Are you a SAS certified professional?


The SAS Global Certification Program started in 1999 and has issued over 150,000 credentials to SAS users. Today, the program offers 23 different credentials across seven categories. According to, “SAS Certification gives recognition of competency, shows commitment to the profession, and helps with job advancement.”

The SAS Global Certification Program and SAS Documentation have partnered together to work on SAS® Certified Specialist Prep Guide: Base Programming Using SAS® 9.4 and SAS® Certified Professional Prep Guide: Advanced Programming Using SAS® 9.4. This partnership has improved the prep guides and offers additional assets to support their use.

Changes to the Prep Guides

We have implemented changes to the certification guide based on the changes to the exam. We have taken the opportunity to make numerous general improvements to the certification guides. Both prep guides have been streamlined, shortened (significantly), and include more easy-to-use examples. For example, through reorganization and removing redundant topics, we have shortened SAS® Certified Professional Prep Guide: Advanced Programming Using SAS® 9.4 by more than 400 pages (428 pages to be exact).

Other changes to the prep guides include:

  • streamlining the examples and making them easier to read
  • aligning the quiz questions so that they are more like what the user will see on the exam
  • developing a workbook to provide hands-on practice for the programming portion of the exam

Tip Sheets

In 2018, I attended my first SAS Global Forum and I spoke with professors who use the certification guides in their class. They expressed interest in having a downloadable document with syntax that students can use for quick reference. Based on this feedback, I worked with SAS Training to develop tip sheets that summarize key concepts and syntax covered in the certification guides.

You can download the tip sheets from each guide’s book page. The tip sheets are expected to be incorporated into the extended learning pages for the related classes offered through Training.

We also made changes to how you can download sample data.

Sample Data Changes

In the past, we received feedback that the sample data that users were trying to download and import into SAS was generating errors. This was happening because of the copy and paste functionality that we had before. Due to some changes internal to SAS, we decided to streamline the process of downloading sample data.

We wanted to make the sample data easy to access.

The sample data now is “environment agnostic” and can run on any SAS environment. These changes are particularly helpful to customers who use SAS Studio and SAS On-Demand for Academics Incorporating these changes required modification to virtually all the previous examples in both prep guides.

The sample data now lives on the sas-cert-prep-data repository, which is on the SAS Software page in the GitHub repository. The repository is organized by the name of each prep guide. This enables our users to provide feedback by simply creating an issue on GitHub. The GitHub repository itself contains a lot of additional resources such as other SAS Press books, links to SAS documentation, Base SAS Glossary, and the SAS User YouTube channel with How-To videos.

With all of these changes and more, we hope that you find the new prep guides easier to use on the path to becoming SAS Certified.


About Author

Samantha Gidlow

Technical Writer

Samantha Biswas is a Technical Writer at SAS. She currently works on both SAS Certified Specialist Prep Guide and SAS Certified Professional Prep Guide. She also works on the SAS Viya documentation. Samantha has been an advocate for engaging customers through social media and getting them excited about learning SAS programming.

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