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Questions and Answers from SAS Certification Webinar: What's New with SAS Certification November 14, 2019

Started ‎11-18-2019 by
Modified ‎11-18-2019 by
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Compilation of all questions asked during the SAS Certification Webinar 11/14/2019


Q: Hello, I attended a student training course at a SAS location. We were not able to take the exam at the end of the week, but I did use the voucher to take the exam a few weeks ago. However, I did not quite pass the exam. What are the options to re-take the exam? I am a student and expenses are a top priority.

A: You may retake a SAS exam after a 14-day waiting period. There is a fee for each exam attempt. You can apply for a 50% academic discount from the website at Scroll down to Packages and discounts for the information.


Q: What would be the order of credentials to take?

A: You would want to start with the Base Programmer Certification.


Q: Is this a recorded meeting?

A: Yes, this webinar is being recorded and you can access the recording using the same link you used to join today.


Q: How can I get a pdf version of the slides?

A: We will add a PDF version of the slides to the Resources widget after the webinar has concluded. You should see those in the Resources widget on the OnDemand version of this webinar that will be available later.


Q: Does SAS provide JMP certification as well?

A: Yes, SAS does provide JMP certifications as well. The JMP Certifications are covered in the presentation and the slides.


Q: Could you please let me know, what kinds of certifications are going to provide at the event SAS Global Forum 2020?

A: All exams will be available to take at SAS Global Forum.


Q: So, while enrolling for the SAS Global Forum, can we select the concept for the certification? Then where do we learn about the exams?

A: Yes, you can elect to take a certification exam when you register. That information will be visible during registration. NOTE - if you go to Global Forum, you get 50% off the exam.


Q: I just quickly looked at the requirements / suggested training for the SAS Certified Associate versus the SAS Certified Specialist... what is the difference? The suggested training looks the same. Is it beneficial to get the Associate before the Specialist / the Specialist before the Professional?

A: The difference is that the Associate does not have coding in the exam where the Specialist does. If you only have some experience in programming taking the Associate before the specialist may be beneficial to you. However, the Associate Programming Fundamentals exam is NOT a prerequisite for the Base Programming Specialist credential.


Q: I do not use SAS studio - rather EG when I take the online course do, I have an option to use?

A: Yes, you can choose your user interface at the beginning of the exam.


Q: What is difference between the two exams below? SAS Certified Associate: Programming Fundamentals Using SAS 9.4 and the SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming Using SAS 9.4 exam?

A: The major difference between the two is the Associate level exam does not have practical coding exercises on the exam and the Specialist exam requires that you do some programming in order to answer the questions presented on the exam.


Q: I assume also that you can choose the version of SAS to use on the exam?

A: No. You can choose your interface, but the software version is constant.


Q: Once you get the credentials, do you have to update it annually?

A: The credentials do not expire, so you do not have to update the credential annually.


Q: By performance based, does that mean we have to use SAS software while taking exam?

A: Yes, you will use SAS software during the exam. But the software is available within the exam.


Q: I paid for online Advanced SAS Exam preparation lessons and was planning to take the exam by the end of this year. Since the nature of the exam is changed, is the old preparation materials still helpful? Are the sample questions in the old exam still helpful to prepare for the new one? Thank you!

A: Yes, it is still valid. The actual testing objectives are basically the same, it is just that you need to write and execute code during the exam.


Q: Will we know ahead of time what kind of questions will be provided to prepare ahead?

A: On our website, for every exam that we offer, we provide a complete exam content guide to help you know what is going to be tested on each exam. In addition, we provide sample questions and, in many cases, we provide practice exams that will allow you to see the types of questions that are on the various exams.


Q: What type of certification would you suggest for someone who had just started working in SAS VA?

A: We have a VA specific credential. SAS Certified Specialist: Visual Business Analytics.


Q: Is there a link to the introduction to SAS Base Certified exam (Base Programming Specialist)?

A: Yes, there is a link for this exam on the web page.


Q: If new to SAS, would you recommend the SAS Certified Associate: Programing Fundamentals exam before obtaining the SAS Base Specialist exam?

A: Yes, although it is not required that you take the Programming Fundamentals exam before you take the Base Programming Specialist. The Base Programming Specialist assumes you have 3-6 months experience. The Associate level exam does not assume that you have very much programming experience.


Q: Typically, in school we’re allowed to review our notes since there are so many codes. It is hard to remember all of it (as a new learner).

A: For these exams you are not allowed to review notes/materials during the exam. We would suggest that you take the Associate credential to begin with if you are a new learner.


Q: This is my second time testing. The first time I attempted was under the retired Base SAS 9 programming exam. Questions re: the PDV were very informative as well as challenging. Will this exam only include programming or will there also be some questions to learn from?

A: There is a mix of questions on the new Base Programming Specialist exam. About half require you to write and execute code. About half are multiple choice.


Q: Should I take Base Programming Specialist without taking the Programming Fundamentals exam?

A: If you are comfortable with SAS programming you can take the Base Programming Specialist exam without taking the Programming Fundamentals exam. The Programming Fundamentals exam is not a prerequisite for the Base Programming Specialist.


