Facing Your Final Exam Fears

Coding and Billing6 Comments

Medical Coding & Billing Certification Exam | Preparing & Applying

Many students in medical coding schools fear the final exam because it’s far away and they cannot yet see themselves being successful to the point of finishing. Others are getting closer and are now starting to worry about whether or not they will pass, making all the money, time, and energy they have invested into the program worth it. Sometimes fear comes from the unknown, and therefore, we are here to answer your questions and provide you with information so you have no need to fear!

What’s on the final exam?

Objective Breakdown of the final Medical Coding & Billing Exam: 150 multiple choice questions, 50 questions from pre-coding modules (ie: Terminology, Anatomy, Pharmacology, etc). 10 ICD-9 guideline questions, 10 CPT/HCPCS guideline questions, 40 ICD-9 Coding Scenarios, 40 CPT/HCPCS Coding Scenarios.

I feel like I’m struggling in the practicum. Does this mean that I’m not going to do well on the final exam?
While the practicum is an important part of the learning process in your medical coding & billing training, and it is important to do well on the reports, it is not necessarily an indicator of how you’ll do on the final exam. Many students do better on the final exam because it is multiple choice rather than fill in the blank.

Understanding the sequence of codes and the corresponding guidelines is something that comes with practice. Do not give up because you are feeling discouraged; instead, know that the practicum is an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and improve along the way. If you are struggling on specific reports in the practicum, contact support by email at codingsupport@careerstep.com or by phone at 888-657-5752. We are happy to help you and offer additional advice, tips, and resources.

Once I’m ready, how do I request to take the final exam?
You can do so by completing the Final Exam Overview and Preparation Module of the program. There, you will find a request form you need to fill out and submit at least two business days in advance. If you meet the requirements for taking the final, you will be emailed a link to take the exam online on the date you scheduled.

How long do I have to complete the final exam?
Students have 48 hours (two full days) to complete the entire exam. Although it will not take the entire 48 hours to complete the exam (it typically takes an average of 6-7 hours), you may want the additional time to go over your answers before submitting the final.

Can I use my reference materials on the final exam?
You may use reference materials on the final exam, including your reference books or 3M, code books, the program, and the internet, but you may not use human resources (ie: the Career Step Student Support, the forum, chat room, or friends/relatives).

What is a passing score on the final exam?
A score of 85% or above on the final exam is considered a passing score. Although the standard graduation range (85-89%) shows a good grasp of medical coding skills, a higher score on the final exam is an indicator that you will likely do better on pre-employment exams and the national certification exam. For that reason, if you pass the final in the standard graduation range, we recommend retaking the final until you score honors or high honors (90-100%).

If I do not pass the final, can I retake it?
Career Step students are afforded up to three opportunities to pass the final exam and receive a certificate of graduation. You are required to wait two weeks after receiving a no pass to ensure you have time to study before retaking the exam. This two-week period will give you time to schedule a consultation, identify what areas you would like to improve, and practice, practice, practice. If you get a lower score on the retake, it does not count against you in any way, but it is a strong indicator that you need to spend some additional time reviewing and perfecting your skills.

Is there anything I should do to prepare for the final?
The Medical Coding & Billing program is designed to prepare you for the final exam. By reviewing the material you learned in the program you will be well prepared. It is helpful to let those around you know when you’re taking your final exam so you can have some alone time and avoid outside distractions.


Comments
Leave a comment below »

  1. Ashley Paugel January 09, 2014

    Are there inpatient coding scenarios on the final exam?

  2. Career Step January 13, 2014

    Hi Ashley,

    Yes, there are multiple choice inpatient coding scenarios and questions on the final exam.

    Best of luck!

  3. Julie Grant June 12, 2014

    How many practicum questions are there on exam?

  4. Career Step June 16, 2014

    Hi Julie,

    The Career Step final exam has 150 questions. 80 out of the 150 questions are coding scenarios. There are 20 or so questions on the guidelines, leaving 50 to cover the rest of the information in the other modules.

    Hope that helps and best of luck on your final!

  5. Rey Anne Banes September 16, 2014

    Hi,

    On the practicum part, Am I required to score 85% and higher on every scenarios? Or it’s ok to get lower than that.
    Will it affect my grades if so?

