Six tips to prepare for SAS programming certifications

Prepping for certification? Test your knowledge with a practice exam.
Take a practice exam!

Certification is always a hot topic on our social media channels. Our SAS Certification community site has a lot of advice for candidates preparing for our most popular exam, the SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming Using SAS 9.4 certification. Here's a summary of the top recommendations to help you prepare for the exam.

  1. Review the exam content. Focus your studying on the sections you are least familiar with.
  2. Master the sample questions and practice exam. Both are currently available for free. For the answers you get wrong, make sure you go back and fully understand why.
  3. Use the SAS Certification Prep Guide to lead your studies.
  4. Review the Tips & Strategies article and the exam prep video.
  5. Be confident. Improve your knowledge with training, reading, experience or a combination of all three until you feel confident enough to take the exam. (SAS Programming 1: Essentials and SAS Programming 2: Data Manipulation Techniques are the recommended training courses.)
  6. Review our on-demand webinars, hosted by SAS experts:

Do you have any additional advice to add to the list? Leave us a comment below. Also, if you are not sure which SAS programming credential is right for you, use our comparison chart to help guide you.

(Editor's note: This post, originally published in 2013, was updated in April 2020 to include information on Base Programming Specialist Certification and other new resources.)


About Author

Mark Stevens

SR Certification Specialist

Mark Stevens is a Certification Specialist for SAS Global Certification and has been working in training and certification since 2004. A SAS Certified Base Programmer since 2010, Mark enjoys every opportunity to dive into new SAS products and features. When he isn’t working on the next SAS certification, he can be found digging in the gardens in his back yard.

Related Posts


  1. What book do I need to refer for clinical sas programming certification? For BASE and Advanced certification there are books available from sas but can not find any book for Clinical sas programmer certification. Any reply is much appreciated!

  2. Fernando Maldonado on

    I am a certified SAS BASE Programmer, if you ask me, All you need in order to successfully obtain this certification is to read this book: SAS Certification Prep Guide: Base Programming for SAS 9, Third Edition
    You can get it from Amazon or directly for SAS, there are some small topics not covered in the book that you will need to study by looking at the SAS Documentation, but even if you do not, you will be fine.

    • Fernando Maldonado on

      I will be obtaining the SAS Business Analyst Certification in the next following days, so I will let you know how that goes!

  3. Hello,
    I am interested to learn SAS base programm. Could u please suggest me a good training cum consultancy in the US.

    • Fernando Maldonado on

      Of course, it has to be at a Pearson VUE test centre.... doing it at home would be senseless...

  4. Hi,

    I want to appear in base SAS certification exam. I am going to uk now. Can I register myself from India and after reaching UK can give the exam?
    What is the job market for base SAS certified in UK ? Please suggest and guide me.

  5. Hi,
    I have just come to know about this interesting software and the benefits of learning sas skills and I am eagerly looking forward to it. Can anyone please help me out of this by guiding me from where to get free prep materials and yes most importantly the SAS SOFTWARE .
    It will be great if there is a reply.

  6. hello,
    i have used sas miner and now would like to sit the sas miner exam but do not currently have access to the software.
    is there any facility by which i can have access to the software for exam prep?

    thank you.

  7. Sachin Aggarwal on

    I am looking to prepare for SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9: Regression and Modeling Credential. But I am not able to find out any book on SAS site which can help in preparing for this exam. Please guide me on this topic.

  8. I would suggest using concept maps to visually summarize essential information for every chapter, syntax constructs and options for distinct levels: system, session, data step or procedure step.

  9. Hello All,

    I have done MSc in Statistics and now I want to learn SAS. Can you please suggest me if "SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst" or I should do SAS foundation & SAS advanced.

  10. Varun Rajasekaran on

    Can you suggest me training materials/books/websites for ‘SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9 ‘ exam ?

    • Hi Vikas,

      I seen that you requested for study material on SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9 ‘ exam. Hope you have cleared it with flying colors.
      I am planning to appear for this exam. Can you please share your knowledge and book if possible?

      Also, is it worth to take up this certification or should I go for predictive modelling certification?

      Waiting for your response.


      • Maggie Miller
        Maggie Miller on

        Just a reminder that the distribution or use of SAS exam content in whole or in part in any form is unlawful, but there are several legal sources of material to help you prepare for a SAS exam.

        There are suggested training courses on the webpage for the Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9 exam.

        One of the suggested courses is Statistics 1 -- which can be taken in e-learning format for free.

        Good luck on your attempt.

  11. Hello,
    I have masters in GIS and worked for 1 year. Then i was stay at home mom for 4 years now i want to start working again but my field doesn't look very promising so i want to switch to SAS programmer. I know basics of statistics and used it for my masters thesis work. Also took stat-I class during graduate studies. I used SPSS,SAS, Minitab softwares. This feels like next known territory where i can try to switch. Can you please guide me in the process.
    Is base certification enough to land a job?
    Do you think as coming from another field just certification will be enough?
    How should i prepare for the certification?Join training or self study?
    Further i want to go for clinical SAS. Any suggestions on that front?
    Do you think i need any other skills to go into clinical SAS or to switch fields.
    Thanks for your time and effort.

  12. Pingback: Top 10 SAS Training Post blogs of 2013 | The SAS Training Post

  13. Sir
    I am interested in doing sas .
    I want to know what is the role or job we have to do using sas software ?
    And after doing basic and advance sas , what are the further studies we can do related to sas ?

  14. As i was new to the sas please let me know the different certifications available,concerned exams,books available,all relavant information regarding sas certification.............

  15. I have only been recently inspired into persue a career with SAS.
    Some questions naturally came to mind while considering the certification program:

    When will the next edition of SAS be announced?
    Will 'SAS10' make previous certificates redundant?

    • Michele Reister
      Michele Reister on

      Hi Ali,

      When a major release of SAS occurs (for example, we just released SAS 9.4 this week), we always update the credential to reflect the new release number. However, the “SAS 9” credentials will not expire and will continue to be valid.

  16. When is the next update of the SAS Certification Prep Guide for the Advanced Programming text expected? Is there anything in the next year? Thanks!

    • Maggie Miller
      Maggie Alexander on

      Hi Michelle,
      There are no changes planned to the edition in the near future. Thank you for your interest.

Back to Top