So to start with the question, How to do the best preparation? Is taking the class enough? Is the practice exam or other prep materials worth the cost? Will I pass if I do this or that? Ultimately, how can you improve your chances for success on a SAS Advanced Programming certification exam? Many time candidates are in search of the silver bullet that will guarantee they pass an exam. But, there is no silver bullet, in fact, the only way is to come up with a plan to give your best to succeed. The preparation required depends on what is the status of yours with SAS Software related knowledge and your experience on the technologies. However, if we want to draw a plan which can be applied as a generic plan, that can be as follow.
Start with the First thing first, is this Certification for you?
As some questions to self, first. Is this certification right for you? Do you have the recommended experience? Are you ready to spare time required for preparations and training? Most of the time, the SAS training are costly, so that planning also very important. Is this credential for me? Should I try to gain the knowledge and experience to earn this credential and does it help me in my career path? This is the time that some people like to go ahead and schedule the exam. Draw a line in the sand. A deadline helps some people take action and develop a plan.
Do a Self-assessment
Once you through from the above point and now you know that the SAS Advanced Programming is the certificate you are looking for, next do your self-assessment to confirm your position, be honest with yourself. Work to identify what are your strengths and weaknesses as it relates to the exam Syllabus? This will help immensely in determining where to focus your attention while devising a prep plan. If you have trouble assessing your own skills, ask co-workers or friend. The more honest you are, the better you'll study.
Now it’s time to prepare a war plan.
Here the plan would be started with considering the results from the above two points. First is positive, so you move to next and now you know how much dip dive is required for you to find the pearl. Here this means, you know the syllabus, and you know where you stand on each point from the syllabus, next is how to complete those gaps between your understanding and subject. You should identify the best method, in simple word, learn how your brain wants to learn. Your plan should include not only your study techniques but how you might support them through healthy activities, like exercise and good sleep habits. Train your brain by writing down what you've learned and taught it to others.
What tools will you use?
Choose activities that meet your learning style and do them in the order that you think is best. For example, some people like to complete a practice exam first to help them identify the types of questions they may see and what the experience will be like. From there, they schedule training to fill the gaps they may have uncovered through their self-assessment and practice exam.
Training:– Every SAS exam has an associated training path. World-class training is offered by SAS Global Education. Review your exam requirements and book your course as soon as you are ready. Here's your link: http://support.sas.com/training. Remember to compare the course against your exam objectives and don't expect that everything in the exam will be covered explicitly in your training course. If it wasn't, look it up elsewhere.
Hands-on skills-building:– When available, download sample software and play with it. Maybe you can use your production system at work or a sandbox environment at your company. Some program sponsors offer free sample software or full versions for academia (SAS University Edition). Practice, practice, practice.
Study Guides:– First, make sure it's a publication authorized by the program. You'll find many black and grey market materials available for purchase. Don't waste your money. Find a study guide developed by experts. Remember, no silver bullets or magic diet pill, but when used with other materials study guides can be extremely useful for exam preparations.
Practice Exams:– Practise exams don't only help you with the content but can help you learn or remember how to test and get used to questioning formats, etc. All questions are put through a rigorous process to assure they are accurate and relevant. Don't overthink them. Think to yourself while completing the practice exam. What are they really getting at here? We are not trying to trick you! This experience goes a long way.
Prepare for the Big Day!
Take the stress out of test day, by its nature, testing is a stressful process. Here are a few ways to lower your stress level.
- Some exam delivery providers and/or test sponsors have online videos that discuss the check-in process and what to expect. See if yours does, and if they do, watch them.
- Use your legal name from your identification when registering for your exam. Name discrepancies can cause delays or you may be turned away. Bring proper ID in accordance with the sponsor policies.
- Read all the instructions that come with your exam registration. If you have questions, call the test centre or the program sponsor.
- See if your program sponsor offers an online exam tutorial. Practice exams are great as well to help you understand how to navigate the testing tool.
- You will have to surrender your phone, and anything else you may have brought, so be prepared to do that.
Show up early. Plan to arrive 30 minutes early, if you are running late, have the test centre number and call to see if they can hold your seat.
All the best!