Q: What is the PE-278? Where can I find this exam?

A: That is the practice exam for the Visual Business Analytics exam.


Q: I am scheduled for the SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming Using SAS 9.4 for next Saturday. Do you think I can switch to SAS Certified Associate: Programming Fundamentals?

A: Yes, if you reschedule within Pearson VUE's 24-hour policy you can change the exam to the Associate.


Q: Is the Clinical Trials Certification still available?

A: Yes indeed. It is one of the more popular credentials.


Q: What is the practice exam is for the Base Programming Specialist?

A: The practice exam for the Base level is PE-231P.


Q: Will the PE-231P have programming practice as well?

A: Yes, the PE-231P practice exam will have programming practice.


Q: I would like to confirm that I do NOT need to take the "SQL Processing with SAS" to take the SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming Using SAS 9.4, correct?

A: That is correct. SQL is tested on the Advanced Programming exam.


Q: What is the SAS sponsored event? Does that mean they offer free examination?

A: A SAS sponsored event is an event held at a SAS location or a university. The exams still have a cost.


Q: How popular is SAS in UK industries?

A: SAS is used in 94% of the global fortune 500. The UK is always in the top 10 countries volume wise for SAS certifications awarded.


Q: What if we want to retake the exam to score better?

A: The exams are pass/fail. Once you pass an exam, no further attempts are allowed.


Q: What is the future of SAS in context of use of other programs such as R?

A: SAS can work with R. Some of our credentials at the Data Science level include working with SAS and R and Python.


Q: I took the A00-281 Clinical Trial Programming Accelerated exam a few weeks backs and didn’t pass. Now I found out the differences between A00-280 are the number of questions and hours, so now I am planning to take A00-280 instead of A00-281. Please advise me on this. Also, I have seen so many websites providing or offering practice exams, are they valid? If not, how do I get my hands on the practice exams for A00-280 or A00-281?

A: The A00-280 is the full version of the Clinical Trials Programming exam. The A00-281 assumes you already have the Base Programming exam. For websites offering practice exams, we find these are usually out of date and contain incorrect information. There is no SAS practice exam for this one, but there are free sample questions on the website.


Q: Do we get any help from SAS institute in finding SAS jobs as not many companies are using SAS software?

A: SAS is used in 94% of the global fortune 500. SAS does not provide job placement services. We do suggest that once you earn a SAS credential that you share your digital badge on LinkedIn or other social media platforms. You can also register your name in the SAS Certified Professional Directory.


Q: Is there a recorded webinar or on-demand video for SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming Using SAS 9.4?

A: Yes, we just did a webinar on this topic in October 2019. Here is the link to the On-Demand version of the webinar:


Q: In the context of credentials at the Data Science level, which specific certifications are you referring to?

A: Please check out the credentials that make up the Data Scientist designation at:


Q: What are the different Class bundles offered to work through the various certification paths and cost options?

A: There is the Base programming certification package and the Advanced programming certification package. The cost for the Base package is roughly $1,950 USD and the Advanced is roughly $3,300 USD.


Q: I plan to take the test from home. Does the room where I'll be taking the exam, have to be sanitized ( SAS book lying around, etc)? Do they use the laptop camera to check?

A: Maybe not sanitized, but you cannot have books, notes, etc., lying about. The proctor will monitor the exam session using the webcam in the laptop. This information about online proctoring is covered in this webinar as well.


Q: Some UK employers in my field are using STATA (which I have experience using). How do I sell my SAS skills and certifications when an employer is recommending/requiring STATA?

A: Choosing to become SAS certified is a personal and professional choice. Having certifications in multiple programming languages can only make you more marketable to a broader group of potential employers. We hope you will consider becoming certified in SAS to broaden your overall experience with statistical and analytical software.


Q: Is there a SAS location near me? I live in Williamsburg, VA.

A: The two closest SAS locations to you would be our Cary, NC (headquarters) location or our Arlington, VA (D.C.) location.


Q: I'm new to SAS, I have little to no experience with SAS/coding. Is there a basic class/course path I can take?

A: Yes, and some of them are free. Check out this learning path.


Q: Why does the website say the exam is $180. I thought it was mentioned in the video that it was $120. Did I miss something?

A: Yes, you missed that the presenter said that only the SAS Certified Associate: Programming Fundamentals Using SAS 9.4 costs $120.00 USD. All the other SAS exams are $180.00 USD.


Q: How do we access this feature in Acclaim re job openings?

A: When a badge is earned, within the badge a series of skills keywords are listed when you click on those skills, it will open the LMIs for those skills.


Q: If I have taken predictive analytics, and certificate of analytics, what type of SAS exam would you recommend? BASE? Advance?

A: You might consider the Data Scientist program. Check it out at:


Q: Is there a specific certification for SAS Enterprise Guide?

A: No there is not a certification that is specifically focused on SAS Enterprise Guide. On the Base Programming Specialist, you can choose the interface you wish to use on the exam, and this includes using SAS Enterprise Guide.


