My CKA Exam Experience(Certified Kubernetes Administrator)

I have recently cleared my CKA exam and i have received a lot of questions from my colleagues about the whole experience. I have decided to pen my thoughts and inputs through this article. It took me 2 attempts to clear this exam. One great thing is that we will get an extra retake exam as a benefit of the COVID days!

As most of you are aware the CKA exam requires a considerable amount of preparation since it focuses on practical/hands-on questions/scenarios rather than a set of Mutiple choice questions.
Below are some personal tips and tricks which I think will be helpful for your preparation.

Exam Tips:

The overall exam preparation took me around 2 months’ preparation (2–3 hours average daily/weekly preparation time = 18hrs)


Here is a step by step guide to a successful certification:

1. A very refined and detailed course is in “Udemy “ by Mumshad Mannambeth. This course has all the minute details about Kubernetes if you are learning from scratch about the orchestrator.

2. This course has a lot of mock exams which will help you and give you a very clear understanding of Kubernetes. I recommend 2–3 practice attempts of each mock exam.

3. You must have good hands-on on Linux command line environment,since you will be dealing with files to edit, delete, save and so on.

4. Kubernetes documentation is extremely vast. It is very important you traverse through the documentation couple of times to get hold of it as you have access to Kubernetes documentation during the exam.

5. Time and Patience plays a key role for this exam.In my first attempt ,I spent quite a long time on some questions due to which I ran out of time and could not finish all the questions.So my recommendation would be for you to try to use time judiciously and spend at max 2 mints per question should be enough to get through all the questions.

6. Create the alias first while starting with your exam. This will also save your time. I can say every second can make a difference.

alias k =”kubectl”
alias kp =”kubectl get pods”
alias kd =”kubectl get deployment”
alias ks =”kubectl get svc”

7. Spend a good amount of time in the troubleshooting part related to cluster and worker nodes before going for the exam.

8. Try to use an imperative way of creating Kubernetes objects where ever its possible rather than writing YAML files to save time.

kubectl run ngnix — image=nginx — dry-run=client -o yaml > nginx.yaml

9. JsonPath is very essential for this exam. There is a free tutorial also available for this.

CKA is a hands-on exam and it’s all about completing 24 questions within 3 hours.

There is no easy way out with the preparation…practice, practice and sheer practice is the key to success here. Also a very economical usage of time and a personal strategy on how to target each question would greatly help crack this exam. Personally I was quite exhausted with the imperative commands during the practice. To summarize, the whole experience including the preparation, the 3 hours of taking the exam with time ticking away and the pressure made me relive the experience of my college days! Quite a brain-booster during COVID i must say!

Wishing you all the best!

Technology Enthusiast