I took the advanced exam this April because I wanted a relatively
systematic way of assessing my knowledge of SAS in a short time span.
For that purpose, it was worth it.
Since I learn SAS by doing new tasks, or re-doing old tasks in a new
way, I assume my knowledge of SAS is uneven, even though I am regarded
as productive, and frequently creative in using SAS to solve our group's
I passed the test, with lower subscores on the components that I
expected to be weakest on. I thought many of the questions made me
think about some fundamental, sometimes subtle, features of the
language. I did some guessing, but that was on my weaker topics. So
the exam results, in my view, reflected something real.
I agree, a prospective employer should not put much stock in SAS
certification exams. Many highly effective people are not good test
takers. Besides, this exam is a crude instrument. My score was
identical to a colleague who still regularly asks me for guidance in
finding solutions in SAS to specific problems. I probably know more SAS
than he does (and he is a good SAS programmer), but you wouldn't know
from the exam results.
As to version 9-specific questions, I don't recall whether there was
much material that was version 9 only. But I expected the test to be
more oriented to "advanced" concepts than to new features of version 9.
By the way, even though I passed, I can't get a SAS advanced certificate
-- because I haven't taken the basic test. Go figure.
From: SAS(r) Discussion [mailto:SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Sent: Friday, August 31, 2007 2:00 PM
Subject: SAS Advanced Programming Exam for SAS 9: SAS Joke of the year.
Sick joke, not funny.
You would have thought that adding the 9 tag to the exam would have
meant testing the ability of using version 9. Not so. The exam doesn't
test the ability of version 9. It doesn't even test the ability of
using SAS. It tests one's ability of guessing the right answer,
because on a lot of the questions that's all you can do.
We cannot take material out of the test centre, so I am relating these
issues from memory, but 42 is the answer to the Universe, and this one
did stick in my memory.
Question 42: Correct answer: None of the above. They have swapped the
value of one of the observations around and there is no option in the
A-D to do that.
At least two other questions return a different sort order to the
input, with no sort order in the options.
After coming across question 42, I almost walked out. But I had been
preparing for this exam for weeks, and I was determined to see it
through to the end. Plus I don't like throwing money away.
You might call me bitter: Failed the exam by 2%, that is just one
guess wrong. I normally have problems with multi-guess exams, the only
exception being IQ tests which I normally score quite high on. But as
with the IQ tests, this SAS advanced certification is totally
meaningless. I came across a thread written some years ago, which the
writers expressed the opinion that it doesn't count for anything at
all. I had already paid for the exam by then, but if I had read that I
wouldn't have paid for it, because quite rightly it doesn't have any
bearing on anything.
Plus, if I were a potential employer, and wanted to evaluate the
validity of using the exam to test potential candidates, I wouldn't
want to future of my business riding such a pile of doodoo.
I've two shots at this one. I am not doing again. I have the base, and
that is good enough for me.
Who ever added the version 9 bits to exam, has obviously not used
version 9 in anger, as the really nice stuff which you can't do in
version 8 wasn't there at all. I have been using version 9 for a year
now, and will not willingly go back to version 8. VVALUE, CATX,
COMPGED just a few examples. Give those to a version 8 programmer and
he would be floundering.
No, my recommendation is to simply ignore this one. Don't do it, it
just raises the blood pressure unnecessarily.
Oh, and don't for goodness sake, do any SAS exam in France. A friend
of mine did the base recently, and when no certificate was evidenced
in the post, or his name in big shining lights was shown on the
website, after his triumphant success at passing it, he phoned SAS,
only to be told that they have no record of him passing it, and, to
quote (but translated from the French) "Did you pass it?"
So its probably just easier now to phone SAS, say you've passed their
exam, and when they say they haven't the paper work, just stamp your
for on the floor in defiance of their ineptitude, and they will
relent, because they have screwed up in the past, they can do it again.