Hi all!  I know I will be taking the CCDS exam in the future- right now I only have 1 year into CDI.  At what time do you start prepping for the exam?  I know a year might be a bit far out, but at what point do I look at purchasing the study guide etc?  Thanks for the feedback.


  • Now is the time to prepare and you are doing that in a sense in your day to day role. The study guide is good. Read the Coding Guidelines & Practice Brief. I took the CCDS exam prep course (Sharm Brodie, instructor) and it really helped to prepare me. There is a book that comes along with the prep course as well. I passed the exam on first try. Make notes in your DRG expert in an organized manner so that you can easily reference during the exam. You can do it! It is a good feeling to accomplish the certification.

  • Hello, I just passed the CCDS on Saturday- hardest test I ever took! I have been a CDI for 2 1/2 years. I started studying last summer when I was off recovering from surgery. It was overwhelming when I first started looking at the study guide. There is a lot of Data and Analysis stuff I am not required to do in my job and never heard of. Best advice- buy the study guide, take the practice test and see where your strengths and weaknesses are. The study guide gives a very broad overview of stuff. I did not go to a Boot Camp- way too expensive after having to pay $300 for the test and $150 for the study guide. Glad I only had to take it once!  Good luck!
  • the work you do now to expand your knowledge is indeed prep for the exam- that is why we set the 2 years of experience as the requirement. The advice above is perfect. I would encourage you to be active in exploring the ACDIS website to include position papers, white papers. follow discussions here in the forum. Read the Journal. if you are able to, find time to spend with a coder and more experienced CDIs , shadow them and ask tons of questions. Ask your manager or director to explain what metrics are being monitored and why. l All of this will allow you to perform better as a CDI and it will indeed prep you for the exam as well. 
  • Thank you for your responses!  This helps tremendously.  As far as speaking to a manager or shadowing a more experienced CDI, that is not possible here.  I am the one and only CDI.  I do all of the day to day as well as all of the management duties.  I am a pretty goal oriented person, all of my metrics are going in the right direction.  I feel if I start prepping now it will set me up for success when I am ready to test next year.  Thanks again!
  • Good luck! let us know when you pass!
  • To be honest, all i did was review coding guidelines and take the practice exam.  I took it a month before the exam, and then again two days before.  As said above, i think the most important preparation for the CCDS is the 2 years work experience.
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