Certified medical coders on average earn a much higher salary. It is a challenging but lucrative job, and so there are no shortage of people wanting to get into it. The certification exams, such as those from AAPC and AHIMA, are not easy exams. This is despite the fact that candidates are required to have at least two years of work experience prior to applying. Even seasoned coders can have problems with the CPC exam. So what separates those who can pass the certification exam and those who don’t?
You’ve probably heard about the horror stories or grim statistics jamb runz from online forums or friends about the average passing rate of the CPC exams. It almost seems like a test designed to break your willpower as you have to finish the exam in five plus hours with no breaks in between. So how do you get an extra edge to help you pass the CPC exam?
Despite the 60% average failure rate, you don’t necessarily have to be one of them! There are plenty of people who do pass the CPC exam on their first try. It is just a matter of preparedness and self-confidence. See how much of a difference it makes when you know that a lot of people actually do succeed getting certified in the CPC exam the first time, and compare that when you were reading the previous paragraph with a gloomy outlook. Having self-confidence helps to set your mind to focus on how to study for the CPC exam, not how you might fail at it.
Approaching the CPC exam in the correct frame of mind helps everything to flow smoothly whether its ideas, memory, motor skills, etc. This is because your mind is actively engaged at solving problems. You’ve effectively “primed” your mind and body to succeed.
Self-confidence is also measure of your preparedness. Self-confidence doesn’t just appear from nowhere, it builds from within when you do things right. If you find yourself getting more confident from your study and review, then you’re on the right path. Think of preparedness as a simulation in your mind. You are simulating the exam day, imagining what questions might appear and then having the answers or at least the steps you will take to refer to your coding book to answer it.
You will need to be careful about feeling confident without any preparation. That would be self-delusion. The other reason why self-confidence is important is because being the opposite of it is far worse. Being nervous, having anxiety and self-doubt will slow you down in the exam hall. It is like constantly having an internal battle in your mind that distracts you from the task at hand.
So keep in mind that confidence is as important as your medical coding knowledge and experience when it comes to studying for the CPC exam. Psychologists at Goldsmiths University in London performed a study of 7 to 10 years old children that suggests that the children who achieved the best results in school tended to rate their own abilities highly, even after accounting for differences due to intelligence and environment. Would you rather be positive, confident, and relaxed walking into an exam hall or a complete mess of negative emotions?