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Bhushan Pathak
Bhushan Pathak

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My CKA Exam Experience

In this post, I am sharing my experience of Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam, how you should prepare for it and what you could expect in the exam. So let’s get started.

About the exam

I took the exam on January 25th, 2023. It was conducted on Kubernetes v1.26.00. The Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam evaluates your knowledge in the following areas:

Domain Weight
Cluster Architecture, Installation & Configuration 25%
Workloads & Scheduling 15%
Services & Networking 20%
Storage 10%
Troubleshooting 30%

You can start the pre-exam process 30 minutes before the scheduled exam time. This includes setting up a PSI browser, as this is a proctored exam. The proctor will verify your identity and the environment around you. This process takes up to 10 minutes.

Once verification is complete, the proctor will start the exam and you will have 2 hours to answer all the questions. The questions are designed to resemble real-world scenarios.

It is essential to ensure you have a stable internet connection for your exam. If you lose connectivity, you must go through the verification process again, which can take up valuable exam time. Unfortunately, I experienced this twice during my exam, costing me around 30 minutes. I had to rush to finish the exam.

How to prepare

I purchased Mumshad Mannambeth's course on Udemy. It covers almost all the concepts related to the course. When you buy the course, you get free access to KodeKloud. It's a great learning experience to solve the practice tests available there. Make sure to attempt them until you can answer all the questions correctly and within the time limit. (Note: this is not an advertisement! 😉)

Apart from this, you get 2 free practice tests on which you should attempt once you are sure and confident about the topics. Both the tests contain same 25 questions which you can attempt twice. Once you activate the test, the session is available for 36 hours and you will face some tougher challenges when you take this simulated exam. It is already mentioned on killer that these tests are a bit tougher than the actual CKA exam but this is true to only a certain extent. I recommend attempting these tests with full preparation. If you are able to solve most of the questions, you should be able to complete the CKA exam within the allotted time.

In the CKA exam, I encountered 17 questions (which I can't disclose due to the agreement). Some were short, some were long. It's important to remember that each question has a different weighting, so you can prioritize the ones with higher weighting to increase your chances of passing. You can also leave a question unanswered and come back to it later.

During the exam

You can spend initial time setting up the terminal and editor. I used nano for YAML files, but it doesn't matter; vim is also popular. You can configure your .bashrc file with the following aliases and exports:

export do="--dry-run=client -o yaml"
export now="--grace-period 0 --force"

# if alias is not set
alias k=kubectl
complete -o default -F __start_kubectl k
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You can also edit .vimrc or .nanorc files. In my case, I edited the .nanorc file (if it isn't present, create it) with the following:

set tabsize 4
set tabstospaces
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Whenever possible, use the imperative approach with kubectl to save time and effort, rather than relying solely on the declarative approach. It is important to become familiar with all the various imperative commands and how to use them effectively. However, if you face an issue that cannot be solved through the imperative approach alone, consider combining both approaches for a more comprehensive solution. This may require some extra effort, but it can be worth it in the end as it can lead to more effective and efficient results.

Reading the documentation is the most underrated skill (Not said by me, but it inspired me). It is essential to go through the official Kubernetes documentation at least once. You may discover features that are not included in the course you purchase. Going through official documentation is always a good practice as it provides in-depth knowledge about the topics and empowers you beyond what any course can offer.

That’s all from the CKA perspective. Happy learning!

Top comments (7)

patrick_londa profile image
Patrick Londa

Thanks for sharing your journey preparing and taking this exam, @bhushan_pathak! Sorry to hear you had those internet issues during the exam!

bhushan_pathak profile image
Bhushan Pathak

Thanks for reading the post!

ellativity profile image
Ella (she/her/elle)

But @bhushan_pathak, did you pass or will you be retaking sometime soon?

This was a great read: some useful recommendations with a strong narrative. I would love to read more of your posts!

Also, I'm always here for the documentation props. Keep on showing love to the docs!

bhushan_pathak profile image
Bhushan Pathak

Hi @ellativity, I did pass the exam and I am not planning on retaking it. I scored only 72 since I lost 1/4th of the time plus I made a really silly mistake of moving static Kubernetes manifest files out of /etc/kubernetes/manifests folder and forgot to move it back so that cluster and questions on that cluster by default became wrong lol!.

Thanks for reminding me this, I should have mentioned this in the post!!

ellativity profile image
Ella (she/her/elle)

Congratulations! (I wanted to know if we could celebrate with you!)

I can completely understand how you might end up making mistakes that are out of character, when you're in the situation where you have to re-authenticate your exam every time the internet cuts out!

I love how online exams have made certifications possible for people in areas where they wouldn't otherwise have access to an in-person testing center, but the methods we use are still so dependent on technology that has limited distribution. Until the time arrives when we have widespread dependable internet (and consistent electricity supply), it would be great if someone used a lightweight time-limited module that you could download to your device, complete in the allotted time (with an automatic pause function in the event of a power outage), and then reconnect to the internet to upload again.

I'm not a dev, but just sayin' y'all could probably build something like this between all the clever people we have in this community...

Thread Thread
bhushan_pathak profile image
Bhushan Pathak

It's very true what you have said, all thanks to the internet that I am able to give certification exam remotely! 🤞

And they indeed use a lightweight PSI browser, it is a tool which basically connects to their virtual machine and provides us access to it as an RDP session I guess.
The only problem is that since someone can take advantage of the power outage situation and cheat during the exam. This is where everything becomes tricky since the proctor is not physically present, so even when it's a genuine power outage reason, you are bound to suffer!

I guess the only thing that we can do is be on time and hope that any such issues do not occur... 😂

Anyway, hoping that we will soon see something which will address these issues as well.

And thank you for the wishes 🙌

liam0 profile image
liam adam

The CKA Practice Questions are usually similar in format to the actual CKA certification exam, with a combination of multiple-choice, true or false, and practical questions that require hands-on experience with Kubernetes. Practicing with these questions can help candidates gain confidence and improve their time management skills, which is essential for passing the CKA exam.