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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
SAS Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers 
2.1.
1. What is SAS?
2.2.
2. List the functions performed by SAS?
2.3.
3. Name the three components in SAS programming.
2.4.
4. What is the SAS Dataset?
2.5.
5. Explain the reason behind double trailing @@ is used in input statements.
2.6.
6. Write the different ways of creating micro variables in SAS programming.
2.7.
7. What is the use of the TRANWRD function?
2.8.
8. Write the default statistics that PROC MEANS produces?
2.9.
9. List some capabilities of the SAS Framework.
2.10.
10. What length does the Scan function give the target variable?
3.
Intermediate SAS Interview Questions and Answers
3.1.
11. How can we remove duplicates using PROC SQL?
3.2.
12. Define PDV.
3.3.
13. Write some of the most common programming errors that occur in SAS?
3.4.
14. Write the difference between using the drop = data set option in the data statement and the set statement?
3.5.
15. How can you Interleave SAS datasets?
3.6.
16. What are _N_ and _ERROR_ in SAS?
3.7.
17. What is the purpose of SUBSTR functions in SAS programming?
3.8.
18. What are the ways in which Macro variables can be created in SAS?
3.9.
19. Name some key concepts of SAS.
3.10.
20. Tell the difference between INPUT and INFILE.
4.
SAS Interview Questions and Answers For Experienced
4.1.
21. How can all the numerical variables be recoded using arrays?
4.2.
22. How can we identify the number of iterations and specific conditions within a single 'do' loop?
4.3.
23. Which SAS program command is used to achieve sorting?
4.4.
24. How are a character variable converted into a numeric variable and vice versa?
4.5.
25. Describe the purpose of the RETAIN statement.
4.6.
26. Describe the function of the output statement in a SAS program.
4.7.
27. Why and when can we use PROC SQL?
4.8.
28. Describe the common mistakes when programming in SAS.
4.9.
29. How will you add a number to a Macro variable?
4.10.
30. Describe Normal Distribution.
5.
Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.
How do I prepare for a SAS interview?
5.2.
What is SAS functionality?
5.3.
What are the capabilities of the SAS framework?
6.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Top 30 SAS Interview Questions and Answers (2023)

Author Sagar Mishra
2 upvotes

Introduction

The Statistical Analytics System (SAS) was developed to handle the massive amounts of data generated every day in an organized and systematic way. Its main role is to create and evaluate data. Then it makes strategic decisions.

sas interview questions

This article will discuss vital SAS Interview Questions that will help you in your interview.

SAS Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers 

1. What is SAS?

This can be the first question you encounter in the list of SAS Interview Questions. Here is the answer.
SAS (Statistical Analytics System) is one of the leading analytics software tools. SAS Institute has developed it. It gives users the ability to alter, manage and retrieve various kinds of data from different sources. And perform statistical analysis on collected data.

2. List the functions performed by SAS?

SAS software lets you perform several operations on data like:

  • Data Management
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Report Writing
  • Business Modeling 
  • Application Development 
  • Quality Improvement 
  • Data Extraction
  • Data Transformation

3. Name the three components in SAS programming.

The three components in SAS are:

  • Statements
  • Variables
  • Datasets

4. What is the SAS Dataset?

The data present for analysis within a SAS application is generally referred to as a SAS data set. The SAS dataset is also known as the SAS data table.
SAS data table has two parts:

  1. Columns of variables
  2. Rows of observation

5. Explain the reason behind double trailing @@ is used in input statements.

This is one of the important SAS Interview Questions. So let us discuss the answer.
Double trailing @@ indicates that SAS should hold the current record to execute the next Input statement. Rather than moving to the new record during data step iteration.

6. Write the different ways of creating micro variables in SAS programming.

The different ways of creating micro variables are:

  • %Global
  • Macro parameters
  • %Let
  • Call Symput
  • Proc SQL into clause

7. What is the use of the TRANWRD function?

The TRANWRD function manages the functionality for search and replacement. All instances of given words are removed and replaced. In both the target string and the replacement string, trailing blankets are not removed.

