The Importance of SAS Certification

We all must agree that each business is creating data now a day and have needs to analyze the same. From year 2011 till 2014 the average data produced and saved by businesses had been increased to 5 Trilion GB data from 1.2 Trilion GB. Big Data and Business Intelligence shall go hand-in-hand for a long time and continue to so. This post talks about benefits of these changes to the big data analyzing professionals.

With both big data and business intelligence on the most need list of business, the need of analytics on the rise, US Bloomberg and Forbes report that the two domains shall account for over $6.3 Billion by 2018 in revenue, thereby creating over 1 million jobs in the fields of Data Analytics, Hadoop Programming, Business Analysis, Content Development and many more.

With Technology combination such as IBM, Microsoft, and SAP planning to go all out with their BI and Data Analytics strategies, a huge lift expected in the average salaries of personnel from analytics domains.

Pick any technology magazine and you can easily see Big Data, or BI related buzz. These are on the top ranks in technology trends for year 2015. BI related skills, knowledge will be in huge demand over the next few years, and professionals from the domain will be on the beneficiary side for sure.

Business Intelligence and Data Analysis are niche and unique skills and it ensures long reliable and successful career. To be in the top most line amongst the professionals from the domain, certification are most common and in trend in current era. SAS is one of the most renowned institute and it’s certifications are most honored and most in demand. There are many questions keep popping up in the mind of anyone considering analytics as a carrier. Career in the field of analytics is very bright and especially person having SAS Certification. SAS Programmers are hot cake in the market of analytics SAS analytical tool have a lion share as high as 52% plus. Checkout all SAS certification details and practice exams on This website provides online practice exams for those who are preparing for SAS certifications.


Download Install & getting start with SAS® University Edition

What is SAS, SAS stands for Statistical Analysis System in short SAS®

It can allows you to enter, retrieve and manage your data easily, it can analyze your data statistically and mathematically, it can create beautiful reports for you and it can develop entirely new software applications.

As the heading suggest, this post about downloading and installing a free version of SAS software which is called SAS® University Edition and getting start with SAS® University Edition

You can search on google for SAS® University Edition download link, once you get in to SAS org’s web, you can see three option available for download (Windows, OS X & Linux), chose one according to your OS.

Download a Quick Start Guide (PDF or video) for your virtualization software package

System Requirements

  1. Microsoft Windows version 7 or later
    32 / 64-bit hardware with a minimum of 1GB of RAM. For 32-bit hardware, you need to tweak some settings. Check out this link – 32-bit hardware SAS® University Edition via Virtual Box
  2. One of the following virtualization software packages:
    VMware Player 6.0 or later – Download link
    Oracle VirtualBox 4.3.12 – Download link
  3. One of the following web browsers:
    Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11
    Mozilla Firefox 21 or later

Google Chrome 27 or later

Follow the steps provided on Quick Start Guide and you can easily finish setup

Once you have done with the install, now you are ready start using it, SAS has three windows:

First, Editor’s Window; where you type programs for analyzing data. Second, Log Window; where error messages and executed SAS commands are printed and final is Output Window; where the result of SAS programs are printed. You may notice one more window attached to this window called “Result Window”, here you can see each section of your output.


We may discuss on further on the next blog OR I may add some more in this only, for now, enjoy practicing with your newly setup  SAS® Software suit

NOTE:- Those who are preparing for their SAS Base Programmer Certification and need a practice guide, I suggest I have found this personally very useful to check my knowledge and exam readyness.

What is Base SAS certification?

Base SAS certification officially known as “The SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9 credential” is a certification for sasadv9.56141701_stdbeginners in SAS programming. This certification requires knowledge and experience of SAS version 9.3 and is one of the essential requirements for many other advanced SAS certifications. The certification is a decent assessment of a person’s SAS programming skills. However, it does not cover a number of non-SAS related skills that are essential for a business analyst. Here is a link to an interesting debate on Stack Overflow.

The Body of knowledge for SAS Base certification

  • Getting data in and out of SAS
  • manipulate and transform data
  • combine SAS data sets
  • create summary reports using SAS procedures
  • identify and correct data, syntax and programming logic errors.

To earn this credential, you must pass the SAS Base Programming for SAS 9 exam.

How do I prepare for Base SAS certification?