    Thanks

  6. Instructor Craig Laursen September 30, 2014

    Hi Rey Anne,

    You are NOT required to score an 85% on the practicum reports. Check out this blog on the practicum for more info.

    http://www.careerstep.com/blog/coding-and-billing/frustrated-by-the-coding-practicum

    Keep up the good work!

  7. Kayla February 12, 2015

    Hi there. So i am getting ready to finish my course and take my exam. Everything is multiple choice?? There is no actual coding of reports?? Just trying to clarify so I can be prepared. Thank u!

  8. Career Step February 16, 2015

    Hi Kayla,

    There is a portion of multiple choice questions, but you will also be required to code reports. From the post above, the exam breaks down in this way…

    Objective Breakdown of the final Medical Coding & Billing Exam:
    - 150 multiple choice questions
    - 50 questions from pre-coding modules (ie: Terminology, Anatomy, Pharmacology, etc.)
    - 10 ICD-9 guideline questions
    - 10 CPT/HCPCS guideline questions
    - 40 ICD-9 Coding Scenarios
    - 40 CPT/HCPCS Coding Scenarios

    Our goal is to help you prepare for the CPC or CCA exams with your Career Step final exam experience. You may also want to review these posts for more information…

    - Dear Coding Support: Calming the Final Exam Panic
    - CPC & CCA Exams vs. Career Step Final Exam

    You can also contact your coding instructors at 1-888-657-5752 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information on how you can prepare for the final.

    Best of luck as you’re finishing up!

  9. Lisa July 30, 2015

    I seem to be having difficulty in the pharmacology section. Is it absolutely necessary to remember all drug names to pass exam?

  10. Lisa,
    We are not expecting you to memorize all of the possible drugs that are in the pharmacology module, as they are numerous. The final exam is open book and open resource, so you will have access to the course to answer questions on pharmacology. You will also have access to pharmacology drug reference. Hopefully, this helps ease some of your fears, and good luck with your studies.

  11. Christa L February 09, 2016

    I’m getting ready to complete icd-10 billing and coding and my teacher stated you need a 85% or higher on all the practicums in order to take your final exam. Is this correct?

  12. Ananya April 07, 2016

    Hi ,
    I’m planning to give my career step final exams soon and having a tough time with Icd 10 pcs , so wanted to know approx how many questions might be from pcs in the final exams !!
    Thanks

  13. Ananya April 08, 2016

    I’m a student of medical billing and coding and m about to give my career step exams soon, but I had upgraded my course from Icd 9 to Icd 10 and also I did receive Icd 10 2016 books ( not cpt 2016 ) . Now I have completed my course with Icd 10 2016 and cpt/hcpcs 2015 . I was wondering if this will be problem for my career step final exam or cpc/ccs exam ?? Is there much difference between cpc 2015 and 2016 ?? Or can I give my exams with reference to cpc/hcpcs 2015??
    Thank you

  14. Craig Laursen April 12, 2016

    Ananya,
    You will be fine using the 2015 CPT book for the Career Step final exam.
    There are about 30 PCS questions on the final exam. The key for PCS is to know your Root Operations very well and make sure you use the multiple choice options to your advantage. This just means looking at all the codes in all the multiple choice options.
    Best of luck!

  15. Geoff Beck August 06, 2016

    There are 10 iCD-9 practice questions?

    I have had no practice with ICD-9. It has all been ICD-10 for me.

    How do I study for that portion?

  16. coding support August 08, 2016

    Hi Geoff,
    Thanks for your question!
    The CPC exam has been updated to ICD-10.
    Hope this helps!

  17. jennifer Lane August 24, 2016

    The above information says 85% is a passing grade but I emailed support services and the response says 75% is.  Can you verify?

  18. coding support August 25, 2016

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for reaching out to us! A passing score for the Career Step final exam is a 75%. We prefer you score around an 85% to ensure your skills are advanced enough to pass the certificaton exam.

    Hope this helps!

  19. Val Griffin September 16, 2016

    Will the final exam for pharmacy technician with administration and billing part 1 have any question in regards to the first modules like computer fundamentals, grammar and punctuation and microsoft and excell? Or its all based on the coarse?


Respond

*Required

Request Info

Loading