Demystifying SAS certification (Part 1): Getting Started

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Demystifying SAS certificationMy fear of headstand took me years to overcome. I had to learn to be safe and protect my neck. I had to learn about structurally positioning my limbs in alignment to prevent injury. I had to overcome my mental fear of being upside down which is quite different from feet on the ground. All these physical and mental learnings took me almost 7 years to learn before I could get myself into this pose.

Is it any surprise then that I felt that same familiar fear surfacing at the idea of something new that is also old for me - A fear of exam writing.

Dear reader, I invite you to follow me along on my certification path in this series.

First, I conducted a workshop for internal SAS employees wishing to take SAS certification. The workshop was to help them understand the following:

  1. SAS Certification overview
  2. Exam preparation
  3. Website
  4. Content
  5. Exam pass score
  6. Sample questions
  7. Study material

As the day for the exam approaches, on 5 February, I find myself getting inundated with questions plus a reasonable amount of apprehension (understandable) from colleagues.

After the workshop ended, my colleagues started taking the exam a bit more seriously. After all, this is an exam that is going to give them the stamp of an international body that confirms that they had the discipline and rigor to pass SAS certification. Which in turn makes customers who are seeking SAS professionals happy to hire them.

I realized this week that I also need to write the exam. I’ve been taking a pass using this excuse:

I teach the course – its easy for me to pass so why bother taking the time to study or write.

Very quickly I threw this reason out the window as I saw it for what it really was. Fear of exams, I have always had that little feeling in my belly when I think of exams. Simultaneously I was torn. I wanted to experience what my colleagues were going through during the process of exam writing so I could support them in their journey.

So I plucked up courage and decided I would write certification too. You might say ‘Easy for you, you are an instructor’. But dear reader, it is this very statement that I am afraid of. You have no idea how afraid I am of exam writing and the pressure of expectations. So this decision is a big one for me to take to support my colleagues and to really see what the fuss was all about.

To overcome my resistance, my next action was to take the SAS practice exam. With great trepidation, I set out to take the practice exam last evening just to see where I stood.

I am happy to announce I managed to scrape through. This was a big milestone. Big enough for me to blog about.

So here’s my suggestion to you dear reader, contemplating certification.

Take the Practice Exam

I shall leave now to work on my next action which I’ll share soon in my blog. Good luck till then, and when I return I hope to hear from you on your BUTs. What’s holding you back? I hope to get lots of your responses to my blog sharing your practice exam stories and successes, fears and joys as you embark on the certification path.

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About Author

Charu Shankar

Technical Training Specialist

Charu Shankar has been a Technical Training Specialist with SAS since 2007. She started as a programmer, and has taught computer languages, business and English Language skills. At SAS, Charu teaches the SAS language, SQL, SAS Enterprise guide and Business Intelligence. She interviews clients to recommend the right SAS training to help them meet their needs. She is helping build a center for special needs kids in this project. http://www.handicareintl.org/pankaja/pankaja.swf

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