All You need to know about the new SAS Base Programming Specialist, the Performance Based Exam

SAS Institute, one of the most reputed and widely used big data and analytical tool provider has recently retired its certification which was awarded to the most number of professionals. Yes, I am talking about the SAS Base Programmer Certification (A00-211). This was the most famous and widely used certificate for almost 14 years. This change was done as the SAS institute had done many survey and discussions before taking this decision. As per the demand from the industry, they have replaced the OLD star with all new first performance-based programming credential i.e. SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming Using SAS 9.4. Candidates will program in SAS during this exam. The exam delivery partners also upgraded with the help of SAS to integrate a live lab into this exam and it can be delivered anywhere, anytime, on-demand.

As assessment professionals, we know that a well-constructed multiple-choice exam is a valid instrument to assess knowledge and skill. However, it was a demand from many SAS users and hiring managers at SAS conferences, universities, and online communities and SAS Institute heard to them: 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. As per our understanding and information we have, the new exam i.e. SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming Using SAS 9.4. will be more useful and the candidate should enjoy this new format exam as most of the SAS candidate love to use a WHERE statement or a subsetting IF/THEN/ELSE. Or, 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 (Fore sure, no Google, no SAS communities, or No 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, SAS has released a full-length practice exam and a new Certification Prep Guide.

Exam Details:

Exam Name: SAS Certified Specialist - Base Programming Using SAS 9.4

Exam Code: A00-231 and A00-233 (Delta Exam) for a candidate already holding an old SAS Base Programmer certificate.

Exam Duration: 125 minutes for A00-231 and 75 minutes for A00-233

Exam Questions: 40-45 for A00-231 & 18-22 for A00-233 multiple-choice and short-answer questions.

Passing Score: Passing score is 725; uses a score range from 200 to 1,000 points.

Exam Price: $180 (USD) for A00-231 and $75 (USD) for A00-233

Exam Content and syllabus

Access and Create Data Structures

1. Create Temporary and permanent SAS Data sets.
2. Investigate SAS data libraries using base SAS utility procedures.
3. Access data.
4. Combine SAS data sets.
5. Create and manipulate SAS date values.
6. Control which observations and variables in a SAS data set are processed and output.

Manage Data

1. Sort observations in a SAS data set.
2. Conditionally execute SAS statements.
3. Use assignment statements in the DATA step.
4. Modify variable attributes using options and statements in the DATA step.
5. Accumulate sub-totals and totals using DATA step statements.
6. Use SAS functions to manipulate character data, numeric data, and SAS date values.
7. Use SAS functions to convert character data to numeric and vice versa.
8. Process data using DO LOOPS.
9. Restructure SAS data sets with PROC TRANSPOSE.
.Use macro variables to simplify program maintenance.

Error Handling

1. Identify and resolve programming logic errors.
2. Recognize and correct syntax errors.

Generate Reports and Output

1. Generate list reports using the PRINT procedure.
2. Generate summary reports and frequency tables using base SAS procedures.
3. Enhance reports with user-defined formats, titles, footnotes and SAS System reporting options.
4. Generate reports using ODS statements.
5. Export data.

Preparing for the SAS A00-231 Exam

There are certification preparation providers who also come up with the new material for the new exam. The number one Big data and Analytics Exam provider also come up with the later Practice Exam for SAS Base Programming Specialist. One can also check the Demo exam provide for free to check the quality of the practice exam.

Also, SAS institute has 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 Candidate who clear this new performance-based exam, he/she should have experience in programming and data management using SAS 9.4 and should be able to, Read and create data files, Manipulate and transform data, Create basic detail and summary reports using Base SAS procedures, Identify and correct syntax and programming logic errors.

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