Dear Coding Support: Calming the Final Exam Panic

Posted on 11.05.2014

Dear Coding Support,

I am going back through the coding modules to study for the final.  I am causing myself to second guess everything.  I am stressing and self-doubting. There are knots in my stomach, and a voice in my head keeps saying, “It will be ok,” but then another voice says, “You will struggle and not make it.” I believe I am going crazy; well, my husband would say I was already there.  I keep telling myself to breathe and it will be ok.  I know I can use any resources besides people, but I have relied on instructors so much that it makes me nervous to not have access to them.

Please help!
Final Prep Frazzled

Dear Frazzled,

I want you to remember that you are not just now preparing for the final exam; you have been preparing to take the final for the past year. All the work you have put in to this course has been the best test prep you could possibly ask for.

Keep this in mind—at this point you do not want to try to learn any new info or new concepts; you just want to review what you have already learned in the course. Think about this as jog your memory time rather than regurgitation time (I know, that sounds disgusting). What I mean is that this is NOT a time to try to memorize anything. Review the guidelines as well as the Unit Tests and Module Exams in the coding modules and USE YOUR RESOURSES! There is too much covered in the course to be able to remember all of it—the key is to know how to find it.

Because of your hard work in the course, you will automatically bring some little memory cues into the exam with you. For example, never use modifier 51 when you are coding for a facility. These memory cues will tap you on the shoulder as you are going through the exam and help guide you to the correct answer. REMEMBER— the correct answer is right in front of you! The exam all is multiple-choice or T/F! Use the answer choices to your advantage, look up the codes in the book and eliminate the ones that don’t make sense with your scenario.

Yes, you do have to finish the entire test, but you—just like everyone else—only have to answer one question at a time. Take your time. Exhaust your resources on the questions you are not sure about. Trust your instincts! They are usually your memory tapping you on the shoulder. Don’t change an original answer unless you have a concrete reason to do so.

You know this stuff well enough to get to this point—this is your opportunity to prove it! This is your chance to show what you can do, the culmination of all your hard work. This will be you tackling the exam, not the exam tackling you!

Best of luck!
Coding Support