8. Write the default statistics that PROC MEANS produces?

Below are the default statistics PROC MEANS produces:

  • N
  • MN
  • MAX
  • MEAN
  • STD DEV

9. List some capabilities of the SAS Framework.

Some capabilities of SAS Framework are:

  • Access
  • Manage
  • Analyze
  • Present

10. What length does the Scan function give the target variable?

This question may look simple, but this is one of the tricky SAS Interview Questions. And the answer to the above question is:
The SCAN function returns a provided word from a character string using default and specific delimiters. The length allotted to the target variable by the scan function is 200.

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Intermediate SAS Interview Questions and Answers

11. How can we remove duplicates using PROC SQL?

This is an important question in the series of SAS Interview Questions.
We can remove duplicates by:

Proc SQL noprint;
Create Table inter.Merged1 as
Select distinct * from inter.readin ;
Quit;

12. Define PDV.

The PDV or Program Data Vector represents the logical area in the memory. One observation at a time is collected to form a dataset. During compilation, an input buffer is made to retain a record from an external file. The PDV is created after the input buffer creation.

13. Write some of the most common programming errors that occur in SAS?

The most common programming errors are:

  • Missing semicolon
  • Not checking the log after submitting the program
  • Unmatched quotation marks
  • Invalid dataset option
  • Invalid statement option
  • Not using the FSVIEW option vigorously
  • Not using debugging techniques

14. Write the difference between using the drop = data set option in the data statement and the set statement?

Specify the drop = data set option in the set statement if you don't want to process a particular variable and do not want them to appear in the new data set.
Instead, use the drop = data set option in the data statement to process any variables that you don't want to appear in the new data set.

15. How can you Interleave SAS datasets?

We can combine various sorted data sets into a single sorted data set via interleaving. A SET statement and a BY statement are used to interleave data. The data sets we want to interleave are specified using the SET statement. And the variable on which we want the final data set to be sorted is defined using the BY statement.
We can interleave as many data sets as we want. The number of observations in the new data set is the sum of the observations in the original data sets.

16. What are _N_ and _ERROR_ in SAS?

The _N_ variable and the _ERROR_ variable automatically create variables found in a SAS Data Step.

  • _N_: This variable keeps track of how frequently a data step is repeated. The value is initially set to 1. The value grows each time the data step of a data statement is repeated
     
  • _ERROR_: This variable detects errors during execution, including input data, math, conversion, etc. The value is set to 0 by default

17. What is the purpose of SUBSTR functions in SAS programming?

In SAS programming, the SUBSTR function is utilized in the case of a character variable whenever the program needs to abstract a substring.
This function abstracts character strings when a start position and length are given.

Syntax: 
SUBSTR(char_var, start,length);

18. What are the ways in which Macro variables can be created in SAS?

There are many methods by which Macro variables can be created. Some of them are listed below:

  • %Let Statements
  • Macro parameters
  • %Do Statements
  • INTO in PROC SQL
  • CALL SYMPUTX routine

19. Name some key concepts of SAS.

Some key concepts of SAS are:

  • SORT procedure
  • Missing values
  • KEEP=, DROP= dataset options
  • Data step logic
  • Reset to missing, or the RETAIN statement
  • Log
  • FORMAT procedure for creating value formats
  • Data types
  • IN= dataset option

20. Tell the difference between INPUT and INFILE.

While an INPUT statement in SAS programming explains the variables used, an INFILE statement in SAS programming indicates an external file that contains the data.

Syntax of INPUT is
INPUT ‘varname1’ ‘varname2’;

Syntax of INFILE is
INFILE 'filename';
 

SAS Interview Questions and Answers For Experienced

21. How can all the numerical variables be recoded using arrays?

You can add this question as an important one to your SAS Interview Questions list as you will encounter these types of questions in the interview.
We can use both _numeric_ and dim functions in the array to recode all the numeric variables. 

data readin;
array Q(*) _numeric_;
do i=1 to dim(Q);
if Q(i)=6 then Q(i)=.;
end;
run;

22. How can we identify the number of iterations and specific conditions within a single 'do' loop?

The following code will help you to identify the number of iterations and specific conditions within a single 'do' loop:

data work;
do i=1 to 20 until(Sum>=20000);
Year+1;
Sum+2000;
Sum+Sum1*.10;
end;
Run;

In this code, the do statement enables you to execute the do loop until the sum is greater than or equal to 20,000 units; it occurs ten times.

