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Top 50 SAS Interview Questions and Answers For Fresher, Experienced

SAS (Statistical Analytics System) is a popular tool for Data Analytics and this is pretty easy to learn especially for those people who know SQL already. SAS is one of the leading including R and Python and works amazingly when it comes to handling a large amount of data and options for parallel computation. If you will look at the SAS job trends then it covers approx. 70% data analytics market and R is covering only 15 percent of the total market share.

SAS interview questions are classified into 5 sections

So, if you are a tech-savvy and wanted to hire as a SAS expert then this blog is a perfect guide for you to learn all important questions that may be asked during a SAS interview. The questions are segregated based on the difficulty level and you can pick the most relevant section as per your expertize to reap the maximum benefits from this post. This blog is one-stop solutions where you will find the maximum number of questions to boost your interview preparation.

SAS Interview Questions

  1. How will you define the SAS (Statistical Analytics System)?
  2. Why should you choose SAS over other data analytics tools?
  3. How will you explain the features of benefits of SAS tool?
  4. What are the SAS framework capabilities?
  5. What is the meaning of OUTPUT Statement in a SAS program?
  6. What is the meaning of STOP Statement in a SAS program?
  7. How “drop = dataset” option is used in the set statement?
  8. How “drop = dataset” option is used in the data statement?
  9. How data is accessed from an external data file in SAS?
  10. How data is accessed from existing dataset in SAS?
  11. Name a few data types that are frequently used in SAS.
  12. How will you differentiate functions and procedures in SAS?
  13. How are SUM function and “+” operator different in SAS?
  14. What is the benefit of end = data set option in SAS?
  15. Give an example when SAS is not able to convert the character value to numeric value automatically.
  16. How will you differentiate the PROC SUMMARY and the PROC MEANS?
  17. How can you delete duplicate values in a dataset?
  18. What is the benefit of using Proc SQL” command in SAS?
  19. Can you explain the PUT function and INPUT function in SAS?
  20. What is maximum length can be assigned to the target variable by scan function?
  21. What is the significance of TRANWRD function in SAS?
  22. Name a few functions that are frequently used by SAS developers?
  23. How will dates work in SAS data?
  24. Look at the following SAS and calculate the number of observations given in the program.
  25. How will you differentiate the do while and do until options in SAS?
  26. How can you specify the condition within Do Loop?
  27. How will you check the total number of iterations given in the program?
  28. How is a scan function defined in the SAS?
  29. Can we define the special characters as numeric data types too?
  30. Take an example where one variable contains the numeric values only, can you still define it as character data type too?
  31. What can be the size of the largest dataset in SAS?
  32. Do PROC REPORT’s defaults are different from the PROC PRINT’s defaults or they could be the same as well?
  33. Give an example where the meaning of PROC REPORT’s defaults and the PROC PRINT’s defaults is same?
  34. What is the trailing @ and @@ in SAS?
  35. For the Proc Report, what is the meaning of group and order variables?
  36. How can the default statistics be defined for the Means Procedures?
  37. How can you produce the summary reports in SAS?
  38. How decimal places can be controlled for the variable when using PROC Means?
  39. How will you define the Class statement in SAS?
  40. How can you define the BY Statement in SAS?
  41. How can you generate reports in Proc Means and Proc Summary?
  42. How can you specify the variable to be processed in FREQ Procedure?
  43. How will you use the Proc FREQ and Proc MEANS in SAS?
  44. For the Proc FREQ, how can you generate the list output for crosstabulations?
  45. How can you merge or combine datasets in SAS?
  46. How can you define the interleaving in SAS?
  47. Which one is more suitable to combine datasets either one-to-one merge or match merge options?
  48. What do you mean by Append procedure in SAS?
  49. Which procedure is used to analyze the data deeply?
  50. How can you define the Proc UNIVARIATE procedure in SAS? 

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Basic SAS Interview Questions

Q1). How will you define the SAS (Statistical Analytics System)?

This is the most expected question asked by interviewers if you are a fresher. This is a software suite that is mainly needed for data analytics, business intelligence, data management, multivariant analysis, predictive analysis etc. The concept was introduced by the SAS Institute and provides an interactive graphical user interface with a plenty of advanced options by SAS language. The interface can be quickly accessed by non-technical users too and easy to learn by anyone.

Q2). Why should you choose SAS over other data analytics tools?

Here is a list of reasons that will explain to you why should you choose SAS over other data analytics tools –

  • SAS is quite easy to learn even by non-technical users especially if you have an SQL background.
  • The data handling capabilities of tools are just marvellous even when compared to R and Python programming languages.
  • SAS has an interactive graphical interface that can be customized with little learning only.
  • SAS has a wide range of tools where deployments are well tested and controlled in a real-time environment.
  • SAS is a market leader in jobs at the global level. It currently holds the 70 percent of the market share.

Q3). How will you explain the features of benefits of SAS tool?

The tool is able to provide the following benefits for your business –

  • Effective Business Solutions
  • Market leader in Data Analytics
  • A DBMS software for data access management
  • Excellent Reporting and graphics
  • Visualization as graphs or charts (either simple or complex)

Q4). What are the SAS framework capabilities?

The SAS framework has four capabilities, these are Analyze, Access, Manage, and Present. What are the SAS framework capabilities?

Q5). What is the meaning of OUTPUT Statement in a SAS program?

To save the summary statistics in a SAS dataset, Output statement is needed. This information can be used further for creating more customized reports.

Q6). What is the meaning of STOP Statement in a SAS program?

To break the processing of current data sets quickly, STOP statement is needed.

Q7). How “drop = dataset” option is used in the set statement?

If you are interested in processing a certain set of variables and don’t want to appear then in the new dataset then “drop = dataset” option is used in the set statement.

Q8). How “drop = dataset” option is used in the data statement?

If you are not interested in processing a certain set of variables and don’t want to appear then in the new dataset then “drop = dataset” option is used in the data statement.

Read: What is Primary Key in SQL? How to Add, Remove, Or Set Primary Key

Q9). How data is accessed from an external data file in SAS?

When data is accessed from some external file then only observations are considered and variables need to declare again if you want to use them.

Q10). How data is accessed from an existing dataset in SAS?

If you wanted to access data from existing dataset then use the SET statement and values of variables will be retained from one observation to other.

Advanced SAS Interview Questions

Q11). Name a few data types that are frequently used in SAS.

They are divided into two categories majorly – Character and Numeric.

Q12). How will you differentiate functions and procedures in SAS?

In case of functions, the values of arguments are supplied across an observation. In the case of procedures, there is only one given to each variable.

Q13). How are SUM function and “+” operator different in SAS?

Sum function will return the total of non-missing arguments and “+” operator returns the missing value of any argument value is left behind.

Q14). What is the benefit of end = data set option in SAS?

To read the last value from an unsorted dataset to appear in the new data set, end = data set option is used in SAS.

Q15). Give an example when SAS is not able to convert the character value to numeric value automatically.

When dollar ($) sign is added before a variable, the conversion process is blocked by the dollar sign and it is not covered to numeric values later.

Q16). How will you differentiate the PROC SUMMARY and the PROC MEANS?

Proc Means produce statistics for subgroup only if it is sorted first. At the same time, Proc Summary can produce statistics for all groups automatically.

Q17). How can you delete duplicate values in a dataset?

To delete the duplicates values in a dataset, use “Proc SQL” command.

Q18). What is the benefit of using “Proc SQL” command in SAS?

First of all, it will scan each statement for syntax errors. Now, it will decide how SQL query should be executed in SAS. A particular table is loaded into the data engine and related calculations are performed. After this, the final table is created in the memory and it is sent to the OUTPUT table described in the SQL.

Q19). Can you explain the PUT function and INPUT function in SAS?

For numeric to character conversion, put function is used. For the character to numeric conversion, Input function is used.

Q20). What is maximum length can be assigned to the target variable by scan function?

This is 200. SQL Server quiz

SAS Logical Interview Questions

Q21). What is the significance of TRANWRD function in SAS?

To remove the repeated occurrence of a pattern of characters within a character string, TRANWRD function is used in SAS.

Q22). Name a few functions that are frequently used by SAS developers?

Scan, Trim, tranwrd, Catx, Substr, Index, Find, Sum.

Q23). How will dates work in SAS data? 

Read: Microsoft Power BI Tutorial For Beginners
Date SAS Date Value
January 1, 1959 -365
January 1, 1960 0
January 1, 1961 366
January 1, 2003 15706

Dates in SAS

  A SAS date is a numeric value equal to the number of days since January 1, 1960. Also, there are a plenty of tools that can be used to read printed data in SAS datasets.

