over until you understood why you got questions wrong.

4. If necessary, I would buy other practice tests in order to learn where  weak points were.

5. The last and most important tip is to make a choice and decision right now that you are going to pass the exam.  If your score does not fall to a passing level, decide that you willl simply study more and come back and do it again.  Once you have made that firm decision then success is yours because you can only fail if you quit trying.


Dawn Moreno, PhD, CBCS, CMAA, MTC. Lives in the beautiful Southwest United States and has been an instructor for medical coding/billing for the past 7 years.  Interested in quality medical billing training

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