23. Which SAS program command is used to achieve sorting?

Sorting can be done on single or multiple variables using the PROC SORT command. This operation is carried out on the dataset where, as a result of sorting, a new data set is created while the original data set is left unchanged.
Syntax:

PROC SORT DATA=original OUT=Sorted;
BY variable;

Here, 'Original' means the original dataset
'Sorted' means result as a sorted dataset
'Variable' is the column on which sorting is done.
We can perform Sorting in both ascending and descending.
The keyword "Descending" must be used in the BY statement. Including the name of the column being sorted for the dataset to display in descending order.
Syntax:

PROC SORT DATA=original OUT=Sorted;
BY DESCENDING variable

24. How are a character variable converted into a numeric variable and vice versa?

In the context of SAS programming, there are multiple tasks where a character value is to be converted into a numeric number and vice versa.
In the context of SAS programming, there are many tasks where a character value is to be converted into a numeric number and vice versa.
We can use Put() method to convert a numeric value to a character.
Example:
char_var= PUT( num_var, 7.);

And, We can use Input() method to convert a character to numeric.
Example:
Num_var= INPUT(char_var,3.0);

25. Describe the purpose of the RETAIN statement.


The RETAIN statement has the same goal in SAS programming as its name implies because the word "RETAIN" means to keep a value after it has been assigned.
When a SAS program has to go from one data step iteration to the next, the RETAIN command tells SAS to retain the values instead of setting them to missing.
Example:

data abc;
set xyz;
RETAIN z 0;
z = z + 1;
run;

Here, we have displayed the output value of 'z' starting from 1 by using the RETAIN statement.

26. Describe the function of the output statement in a SAS program.

The output statement assists in saving summary statistics in a SAS data set. So that custom reports can be created or that past details about a process can be kept.
We can use the output statement in the following ways:

  • Stating the name of the output data set
  • Stating the statistics to be saved in the output data set
  • Computing and Storing the percentile that was not calculated automatically by the CAPABILITY procedure
     

27. Why and when can we use PROC SQL?

When compared to a data step merge, PROC SQL is far more practical for performing table joins. Because it doesn't require the sorting of the key columns before the join, for processing that occurs sequentially, observation following observation, a data step is more appropriate.
If you want to filter the variables while selecting them, or you want to modify them, format them, or create new macro variables, PROC SQL can save you a vast amount of time. Together with data subsetting. For joining tables, PROC SQL provides a lot of freedom.

28. Describe the common mistakes when programming in SAS.

Following are some common mistakes in SAS.

  • Quotation marks do not match
  • No debugging techniques are used
  • The record option is invalid, or the statement option is invalid
  • Log entries for transferred programs are not checked
  • The data is not sorted before using an instruction that requires sorting

29. How will you add a number to a Macro variable?

Using %sysevalf function or %eval function if the number is a floating number.
We can call the macro with the below code:

CALL SYMPUT,
Proc SQL,
%LET statement and macro parameters.

30. Describe Normal Distribution.

The distribution of data can vary, with a bias to the left or right, or it can all be mixed up.
However, there is a chance that data will be distributed normally, or in the shape of a bell curve, around a center value without any bias to the left or right. The distribution of the random variables resembles a symmetrical bell curve.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare for a SAS interview?

Learn about the different SAS procedures and functions and practice the above SAS interview questions. Make sure to practice writing SAS code.

What is SAS functionality?

SAS functionality mostly includes data management, performing statistical analysis, creating data visualization like charts, graphs, etc. and business intelligence reports such as dashboards.

What are the capabilities of the SAS framework?

The SAS framework has a number of capabilities such as Scalability, as it can be easily scaled to handle large data sets, Interoperability, as it can be integrated with other applications, and Extensibility, it can be extended to add new functionality, and lastly, SAS framework can be used to secure and protect sensitive data.

Conclusion

We have discussed the topic of SAS Interview Questions. We have seen different types of SAS Interview Questions that are asked in the SAS Interview.

We hope this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge of SAS Interview Questions. If you want to learn more, check out our articles, Operating System Interview Questions, HCL HR Interview QuestionsLWC interview questionsDB2 Interview Questions, and many more on our platform Coding Ninjas Studio.

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