Thursday, March 31, 2016

Crushing the SAS Certification Exam

SAS Programming Professionals,

With over 50,000 certification credentials awarded to people around the world, the SAS Global Certification program is obviously meeting the needs of a goodly number of SAS programming professionals. Interested SAS software users can demonstrate an in-depth understanding of SAS by earning credentials in SAS Programming, SAS Analytics, SAS Administration, SAS Data Management, and SAS Business Intelligence. They study the material, master it, take the test, and earn the credential.

You can learn more about the SAS Global Certification program by visiting this link: //

As it stands now, the two SAS Base Programmer certification exams require a person to answer multiple choice and short-answer questions. Personally, I am locked-and-loaded for the day that one of those exams requires an essay. I know that the secret to getting a good grade on an essay question is not to simply answer the prompt. The secret is to add additional information about the topic which shows that you have a mastery of the overall subject matter. Since I have been programming with SAS for a very long time, I have a lot of very sage and insightful comments that I would put into my essay. So, I have no doubt that I would crush it!

Here are some of the clever things I have learned along the way that I would weave into my essay:

  • The “DO WHILE” statement is known as the “Stalactite DO” since it is evaluated at the top. The “DO UNTIL” statement is known as the “Stalagmite DO” since it is evaluated at the bottom.
  • When I need to fix a SAS program with a hard-to-find error, I just put a %MEND at the bottom and rerun it.
  • An example of a SAS regular expression is: “Don’t forget the semicolon”!
  • The SAS Log is basically a waste of time and effort. I never use it because it only prints bad news!
  • I sometimes code: PROC OPTIONS; ...without the “RUN;” statement, just to keep my OPTIONS open!
  • A known SAS programming trick is: If you code a DROP statement and a KEEP statement for the same variable in a DATA step, you will see a bright flash on your monitor as they cancel each other out.
  • It is difficult to determine if PROC MIXED has executed successfully because it prints MIXED messages.
  • The SAS Display Manager is a long-time SAS Institute employee who is responsible for supervising the setup of SAS Institute booths at conferences and trade shows.
  • Despite its strong odor, the RANK procedure is very popular among SAS programmers serving in the US armed forces.
  • Due to heightened security concerns, SAS programs containing PROC EXPLODE have been banned from all government buildings, airports and rail stations.
  • A recent survey of American SAS programmers found that most use PROC IMPORT far more than they use PROC EXPORT. However, the same survey determined that this did not significantly add to the United States trade deficit.

Okay, so do I really have to say: April fools! Nah, didn't think so.

Best of luck in all your SAS endeavors!

aka Michael A. Raithel

Check out my SAS books: