Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) : Part-1 : Tips


I recently passed CKA exam and that of capturing some notes that could help with exam preparation. I am planning to create an 8-part series to help with quick review of concepts needed for CKA. It should also help as a quick review of K8s.

I have passed the CKA exam two times - once in 2018 and next time in 2022. Since I took the exam almost 11 months after expiry, I ended up with a new certificate number (more on it in another blog).

How to read through the various parts

Please feel free to go through all the parts (or) any part that You want to have a quick review. However, I would recommend going through the exam tips, as it may help You better organize Your time.

  1. Part-1: Tips - You are reading this blog
  2. Part-2: Storage
  3. Part-3 to Part-8: would update the links here as I publish them

Preparation and Exam Tips

In my recent exam, there were 17 scenarios that need to be solved in 120 minutes. Following these tips, helped me save some time and allowed me work on the questions with less pressure.

  1. Schedule the exam during a time when You are productive, have no interruptions and possibly not during the time when Internet Service Providers come for installation in Your area.
  2. Read through the exam instructions multiple times, before the actual exam. These are available at Linux Foundation training portal, used for scheduling and later launching the exam. It would list K8s version being used, the types of clusters you would work on in the exam.
  3. You could login to the exam 15 minutes before scheduled time. I joined 15 minutes early and it was really helpful as the proctor validation went longer than expected. Proctor was very helpful, kind and very thorough.
  4. I was asked to keep only one browser window open, so I needed to change the tabs when I need to refer to documentation. I copied the needed yaml from reference document to the notepad available for the exam - this would help with format issues as well refer to it while typing the code.
  5. Go through the latest documentation and keep track of where the yaml files that you may need are available. Try it out before the exam - like the text you enter to arrive at a particular page and where the yaml is located in a page.
  6. Keep the kubectl cheat sheet page open. In addition to commands, it has steps for creating basic pod yaml etc.
  7. If you are stuck on a problem, you better move on so that You go through all the questions once without time pressure. This has really helped me since some of the later questions are quick and easy.
  8. Please note the marks assigned to a particular question. In my case, as I remember questions with 4, 7 and 13 marks.
  9. Sometimes you may be able to copy the code using
    wget https://k8s.io/examples/pods/simple-pod.yaml
  10. You could generate yaml using --dry-run=client i.e., preview the object without submitting it to API server
    kubectl run nginx --image=nginx   --dry-run=client -o yaml > pod.yaml
  11. You get the yaml of deployed object using -o yaml option and get command.
    kubectl get pod my-pod -o yaml
  12. Feel free to re-use some of yaml that you have created during the exam as well as the one's given in the questions to quickly create the yaml files.