Demystifying SAS Certification (Part 2): Write it down


Do you know what the #1 fear in North America is? Most people say fear of public speaking or fear of death, but you may just want to consider this new fear upping the charts - the fear of writing a SAS Certification exam!

The real test begins before even taking the exam. I’ve been pondering these questions: How do I deal with fear that surfaces? What reasons make me feel under pressure?

My reasons are pretty clear. I am an instructor and the expectation from everyone is ‘you’ll certainly pass the exam.’ Dear reader, if you have a high-pressure reason like mine, you are not alone. Just read on:

While chatting with other SAS coworkers at the water cooler, I asked them what fears they have about taking an exam. Here’s what they said:

  • I’ve been working with SAS for over 20 years, everyone is going to expect me to pass the exam.
  • I’ve just joined SAS and I was hired because I know many computer languages. The expectation is I should find it easy to pass the exam
  • I’ve just joined SAS as a recruit out of university and folks expect me to focus on putting all my energies into studying & passing the exam as I’m currently not on any projects.
  • I’m a Project Manager and I have zero time for anything at all, leave alone time to prep for the exam.

Phew! It looks like we are not alone.

So how do we tackle a fear that’s clearly bigger than public speaking or the fear of death.

I shall give you a tip that my dad gave me when I was in university:

Write it down

That’s what I am doing now dear reader.

This week my focus is on reviewing the Base SAS Certification Prep Guide, chapter by chapter and taking a crack at the review questions at the end. So far I have reached 154 of 582 pages.

I’m writing down answers to the quizzes and then comparing them with the answer key. This is helping me understand what my strength areas are what my areas I need to improve.

Taking the end-of-chapter quiz helps me focus the remaining time I have to study on just the topics I need to improve on.

So go ahead, review the Base SAS certification prep guide. Go through it linearly chapter by chapter, in order, so that you will have an organized method and action to overcome any resistance.

I look forward to sharing more tips in my next post. Meanwhile I have to go back to studying. See you next time. and don’t forget to share your journey on SAS certification. If any of this resonates with you or you find this helpful I would love to hear from you in the “comments” field below.

Want more advice on preparing for SAS certification? Read Demystifying SAS Certification (Part 1)


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.

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    • Charu Shankar

      Thanks for your comment & sharing great tips on your blog. Now that I've written the exam, I'll be able to share even more tips..

  1. Hi Charu,

    I am a PhD Student at UNC and I came across your blogs after googling "data manipulation tips and tricks in SAS!"

    I like your blogs because they are simple and straight to the point! Also, your profile says you've built a center for special needs kids. I clicked on the link but it seems to be broken? Is there another link?

    Good luck on the certification exam!

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