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How Do I Become a Certified Coding Associate (CCA)? Education & Career

CCA Test

Certified Coding Associate (CCA®)

Coding professionals who hold the CCA credential have demonstrated coding competency across all settings, including hospitals and physician practices. Since 2002, the CCA designation has been a nationally recognized standard of achievement in the health information management (HIM) field.


  • Exhibit a level of commitment, competency, and professional capability that is valued by employers.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the coding profession.
  • Distinguish themselves from others as having passed AHIMA’s rigorous CCA exam.

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to sit for the CCA examination. 

While not required, at least one of the following is recommended: 

  • 6 months coding experience directly applying codes; 
  • Completion of an AHIMA approved coding program (PCAP Program); 
  • Completion of other coding training program to include anatomy & physiology, medical terminology, basic ICD diagnostic/procedural and basic CPT® coding. 

Apply for the Exam

Apply to take the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam.    

About the CCA Exam

Certified Professionals and Pass Rates 

As of 12/31/2022, there were 7,760 certified CCA professionals.

Year  Exam  # First Time Testers  Pass Rate First Time Testers 
2022*  CCA  2,261 70% 
2021*  CCA  2,104 74% 
2020*  CCA  1,727 80%

*U.S. and Canada results only 

Exam Specifications 

The CCA is a timed exam. Candidates have two hours to complete the exam. The total number of questions on the exam is 105. There are 90 scored items and 15 pretest items. The exam is given in a computer-based format.

AHIMA exams contain a variety of questions or item types that require you to use your knowledge, skills, and/or experience to select the best answer. Each exam includes scored questions and pretest questions randomly distributed throughout the exam. Each exam includes scored questions and pretest questions randomly distributed throughout the exam. Pretest questions are for data collection purpose and they do not count towards candidate’s score.

The passing score for the CCA is 300. 

Competencies for CCAs fall into six domains. Each domain accounts for a specific percentage of the total questions on the certification exam. See the Exam Content Outline for greater detail. 

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