Certified Coding Associate (CCA) Exam: Frequently Asked Questions

Coding and Billing5 Comments

Updated January 9, 2017

So you’re thinking about a national certification exam to become a certified medical coder? Here are some of the frequently asked questions we get from students and graduates preparing to get certified. For the most up-to-date information and more detail, you should visit the AHIMA website.

CCA Exam FAQs (the exam is offered through AHIMA):

How much does it cost?

The CCA exam costs $199 for AHIMA members and $299 for non-members. Membership for AHIMA costs $175. As long as your Career Step program access is still current, you qualify for the student membership price of $45.

How do I sign up for the CCA?

You must apply for the CCA on the AHIMA website at least 6 weeks in advance from your desired testing date. Once you get a confirmation back from AHIMA, you have a 4-month period to take the exam. You can then locate a testing center to set up a date and time. Keep in mind that you must schedule your exam at least 3 days prior to the date you’d like to test.

Where do I take the test?

You take the CCA in person at a local testing center. To locate an exam site for the CCA:

  • Visit http://www.pearsonvue.com/.
  • Click on Locate-Find a Testing Center.
  • Click on Health Medicine Nursing & Pharmacy on the left hand side under Category.
  • Scroll down on the right side to select American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and click on it.
  • Type in your zip code and click Search.

Am I allowed to bring any notes or books?

You are only allowed to bring your hard copy code books with you the day of the exam (your ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS and CPT books). The exam is normally updated in March of each year. For the 2017 year, AHIMA is not switching their CCA exam to match the 2017 codes until April or May. From January-March you may take the exam using the current or past years’ code books. After March, your code books must match the current year to be eligible for the exam.

How many questions are on the CCA?

The CCA exam is a 100 question exam—all multiple choice. You have 2 hours to complete it.

What kinds of questions are on the exam?

The CCA content is about two thirds health data, health record, HIPAA, legal aspects of healthcare, anatomy, and physiology. Coding questions make up the other third of the exam. For more detail, you can visit AHIMA’s website (page 33).

What do I have to score to pass?

The grading for the CCA is complex, but simplistically, a passing score is about 300 out of 400. You find out your score immediately after you take the test.

What if I don’t pass?

If you do not pass, you have to wait at least 91 days to retest, and you will need to pay for the exam each time you want to take it.

What if I move? Will I ever have to recertify?

The CCA is a national exam, and is thus recognized in all 50 states. Once you pass, you do not have to retake the exam itself again, as long as you submit 20 CEUs to AHIMA every 2 years. For more information on CEUs, you can visit AHIMA’s website.

What is the best way to prepare for the exam?

Everyone studies a little differently. Here are a few ideas:

  • Review areas you could improve on the Career Step final exam. If you passed your Career Step final exam on your first try, take advantage of the available retakes for additional practice.
  • Review the reports in the practicum and the information in the program.
  • Use the Career Step forums and Career Step support team for tips on the certification exams.
  • AHIMA sells prep books and review guides that some students recommend for added preparation.

If you need more information on the training requirements, visit our medical billing and coding program page. Got more questions? Call us now at 1-888-657-5752 opt 1 then opt 2.

Leave a comment below »

  1. Jana August 27, 2014

    How much medical terminology is on the exam? Can we take a medical dictionary into the exam?

  2. Instructor Craig Laursen September 03, 2014

    AHIMA’s CCA exam content outline is here: http://www.ahima.org/~/media/AHIMA/Files/Certification/CCA_Content_Outline.ashx

    I would estimate 5-10 terminology questions on the exam. A medical dictionary is not allowed; you will only have the use of your code books for the exam.

    Best of luck!

  3. Therese Huynh December 12, 2014

    I have been practicing with the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) Exam Preparation, Third Edition…from AHIMA
    will this be sufficient for the CCA exam?


  4. Instructor Craig Laursen December 15, 2014

    Hi Therese,

    It was a great study tool for me! Check out my blog experience from the CCA:



  5. sam January 12, 2015

    which cpt book we need,,professional edition or standard

  6. Career Step January 13, 2015

    Hi Sam, either edition will work. Best of luck!