Q24). Look at the following SAS and calculate the number of observations given in the program.


Data finance;
Amount=1000;
Rate=.075/12;
Do month=1 to 12;
Earned +(amount+earned)*(rate);
Output;
End;
Run;

Here, the total number of observations would be 12.

Q25). How will you differentiate the do while and do until options in SAS?

Do While option is executed at the beginning of Do loop, if the result is false then it will never be executed again. At the same time, Do Until option is used at least once.

Q26). How can you specify the condition within Do Loop?

It can be done by do while and do until options in SAS.

Q27). How will you check the total number of iterations given in the program?


data work;
do i=1 to 20 until(sum>=200000);
year+1;
sum+2000;
sum+sum*.10;
end;
run;

Here, the do loop will run until the sum does not become greater than or equal to 20000 or until the loop executes 10 times as per the given program.

Q28). How is a scan function defined in the SAS?

Here is the general syntax given for the scan function in SAS –


scan(argument,n,delimiters)

Here, arguments will define the expression that you wanted to scan, n will specify the total number of characters to read, and delimiters will specify how characters will be enclosed in a single quotation.

Q29). Can we define the special characters as numeric data types too?

No, it should be defined as the character data type only.

Q30). Take an example where one variable contains the numeric values only, can you still define it as character data type too?

Yes, it depends on how variables are used within a SAS program.

SAS Tricky Interview Questions

Q31). What can be the size of the largest dataset in SAS?

The length can go up to 32,767 variables for a dataset in SAS.

Q32). Do PROC REPORT’s defaults are different from the PROC PRINT’s defaults or they could be the same as well?

They are generally different by each other but there are certain conditions when meaning for both the options is the same as well.

Q33). Give an example where the meaning of PROC REPORT’s defaults and the PROC PRINT’s defaults is same?

They are the same for variable/columns in position order and rows ordered as they appear in the data set.

Q34). What is the trailing @ and @@ in SAS?

The trailing @ option is used in column pointer to hold the line. At the same time, the trailing @ @ option is used to hold the line even more strongly.

Q35). For the Proc Report, what is the meaning of group and order variables?

When the variables are declared as the group variables then rows with the same values will be collapsed. At the same time, order variables are used to create summary reports and group variables are used for list reports.

Q36). How can the default statistics be defined for the Means Procedures?

These are the mean, standard deviation, n count, maximum, or minimum values etc.

Read: How to Create Stored Procedure & Trigger in SQL Server

Q37). How can you produce the summary reports in SAS?

Use proc report and define the variable as group variable to create the summary report.

Q38). How decimal places can be controlled for the variable when using PROC Means?

Define the MAXDEC= option, and you are done.

Q39). How will you define the Class statement in SAS?

The Class Statement can be applied to any data set even if values are sorted properly or not.

Q40). How can you define the BY Statement in SAS?

For the BY Statement, vales must be first sorted before you use it. free SQL Server demo

SAS Analytics Interview Questions

Q41). How can you generate reports in Proc Means and Proc Summary?

In the case of the Proc Means, reports are generated by default. On the other hand, you should use the Print option to generate a report in Proc Summary.

Q42). How can you specify the variable to be processed in FREQ Procedure?

It can be done by Table Statement.

Q43). How will you use the Proc FREQ and Proc MEANS in SAS?

PROC FREQ is used for category variable and Proc Means is used for numeric variables in SAS.

Q44). For the Proc FREQ, how can you generate the list output for crosstabulations?


TABLES variable-1*variable-2 <*…..variable-n>/ LIST;

Q45). How can you merge or combine datasets in SAS?


data combined;
merge data1 data2;
run;

Q46). How can you define the interleaving in SAS?

The job of interleaving operation is to combine independent multiple sorted data sets into a single combined dataset.


data combined;
set data1 data2;
by year;
run;

With this code, the dataset can be sorted and combined together.

Q47). Which one is more suitable to combine datasets either one-to-one merge or match merge options?

Well, as per my experience, I will recommend using one-to-one merge option than match merge option.

Q48). What do you mean by Append procedure in SAS?

To add one dataset at the end of another dataset, the Append procedure is used in SAS.

Q49). Which procedure is used to analyze the data deeply?

Well, you can BMDP procedure here for data analysis.

Q50). How can you define the Proc UNIVARIATE procedure in SAS?

The variable is suitable for elementary numeric analysis and how well the data is distributed across datasets.

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