If you are an experienced SAS analyst and want to get a feel of the kind of questions asked in the test, you can try and check your readiness taking a Demo Exam (follow the link)

This is not a comprehensive exam but it gives you an idea of what to expect in the exam.

If you need more preparation for the exam, one option is to take one of the many training programs offered by the SAS Institute (but very expensive) or one of its certified partners. A 2 week SAS training by SAS institute costs around $1500.

It is strongly recommended to practice with online practice exam incase if you have experienced of SAS and now getting yourself certified or you have spent for the first option of training and ready for exam but not confident or do not have experienced the exam and style. One of the best online practice exam for SAS certification is

You can also buy one of the many books available from the SAS Institute that can help you prepare for the exam. But given the nature of the exam, learning by books only may not be the best option.

You can enroll for the Base SAS certification online by clicking below link

Score high in SAS Certification

A+SAS aspirant are required to provide identification proof at the testing center, such as driver’s license or a valid passport. It is highly advisable that SAS aspirant should reach test center 15 minutes in advanced. In a worst case if you are not able to reach before or on time at test center, please keep in mind that candidates are not allowed to attend exam if they are reaching last by 15 min or more, and no refund of exam fees. To maintain the security of the test environment, candidates are not permitted to bring reference materials of any kind into the testing center. SAS Prometric exam centers don’t allow bringing cell phone, bags or other personal belongings inside the exam center. You will get a locker facility in case if it is available at exam center. There are no breaks so candidates are required to complete exam in one stretch, “no bio-breaks”.

  • Be calm and read the questions carefully and decide on which topic the author is trying to test your knowledge of SAS, remember, this you should do before you start reading options.
  • Now once you done with the first step, read all the choices carefully before choosing an answer.
  • If you have some confusion or not clear about for any question, you can mark them and move onto the next question.
  • At the end of the exam you can come back to the question you marked and moved on, and choose or change your answer.

All questions asked are multiple choice questions, in most of the cases you will have four choices and in all cases there will be only one and only one correct answer. You will be provided with a scratch paper, work out the question on this paper instead of just doing it in your head. You may also see some direct questions on a SAS function, procedure or system option. Exam authors want to see if you are familiar with the latest additions to the SAS software, so they might throw some new SAS function or options introduced in the latest version.

These tips will improve your chances of getting the answer right and you can exploit the knowledge you gain by studying and practicing for exam. I highly recommend practice on line before you appear for your exam. I did my practice at and this help me pass with 91%

SAS Base Programmer
SAS Advance Programmer
Number of Questions 60 to 65 multiple-choice questions 60 to 65 multiple-choice questions
Passing Percentage must achieve score of 70% correct to pass must achieve score of 65% correct to pass
Time 110 minutes to complete exam 120 minutes to complete exam
Time/Question (on an avg.) 1.7 min/question 1.8 min/question
Demo Test Available on

Few observations and recommendations to pass SAS certification

Understand Format & Layout: Simplify and clear in your mind how SAS formats & layout are, so you can apply them without looking them up every time.  Apply your mind and adjust yourself for correctly create and apply your own formats & layouts

Read between the lines: Read the questions CAREFULLY, because a misplaced “.” period or other common mistakes defines the right and wrong answers

No baggage Pl: If you have programming background (other than SAS) you may need to empty your baggage what you may carry about some structures as SAS has his little different and rigid syntaxes, for an instance, SAS loves DO and uses it to replace FOR Loops and the syntax is slightly different. Try and learn the different Loops and effects on the loop counter

Important: Learn accumulating variables & learn how to read data from all sources especially excel and text files. Learn the basics PROC steps and what they do and default outputs.

Last but not the least: SAS may looks a different creature to you in beginning, however you should think as SAS programmer, While reading question you may find it confusing, referring to “a” data set which usually means one data set but shouldn’t with SAS. Use grammar to interpret what is being asked then if a question arises in your mind whether one or another answer is correct, choose the one based on what is SAS trying to do rather than what is grammatically the best answer. Let’s hope they will fix those questions. I wish they had a way to flag questions like that in the certification exam so they could fix them later.

I have finished about 30 minutes before and had kept a list of questions where i was unsure about or had confusion, for me the list was of 7 questions out of the 70. I went back and checked my answers again focusing on the ones i had marked down.

I learnt this by practicing repeatedly obviously not the real SAS certification test, I practice with

I passed 🙂