  7. Lizi Dillon January 26, 2015

    Do you have to take a training program to be able to take the CCA?

  8. Career Step January 27, 2015

    Hi Lizi,

    No, you do not have to complete a training program in order to take the CCA. The only thing AHIMA requires is a high school diploma. However, they recommend:

    - 6 months coding experience directly applying codes; OR
    - Completion of an AHIMA approved coding program; OR
    - Completion of other coding training program to include anatomy & physiology, medical terminology, Basic ICD diagnostic/procedural and Basic CPT coding.

    You can find more information at http://www.ahima.org/certification/CCA.

    Best wishes!

  9. Sue McCratic February 16, 2015

    I am studying to take the test .  Any suggestions on the reimbursement technologies portion of the exam??  Also anyone recent who took the test I could talk to who passed the exam??  In California. Did anyone find that they had enough time for the exam?

  10. instructor Craig Laursen February 17, 2015

    Hi Sue,
    I took the CCA in December of 2013. This link is my blog post about that experience:

    I would recommend using the CCA study guide from AHIMA to prep for the exam. The Career Step coding course is more than enough prep for the coding portions of the CCA.
    Please let me know if you have any other questions.


  11. Krystal May 26, 2015

    I have just started the career step medical billing and coding program and I have just briefly searched AHIMA’s site.  I am wondering at what point I should look into taking the exam for the CCS-P?  Or is the CCA enough to impress employers?

  12. LaToya July 13, 2015


    I wanna know what I need to prep for the CCA exam? I have completed medical billing and coding program in June 2014. I have made my decision to take the exam so if anyone can help me out I would really appreciate it.

  13. Instructor Craig Laursen July 14, 2015

    Hi LaToya,
    I highly recommend the CCA study guide - the official one published by AHIMA. You can read about my experience taking the CCA here:
    Good luck!

  14. brichelle Johnson July 19, 2015

    Hello I have my diploma in Medical Billing and Coding specialist. I went and took the cca exam and made an 188. I brought the online study guide as well do you know or have any other study books or website that will be useful for me

  15. Instructor Craig Laursen July 20, 2015

    Hi Brichelle. I think the study guide is the best study tool. Check out this blog post for details on my CCA experience:

  16. Saadia September 22, 2015

    I am taking CCA exam on October , 22 2015 . Which books do I have to take for exam ?? I am very confused . Please guide me

  17. Coding Support September 23, 2015

    AHIMA has a list of allowable codebooks for the CCA at the following website: http://www.ahima.org/certification/CCA
    Look for the quick link on the right hand side of the screen.

  18. Bazegenawork Woldeyohanes October 12, 2015

    I was make appointment to take CCA exam but I was disappointed. Pearson Viu for oct 8 some one call me and he told me to come Friday because the sit was full. I went Friday but it’s not happened. I need your help. I pay my money for nothing.

  19. Instructor Michelle Malquist October 14, 2015

    To find out what is going on with taking your certification exam, you will need to contact AHIMA so that they can help you schedule your exam. Their phone number is 1-800-335-5535.

  20. sam November 06, 2015

    As of now, does the CCA contain only ICD 10 based questions? Or a combination of ICD 9 and 10?

  21. Kate November 09, 2015

    Hello.  I am interested in taking the CCA exam.  My understanding is that ICD-10 was just implemented.  If I take the exam in January 2016 - will I need an ICD-10 code book instead of the ICD-9?

  22. Instructor Randy Johnson November 10, 2015

    You will need the ICD-10 code books to take the CCA exam in January 2016.

  23. Instructor Randy Johnson November 10, 2015

    The CCA exam contains only ICD-10 based questions.

  24. Angel November 29, 2015

    I didn’t pass my first cca exam in 2012 but want to retake now. Do I have to use the icd 9 or 10 book? Which I’m not familiar with.

  25. Mary December 01, 2015

    I have tabs on all my code books. Do I need to take these off before I go in to my test?

  26. Coding Support December 02, 2015

    The CCA exam is currently offered in ICD-10.  It changed fro ICD-9 to ICD-10 in October.

