SAS Global Certification is proud to introduce our first performance-based programming credential, the SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming Using SAS 9.4. Candidates will program in SAS during this exam. We have worked with our exam delivery partners to integrate a live lab into this exam and it can be delivered anywhere, anytime, on-demand. The current SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9 credential, which has been in service since 2006, will not be available after June 2019.
Why introduce performance-based exam components?
As assessment professionals, we know that a well-constructed multiple-choice exam is a valid instrument to assess knowledge and skill. Yet we have spoken with many SAS users and hiring managers at conferences, universities, and online communities and we have heard you: the credential would be more valuable if you knew that candidates actually coded in SAS during their exam. This new exam is as real-world as we can make it and we believe that potential employers will value the new credential as a component in the applicant evaluation process.
We also believe that candidates will enjoy the exam experience (Well, at least as much as they can while under the stress of sitting for a test). You will have the freedom to solve the programming problems with your favorite methods. Need to subset data? Feel free to use a WHERE statement or a subsetting IF/THEN/ELSE. Or, if you are feeling really good about your skills, maybe a SELECT/WHEN/OTHERWISE.
During the exam, you have your choice of SAS environment: SAS Studio, SAS Enterprise Guide, or SAS Display Manager. The built-in help works, and you have access to SAS documentation (sorry, no Google, SAS communities, or Skype). There is a 5-minute period at the beginning of the exam to get acquainted with the lab and get ready for your first question before the exam timer starts. To help you prepare for the exam, we have released a full-length practice exam and a new Certification Prep Guide. The exam content aligns with our current Programming 1 and 2 courses.
Also, we have recently started using Pearson VUE’s Online Proctoring which allows you to test from your home or office (provided your PC and internet connection meet requirements). This is a great option for a performance-based exam as you have control over the size of your monitor.
The new credential integrates with our current programming credentials
There will be a new performance-based Advanced Programming credential soon, carrying the “SAS Certified Professional” designation. It will be in beta in April. The prerequisites requirements will be interchangeable: The ‘old’ Base or the ‘new’ Base credential will function as a prerequisite for either the ‘old’ Advanced or the ‘new’ Advanced. And for those Certified Base Programmers who would like to upgrade to the new credential, we have a $75 USD, 1-hour delta exam that you can take in place of the full exam. The current SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9 remains a valid credential, but will not be offered after June 2019.
There are more details about the exam on our website. There you will find information about exam duration, scoring, a complete exam content guide, and a 4-minute video tutorial of the exam experience. We hope you like the new exam, and as always, good luck in your preparations.