Q: Hi I already have a base SAS certified, do I still get any badge if so what's the process?

A: You should have received an email from Acclaim with information detailing how to claim your badge. Check your junk or spam folder. If you do not have anything from Acclaim, you can email us at and we will check the system and potentially reissue the badge to you if we see that you have earned the credential.


Q: Is 'Little SAS Book' a good resource to prepare for Associate level certification?

A: Yes, it is. This is a very popular book.


Q: I would like to take SAS Certified Associate: Programming Fundamentals using 9.4: Does it just cover SAS level 1 training only? Does it cover both level 2 and level 1?

A: It covers content from Programming 1 and 2.


Q: Is the SAS Base certification a prerequisite to the SAS advanced certification?

A: It is recommended to take the Base before the Advanced. You will not receive the certificate for the Advanced until you take and pass the Base exam.


Q: In the Associate level Programming Fundamentals exam there is no programming, but do you have to evaluate a code that may be right/wrong? Do you have to identify what's wrong? What is the result of this code?

A: Yes. You must interpret and analyze code.


Q: Is the Associate level Programming Fundamentals and Base Programming Specialist the same?

A: The Associate level Programming Fundamentals and Base Programming Specialist exams are two different exams. They do cover similar material, but the Associate is an entry level exam. There is no coding on the exam. For the Base Programming Specialist, you will have to program in SAS on the exam in order to answer the questions.


Q: Are there plans for the SAS® Certified Clinical Trials Programmer Using SAS®9 to be replaced with a new version as happened with the old Base/Advanced certifications?

A: Yes, but not immediately. Maybe a year or so.


Q: Do you get more than one chance to pass exam?

A: You can take an exam up to five times in any 12-month period, waiting 14 days between each attempt. Once you pass, you cannot take the exam again.


Q: Did you say the information is available after taking the exam as to what job opportunities are available to that particular certification? If so, can it be made available before so that I can evaluate which ones I am interested in taking?

A: The job information is available in the Acclaim system and is related to your badge that you get when you earn one of the SAS credentials. It’s only available if you’ve earned a credential from SAS and not before. When a badge is earned, within the badge a series of skills keywords are listed when you click on those skills, it will open the LMIs for those skills.


Q: All the manuals I own are Base SAS 9 or earlier. Are there significant differences in vs. 9.4 than vs. 9 that are important to know for the exam? If so, where can I find a list of those differences to learn from?

A: All of the information about the Base Programming Specialist and the content covered on the exam can be found at: You can check out the FAQs about the exam as well from this page.

Your older materials are not going to be a perfect one to one match with the new exam. In our last webinar, we received a similar question about a previous version of the SAS Base Certification Prep Guide. Here was the response we provided:


Q: This person has the SAS certification prep guide called Base SAS Programming for SAS 9 5th edition book. Can that book be used to help study for the new exam?

A: Yes. You're not alone. There are people who have that previous book. So, it's not ideal. it's not it's not a perfect one-to-one match. And let me talk to a little bit of the differences. The new prep guide is going to have a workbook in the back section of it that is going to be at least 10-- scenarios, projects, that are written just like what you see in the exam.

In terms of getting that feel for what it’s like to practice performance-based items, the prep guides have aligned content. So, it's not just quizzes like in the old book. You also have some projects that it will tell you, here's what you should do with your projects. There are some content differences too. If you're working from the old book, what you're missing is the use of macro variables, so very simple macro variables in terms of a percent let statement, and then how you might reference that macro variable in your code.

And then also PROC IMPORT. PROC IMPORT is used to read CSV data or an Excel file, because the Base Programming Specialist does not test reading raw data with the file and input statements. Back as something that was important to know. So, PROC TRANSPOSE is also on the exam. So yes, you can use the old book plus those extra-- do some research into those topics. And again, it's all on my screen share, the Exam Content Guide, which can be found on the certification website. So that is what's on the test. So, study those few extra topic areas. Get your practice where you can. And you've got-- it's all right. The new guide is cheaper than the old guide. It's like 78-ish US dollars. I think it's a worthwhile investment.


Q: Is the free e-learning Programming 1 course sufficient preparation for the SAS associate certification exam?

A: The training requirements for the SAS Certified Associate: Programming Fundamentals Using SAS 9.4 are listed on our certification website:

You need both SAS Programming 1: Essentials and SAS Programming 2: Data Manipulation Techniques


Q: Are all the exams using SAS Studio or can you use Enterprise Guide?

A: You can choose the interface you want to use for the exam at the beginning of the exam. You can use SAS Studio, Enterprise Guide or Display Manager.


Q: Last year there was a special offer to "buy one, take one free". Will that offer be available again in 2019?

A: We do not have any more promotions for 2019, but we do expect to offer some promotion in late spring 2020.


Q: How many times can you take it in a year?

A: You can take the exam up to five times in a year.


Q: How many times we can attempt the exam after paying the fee?

A: You can attempt an exam up to five times in a calendar year, but you must pay for each attempt.


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