  27. Coding Support December 02, 2015

    Coding books may not have additional pages inserted into the codebooks.  You may use tabs for the different sections, but the tabs cannot contain supplementary information.  See AAPC and/or AHIMA websites for more information.

  28. saadia January 04, 2016

    I am taking CCA in February,, I have prepared from ICD-9,, do I have to prepare again from icd 10 or all the previous knowledge is same and just new books to take to the exam day?
    is there any book for this exam that will help me to prepare in 2016 test?

  29. Coding Support January 07, 2016

    When you take the CCA test in February 2016, it will reference ICD-10 codes.  You will need ICD-10 books, and ICD-10 training to be properly trained to answer the questions on the certification test.

  30. Leslie January 08, 2016

    I’m brand new to this all.  I have no experience and only have a high school diploma.  What ae my first steps?  My goal is to become a CCS.  Can I bypass the CCA and go directly into CCS? 


  31. Saadia January 10, 2016

    Is there any online training course for Icd 10

  32. Career Step January 11, 2016

    Hi Saadia,

    The Career Step Medical Coding and Billing course provides training in ICD-10. You can learn more about the program here:


    You can also call an Academic Advisor at 1-800-411-7073 to learn more.

    Best wishes!

  33. Coding Support January 13, 2016

    The CCS is an advanced certification.  You need 2-3 years experience in an inpatient setting before sitting for this advanced test.  Career Step does not cover the information needed for the CCS.  We prep for the CCA and the CPC.

  34. Marge Gehrke January 25, 2016

    After taking the test - how soon do you find out your results.

  35. Instructor Michelle Malquist February 01, 2016


    If you are taking the CCA, you should find out your score before you leaving the testing center. If you are taking the CPC, it takes about a week for results to show in your login.
    Good luck!

  36. Hannah February 06, 2016

    I just took th CCA exam 2/5/16 and I wasn’t given a score afterwards. My paper said enough people haven’t taken the exam to determine a passing score for the new ICD-10 EXAM. I’ll know my results in 12 weeks apparently…

  37. Jin Blossoms February 24, 2016

    Hannah, the wait for test results is normal because you are taking the exam during a Beta period. When you registered or paid for the exam, there were bold print on the bottom of the exam description before you placed the order through AHIMA. It says something along the lines of “this exam is in Beta,” which pretty much means you’re a guinea pig for the new ICD-10 exam content. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just means you have to wait about 12 weeks, maybe more, depending on how many other exam takers there are.

  38. sadia February 25, 2016

    Is AHIMA certified CCA exam preparation fourth edition enough for exam preparation?

  39. Coding Support February 26, 2016

    There are many certification classes and products out there; we recommend taking the Professional Medical Coding and Billing preparation course through Career Step.

  40. Melinda February 26, 2016

    Hello, I am looking to get certified for medical billing and/or coding. I am a little confused. I have noticed on the AHIMA website that there are a lot of different certifications and would like to know which is the best to start with?

  41. Coding Support February 29, 2016

    The coding training program at Career Step prepares for the CCA with AHIMA.

  42. saadia March 02, 2016

    which books should I take for the exam?
    cpt 2015 or 2016.
    ICD - 10 CM 2015 0r 2016

    Hi Saadia-

    Thank you for your question! The CCA updates to 2016 codes in March.  If you plan on taking the exam after March, you will need the 2016 books.

    Best wishes!

  43. Mendy March 07, 2016

    If I take the CCA after March 2016 do I have to have 2016 books or can I use my 2015 drafts?

    Hi Mendy-
    Thank you for your question! The CCA updates to 2016 codes in March.  If you plan on taking the exam after March, you will need the 2016 books.

    Best wishes!

  44. Nataliya March 23, 2016

    I would like to correct the info posted above regarding CCA Exam allowable code books. According to AHIMA website, the list of CCA Exam Allowable Code Books for this year includes both 2015 and 2016 editions. This list was already updated on March 2, 2016.

    Hi Nataliya,

    Thank you for your comment. This post was from 2014 so there are changes from year to year regarding allowable code books.

    Best Wishes!

  45. Vicki Roberts April 07, 2016

    Can you tell me what the differences between CCA and CPC certifications are for?  Why/Should I take one over the other, or are both helpful at some point

    Thank you.

