SAS Certification Exams

SAS offers a variety of SAS Certification Exams. These can be a nice resume booster to have SAS confirm that you are proficient in their software rather than you simply claiming you are. SAS Certification Prep Guides for the Basic Programmer and Advanced Programmer exams are available as ebooks in the UIUC Library Catalog.

Students are eligible for a half-price discount on SAS Certification Exams. You have two options for taking a SAS Certification Exam. Both require registering for an account at


This means going to a certified Pearson VUE test center. You can find available testing centers at Parkland Community College in Champaign is the closest and the U of I is not on the certified list as of Summer 2017. There are many others worldwide.

  1. To get the half-price discount as a student, you must follow the instructions for the Academic Discount before registering and paying for your exam on the Pearson website.
  2. You must create a PearsonVUE account before being able to schedule and register for a SAS exam. Contact the specific test center for more information on their protocol on test day.


Before Parkland began offering the exams, the Statistics Department used to coordinate SAS Certification Exam events on campus at Illinois. As of 2016, we have only been offering the certification events in conjunction with the annual SAS Day event. If a SAS Exam is scheduled on the Illinois campus, it will be listed on the registration site is More information is available below.

More information about SAS Exams

Read the details of the SAS Certification Exams here on the SAS support site. This will answer all of your questions about the exam itself. It states that the fee, but as university students, you will get a 50% discount.

Create an account on Pearson VUE.
At least FIVE days prior to exam day, you must create a Pearson VUE account. Go to, click on My Account, and follow the instructions. Even more detailed instructions can be found in this file from SAS. This must be done prior to the day of the exam. You will not be allowed to create the account at the exam site, nor can you take the exam without an account.

Most exams are 2 hours and 60-70 multiple choice questions in length. Even if you took STAT 440, you should still study if taking the Base Programming certification. STAT 440 presents a holistic, strategy, and skill based approach to data management. The STAT 440 course covers much of what is included on the Base Programmer exam and about half of the Advanced Programmer exam, but the SAS certification exams are far more technical and focused on the details of SAS coding.

Looking at the e-Learning modules titled Programming I and II would be a great way to prepare for the Base Programmer exam. We also suggest reviewing the texts we have on reserve in the Math library and a variety of SAS Prep Exams that are available as e-books in the online Library Catalog. Extra studying is extremely helpful and important.

Exam Day
Show up early. Due to PearsonVUE and SAS rules, typically, only pen or pencil will be allowed to have with you at your station. Scratch paper should be provided. You will not be allowed to have anything else at your station. Backpacks, phones, and other items are typically not allowed by testing centers. Leaving the room may end your exam early, so it’s also recommended that you use the restroom prior to the exam.

STAT Courses
Some UI STAT courses use SAS as a tool, but no course is specifically designed to get students certification. The choice to take a SAS Certification Exam and the results thereof have absolutely no bearing on one’s STAT course credit or grade. For example, SAS Certification cannot be used as a proficiency exam.

  • STAT 440 covers many of the topics addressed on two of the exams (Base and Advanced Programmer).  By the end of the course and with some extra studying, most students are able to pass the Base Programmer Certification.
  • STAT 448 covers some topics on the Statistical Business Analyst exam.