Passing the CCM Certification Exam

Last minute tips for passing the CCM exam and becoming a certified case manager

Passing the CCM Certification ExamAre you having anxiety about taking the CCM exam? In my article 8 Tips for Passing the CCM Exam I told you how to best study for the exam. Now in this article I will give you last minute tips to help you to pass the CCM exam.

Obtaining your CCM certification is an important step in advancing your career as a Case Manager.

You have spent countless hours studying for the CCM exam, and you want it to show on your test score right?

These steps will help ensure you are at your peak performance!

Tip 1: Read over the instructions you received from the CCMC and testing center.

It may sound silly, but make sure you read over the instructions. They will provide you with valuable information you will need for exam day. You will need to bring specific forms of ID, make sure you have them and that they are in acceptable condition. Your photo ID must be in excellent condition. I know one case manager who was turned away because the corner of her drivers license was coming apart. The testing center stated it could have been tampered with. (more…)

Career Goal | Pass CCM Exam

This is the time of the year when we decide what we want to accomplish in the new year. As I sat down to write my goals for 2015, I started by reviewing the ones I had for 2014 and reflecting on the year that had just past. I had one huge goal related to my career, to become a certified case manager by passing the CCM Exam. This goal was important, because as a condition of my employment I needed to pass it within the next year. Sure I could change jobs, but I loved being a case manager.

But taking a certification exam was not something I wanted to do. You see, years earlier I had obtained my certification in oncology nursing. I found it to be an extremely stressful and time consuming process. And to make matters worse, after I obtained my certification I found out my employer, who encouraged the certification, did not pay any extra to their certified nurses. I stated I would never put myself through that again, yet I found myself 15 years later eating those words.

I decided to make the best of it and do things differently this time. After years of homeschooling my children, I had picked up a thing or two about learning. One thing I knew about myself was that I learned better when I was teaching. At the time I did not know anyone else taking the exam, so I decided to create a website where I could “teach” others as I was studying for the exam.

I began studying by reading case management exam prep books. When I felt I was ready to take the exam I went online to apply. After applying I received the “exam blueprint” from The Commission for Case Management Certification. I realized that I had no idea what some of the topics covered on the exam even were, let alone feeling prepared to be tested on them. I got more exam prep books, but could not find all the information I was looking for.

I started doing my own research on the topics covered on the exam. I spent countless hours searching the
internet and other resources trying to find all the information I felt I needed to pass the exam. I also searched online for other case managers preparing for the CCM exam and started a virtual study group. We were all working in different areas of case management and were able to help each other understand the different areas covered on the exam.

After 10 months of studying and preparing I finally sat for my certification in April. I felt prepared but nervous, it had been 15 years since I had taken a test like this. After completing all the questions I truly felt I had not passed. Then I went back and looked at the flagged questions. There were not as many as I initially thought. I reviewed these and it seemed my initial answers
were correct for most of them. I was feeling more confident that I would indeed pass. I sat there with my hand over the submit button knowing once I clicked on it there was no turning back. I finally pushed the submit button. It seemed like it took forever before I saw my results…preliminary pass. It felt as if the world had been lifted off my shoulders.

Even though I had passed the exam, I could not give up working on my website and coaching others who were taking the exam. I knew how stressful and time consuming it had been for me, and wanted to help others as much as I could. I also began writing the exam prep book I wish I had when studying for the exam.

While writing CCM Certification Made Easy, I requested a raise based on my new certification. It appeared history was repeating itself. I was told that case management certification was a condition of my employment, and that no matter what I did, I was locked into my current salary. But this time I didn’t give up, and a few short months later I landed a new job, working out of my home, with a 15% pay increase.

In December I achieved my childhood dream of writing a book. My goal to pass the exam turned into a huge accomplishment. I never realized how obtaining certification could change my life.

If passing the CCM exam is on your list of goals for 2016 I hope you will check out my book, on my website

Are You Prepared to Pass the CCM Exam?

Earlier this week I was helping a friend study for the CCM Exam and she requested I ask her some open questions to check on her preparedness for the exam. I am happy to say she did great, and is now more confident about taking the exam later this month. I thought I would share these questions with you so you could check on your readiness.

1. Discuss goals; short term, long term and SMART.
2. What are some of the factors used to determine a CM’s caseload?
3. Differentiate between hard cost savings and soft cost savings.
4. Define beneficence, advocacy, and autonomy
5. Discuss ethics.
6. When can confidentiality be broken?
7. Discuss “negligent referral”, and steps a CM can take to prevent making one.
8. Differentiate between a Living Will and a Healthcare Power of Attorney.
9. Discuss the Americans with Disability Act.
10. Discuss FMLA.
11. Discuss the Mental Health Parity Act.
12. Discuss culture related to healthcare.
13. What is a maladaptive family?
14. Discuss dual diagnosis.
15. Discuss the Medicare Hospice Benefit.
16. Discuss the Medical Home Model.
17. Discuss evidence based practice.
18. Discuss medication reconciliation.
19. Discuss and differentiate Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, SSDI.
20. Compare workers comp, STD, LTD, SSDI.
21. What is the difference between work adjustment, work hardening and transitional work duty.
22. Discuss medical necessity.
23. Discuss coordination of benefits.
24. Discuss managed care.
25. What is the prospective payment system.

I hope you too, now feel more confident about taking the exam. If you are not sure about how you would answer some of these questions, review the website and/or my new book CCM CERTIFICATION MADE EASY: YOUR GUIDE TO PASSING THE CERTIFIED CASE MANAGER EXAM.

Planning on taking the CCM Exam in December?

UPDATED on July 18, 2016

If you are planning on taking the CCM Exam in December and have not applied please read!

The number of employers requiring board certification has increased to over 40%. Of the certifications available I chose the CCMC. Considered the gold standard in certification for case managers, the CCMC is the first and largest nationally accredited organization that certifies case managers.

The application window for the December 2016 CCM exam will be open from July 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016.  See the table on their website to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria to apply. If you scroll down the page you will find the eligibility criteria.The application is not difficult to fill out, but I have had some people who were not able to complete it without obtaining additional information, so I urge you to apply soon. Here is the link to get you started. 

I also want to let you know about an important promotion they are having. 

When your colleague fills out their CCM Exam application:

  • Have your referral type your name in the “PROMO CODE” field in the “Education and License Information” section of the application.
  • Your name can be entered with every referral!  Applications are being accepted through September 30th..
  • When the application window closes, one lucky CCM and their referred candidate will be randomly chosen to each WIN a $345 American Express Gift Card.

Apply for the exam at

I would love for you to put my name in there “Deanna Gillingham” if you do not have another referring friend.

And be sure to sign up for my email list on the home page so I can send you additional information to help you pass the CCM exam.

8 Tips for Passing the CCM Exam (Updated Oct. 2020)

Although the CCM exam is practice-based, meaning all questions are based on knowledge that an experienced case manager should know and understand, I still recommend spending some time studying the material prior to sitting for the exam. The amount of time you spend will depend on several things including:

  • How good of a test taker you are
  • How long you have been a Case Manager
  • The area of Case Management you work in

Below Are 8 Tips That Will Help You Pass The CCM Exam

1. Having a broad general knowledge is more important than memorizing facts. (more…)