    Hi Vicki-
    Both the CCA and the CPC are nationally recognized certification exams that will help you in your efforts to find employment as a coder, and students have been successful after joining either organization and taking either of the two exams. We want to help and assist you as much as possible in making an informed decision as to which exam is right for you.

    We are happy to help you make a decision and provide information and resources to help you choose an exam, register, and prepare for it. We would suggest logging onto the forum and chatting with past graduates to see what their preferences have been, and getting in touch with graduate support at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    This blog post also provides very helpful information:

    Good luck!

  46. Lorraine Purpura April 20, 2016

    I am taking the CCA exam on Friday 4/22/16. I just received an email from AHIMA staing that scheduled testers after May 2, 2016 will have to use 2016 code books. Any test takers prior to this date ICD-10-CM/PCS and 2015 draft of CPT code book.

  47. coding support April 26, 2016

    Hi Lorraine,

    It would be best to comply with the new AHIMA requirement. If you are testing before the date then you should still be able to reference the 2015 versions.  Please contact AHIMA for more information.

  48. Sasha April 26, 2016

    Good Afternoon,

    This April I purchased the fourth edition CCA Exam preparation book without knowing that the CCA exam updated or will be updating as of 5/1/16 and the fifth edition will be available in May. Does anyone know if the the fourth edition will still align with the updated CCA exam. I just purchased it and studied the entire book and I am wondering if it was a waste of time and money. What primarily changes when the CCA exam is updated? Is it best for me to now purchase the fifth edition also to be prepared or if I am confident with what I know from the fourth edition I should be prepared?

  49. Pratheeksha May 08, 2016

    Do I have to buy coding books from anima to take cca or can I buy it from amazon

    Hi Pratheeksha,

    You can absolutely buy your books on Amazon! Just make sure you are purchasing current years publications as the health information management industry changes on a regular basis.

    Good luck on your exam! 



  50. Z May 09, 2016

    I took the CCA test this past end of August/September 2015.The ICD 10 books where not available so I used ICD 9 instead. It took 5 months to find out my grade on the exam.
    I failed the exam because of this. Who can I talk to about a refund or a retake? Where do I file a complaint?

    Hi Z,
    You will need to contact AHIMA to file a complaint.

    Good luck!

  51. Instructor Michelle May 12, 2016

    I would suggest contacting AHIMA in regards to your CCA exam. Their number is 1-800-335-5535. Good luck!

  52. natalie May 18, 2016

    Hope someone can help. Are some of the coding questions with the codes and code meanings with multiple choice underneath? ??? I’m taking practice exams included in the study guide online and that’s the format. Thank u in advance

  53. Natalie May 21, 2016

    Wondering if someone knows if the questions to SOME coding questions are multiple choice(like the code and what the code meaning is?) I am taking a practice exam online that came with the study guide and was just wondering. thank you in advance

  54. Stephanie J. Thomas July 04, 2016

    I just bought the CCA exam Review Guide 2016 edition. I want to take the exam so which cpt book and what edition ICD 10 book will I need?

  55. Instructor Alaina July 05, 2016

    Hi Stephanie,

    Your current (2016) coding books should be fine.You can find a complete list of allowable code books on AHIMA’s website at http://www.ahima.org/certification/CCA

    Good Luck on your exam!

  56. Sharonqnc July 20, 2016

    Is the CCA certificate widely recognized in Massachusetts?

  57. Dewi July 26, 2016

    How long after you pass CCA exam can you take CCS exam? I am currently taking ICD10 for ICD9 coders course from careerstep

  58. coding support July 29, 2016

    Hi Sharon.
    Thanks for your question! The CCA is a nationally recognized certification so yes it would certainly be recognized in Massachusetts. Hope this helps answer your question!

    Best wishes!

  59. coding support July 29, 2016

    Hi Dewi,
    Thanks for reaching out to us!
    Career Step prepares your for the CCA with AHIMA and the CPC with AAPC.  The CCS is a more advanced certification, AHIMA recommends 2-3 years experience on the job coding inpatient records before you sit for that exam.

    Hope this helps and best wishes!

  60. Tammy Cobb August 03, 2016

    I am currently in the process of getting my Associates Degree in Medical Coding, I graduate in March, 2017. I want to specialize in CCC, where do I find courses for cardiology coding? Is there some kind of financial assistance to help with the cost of the exams if someone can’t afford them out of pocket? I am on the Dean’s List, Honor Society Member and have 3 Academic Achievement Awards, would be horrible to see all my hard work and dedication go to waste all because I can’t afford the exams out of pocket, when I already struggle to make monthly payments to my school. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you.

  61. coding support August 04, 2016

    Hi Tammy,
    Thanks for reaching out to us!
    CareerStep provides training for the CCA and the CPC.  We may create specialty programs in the future, but currently don’t have a specific cardiology focused-course.

    Best wishes!

  62. Tiffany August 05, 2016

    I bought the CCA exam prep fifth edition.  It’s used so I don’t have access to the online exams. Are the online exam questions different than the ones in the book?

  63. Hi Tiffany,
    Thanks for your question!
    The online exam questions are actually different from what is in the book.

    Best of luck on your exam!

  64. Shay September 09, 2016

    I just took and passed my CCS yesterday. I graduated from the Career Step Medical Coding and Billing program in March of last year, and then had a year of on the job experience. It was a hard test, but I was more than prepared through by the careerstep program and job experience. I was allowed to use my 2015 draft set for ICD-10-CM and PCS, But I was required to have a 2016 CPT book. HCPCS was not required/allowed. They did allow a medical dictionary.

  65. Gayle Carbajal September 13, 2016

    How long will I have to take the CCA exam?

  66. Career Step September 15, 2016

    Hi Gayle,
    That’s a great question!

    You must apply for the CCA on the AHIMA website at least 6 weeks in advance from your desired testing date. Once you get a confirmation back from AHIMA, you have a 4-month period to take the exam. You can then locate a testing center to set up a date and time. Keep in mind that you must schedule your exam at least 3 days prior to the date you’d like to test.

    The CCA exam is a 100 question exam—all multiple choice. You have 2 hours to complete it.

    Good luck on the exam!

  67. saadia September 19, 2016

    I am taking CCA in November, 2016. please someone guide me which books should I get for exam?

  68. Career Step September 19, 2016

    Hi Saadia,
    You are only allowed to bring your hard copy code books with you the day of the exam (your ICD-10 and CPT books). The exam is updated in March of each year. From January-March you may take the exam using the current or past years’ code books. After March, your code books must match the current year to be eligible for the exam.

    Hope this helps!

  69. Mark October 06, 2016

    Hi, I have been studying the CCA Exam prep booklet from AHIMA (4th edition).  To those who have taken the exam, how similar are the questions on the ACTUAL exam compared to the questions in the booklet. Thanks!!!

  70. Career Step October 12, 2016


    I found the questions in the CCA Study Guide to be very close to the questions on the exam. Obviously the questions you see on the actual exam won’t be worded exactly the same way, but the Study Guide does a great job of highlighting the concepts covered on the exam.

    Here’s a link to a blog post I wrote about my experience taking the CCA:


    Best of luck!

  71. ali October 31, 2016

    can you tell me which books are good and helpful to prepare CCA exam.

  72. Career Step November 01, 2016

    Hi Ali,
    I purchased the official AHIMA CCA study guide to help me prep for the exam. I mostly did this because I thought it would help relieve some of my testing anxiety, but I quickly learned that it is an extremely valuable resource. Working through the study guide the first time told me 2 things:

    The coding scenarios were not as difficult as I expected. I found that I could locate the correct codes quickly and easily for the majority of the questions and effectively use the process of elimination for others.

    I really didn’t know very much about subjects like Medicare, NUBC, RBRVS, OPPS, Compliance, and Health Information Technologies. That list was way too long for my comfort level.

    For the next 2 weeks I used the study guide and the online quiz builder that it comes with. It was invaluable study time.

    Hope this helps and good luck on the exam!

  73. ttranc83 November 04, 2016

    Will studying from the CCA exam prep 4th edition be sufficient if I take the exam next year? 

    Thank you.

  74. Cora November 04, 2016

    Do you have the link for the study guide I looked at Ahima and did not see anything listed study guide?

  75. Randy November 09, 2016

    Hi ttranc83,
    Thanks for your question! The CCA exam prep 4th edition is not the latest version. We recommend waiting until January of 2017 to get the most current version of the CCA exam prep.

    Hope this helps!

  76. Career Step November 10, 2016

    Hi Cora,
    Thanks for reaching out to us. There isn’t an individual link but but you can find the latest edition of the study guide on this page:


    The study guide is Certified Coding Associate (CCA) Exam Preparation. Fifth Edition.

    Hope this helps!

  77. Kerri Smith November 14, 2016

    I am very discouraged I graduated almost a year and a half ago. Due to my current busy job I did not attempt take an exam until almost 8 months later. I took the CCS exam and did not pass it, very frustrating, score of 235! I then had to wait and take it again and then one of my coding books was not the right year. I scrambled around and went by a hospital and asked them if they had a current addition. Now, I failed to mention that I have to drive (2) hours to another city to take it. Some coding friends urged me to go for the CCS exam. Anyhow by the time I found a new book and got to the center to take an exam I was of no mind to think clearly and failed it again, score of 232. I am just wondering if the CCS was just the wrong test to take. Should I just study up at this point and take the CCA exam? Take a refresher course? I just don’t do well on exams? Any advice would be helpful.

  78. coding support November 17, 2016

    Dear Kerri,
    The CareerStep training program prepares for the CCA exam through AHIMA and/or the CPC exam through AAPC.  The CCS is a much more extensive exam that should only be taken after you have met the AHIMA requirements (see their website).  One of which is 2 years experience inpatient coding!  AHIMA does require the current year’s coding book on the tests, please check with them and prepare before you sit for a certification exam.  Best of luck!

  79. Laura Diaz November 30, 2016

    I was wondering if anyone knows where I can download the DRG and APC codes. Im using CCAprep.com to study and theres a lot of DRG questions. Thanks

  80. CodingSupport December 06, 2016

    Hi Laura,
    Thanks for your question!
    CMS.gov is the best resource on that topic.  Here are some links to DRG and APC:

    Hope this helps!

  81. Jennifer December 09, 2016

    Does anyone know if we are allowed to write notes in our codebook? A few people I know have said that you can, but then others I have seen online say no you can’t for the CCA.  I have written a lot of notes in my book and need to know if I should erase them before my test or if they will be allowed in.

  82. Randy December 15, 2016

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you for your question. The following are the restrictions for the CCA: Code books with handmade tabs will not be allowed. Notes and/or any loose materials are also not allowed. Based on this you are allowed to write notes in your code books.

    Hope this helps and good luck with your exam!

  83. Chong January 10, 2017

    I studied medical billing and coding books for year 2016.  I try to cca test in March 2017.  What year code books should I take to exam?
    I am confuse about this.

  84. Career Step January 11, 2017

    Hi Chong,
    Yes, AAPC recommends the most recent books on the CPC exam, the 2017 CPT, 2017 HCPS, and 2017 ICD-10-CM.  There were significant changes made to the code set this year.  Here is a link to one article regarding some cpt code changes: http://bulletin.facs.org/2017/01/2017-cpt-coding-changes/ Purchasing the 2017 cpt book is the best way to receive all of the changes. HCPCS code changes are available for download on CMS website, as is the 2017 ICD-10-CM codeset:
    Guidelines have changed to ICD-10-CM, Here is a link to the 2017 ICD-10-CM guidelines: ICD-10-CM https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD10/Downloads/2017-ICD-10-CM-Guidelines.pdf”

    In addition here is the link to our online bookstore:
    link to our online bookstore:

    Hope this helps and best wishes!

  85. Niondra McDole January 12, 2017

    I just finished my billing and coding program in December 2016 and I am studying from my 2016 CCA prep book 5th edition. I also have ICD-10 and HCPCS codes. Are these the correct books or do I need 2017 books. Thanks

  86. CodingSupport January 13, 2017

    Hi Niondra ,
    Thank you for reaching out to us! A list of allowable books for the CCA is available at the AHIMA website at this link: http://www.ahima.org/certification/CCA.

    It is currently on the right side of the page, please click the link to download the list of approved books.
    Currently, they are still testing in 2016, AHIMA will announce when they will make the switch to 2017.

    Good luck with your exam!

  87. farjana ahmed January 14, 2017

    for cca exam preperation which book i should follow?

  88. CodingSupport January 16, 2017

    Hi Farjana
    Thank you for your question. Here is a link to the AHIMA website referencing the CCA exam.  This website provides a list of approved books for the certification exam: http://www.ahima.org/certification/CCA

    Best wishes!

  89. Sara January 30, 2017

    Hello!  I have been interested in the Medical Coding and Billing course because I have agoraphobia.  I thought it would be a great class and career option because I could do them from home.  However, am I understanding correctly that the certification test MUST be taken at a testing site?  I had no idea until now and am feeling quite discouraged.

  90. Instructor January 31, 2017


    Thank you for your question. The requirement for the national certification is that they must be proctored, which means that you will be required to go to a testing center in order to take the national certification. I have spoken with both AAPC and AHIMA, and neither organizations will allow the CCA or CPC to be taken at home.

    Good luck with your decision.

  91. Niondra McDole January 31, 2017

    Hi Chong

    Here is a list of books that are allowed for the CCA exam for 2017.

    ICD-10-CM and PCS Code Books (2015 or 2016)
    Versions Acceptable
    Draft (2015)
    ICD-10-CM Code Book; ICD-10-PCS Code Book
    The Complete Official Code Book
    The Complete Official Draft Code Book
    Complete Draft Code Set
    Complete Code Set
    Enhanced Generic
    Annual Version
    Soft Cover Version
    Decision Health
    Expert for Hospital/Payers (CM)
    Expert (PCS)
    Draft Edition
    Optum 360
    Any Optum or Optum 360 book is allowable
    International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision
    The Coding Institute
    2015 Complete Draft Code Set
    2015 ICD-10-PCS
    2016 Complete Code Set
    2016 ICD-10-PCS Complete Code Set

  92. Tabitha February 11, 2017

    I got the 5th edition study guide from ahima and studied the practice tests in and out. I want to take my test today an none of the questions were the same or even close. Needless to say I missed by one point and want to retake but is there another study guide that will better prepare me?

  93. Instructor February 13, 2017


    Thank you for your comment. AHIMA has not updated their exam to 2017 yet, so the most current CCA study guide is the 5th edition. This edition does have practice tests available in the online portion of the book. These are very helpful. The AHIMA edition of the study guide is one of the best out on the market to prepare you for the CCA exam.

    Good luck with your studies!

  94. Krystle February 20, 2017

    I am scheduled to take my CCA exam this month. The exam regulations state you cannot have a book with handmade tabs. The 2016 CPT book from Career Step includes tabs with them to put in your book. Is this acceptable? Also, having handwritten notes inside your book is acceptable as well?

  95. Instructor February 22, 2017


    Thank you for your comment. Since the CPT book included are with the text, these are Ok to use in your CPT book. You are also allowed to have handwritten notes inside your codebooks.

    Good luck with your exam!

  96. Susan March 24, 2017

    Where are the DRG’s in the ICD-10 books? Are they in the back of the book also like they were for ICD-9?

  97. Instructor March 24, 2017


    Thank you for your question. The DRG’s are not located in the ICD-10 books. To find the DRG’s you will need to use an encoder such as the 3M encoder that is included in our course. When you take the CCA exam, there will be an encoder available to use in order to get your DRG’s.

    Good luck with your studies.

  98. Sarah March 24, 2017

    Hi there. I’m getting ready to take the CCA, hopefully within the first two weeks of April 2017. Will I need to purchase the 2017 codes books (CM, PCS, CPT, HCPCS)? Or will my 2016 editions work for the test? Thank you!

  99. CodingSupport March 24, 2017

    Hi Sarah,
    Thank you for reaching out to us!
    AHIMA will change the CCA exam to 2017 on May 1st. CCA exams taken before that date will require the 2016 books. Exams on or after the first will require 2017 books. Check ahima.org for more information.

    Best of luck!



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