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CKAD and CKA Exam Tips from 10 People Who Passed the Exam

February 10, 2022 | 8 min read

It’s probably no surprise that getting a Kubernetes certification can be very beneficial to your career. That’s why the number of people who register for the CNCF Kubernetes certifications has continued to increase over the years.

But just like any other certification exam, not everyone passes. This usually happens for many reasons — lack of preparation, not knowing what to expect during the exam, etc.

To help you increase your chances of getting a CNCF Kubernetes certification, I reached out to 10 people who took the exam, passed, and became certified Kubernetes practitioners and asked them to share their most important tip.

Here’s what they said. 👇🏽

1. Saiyam Pathak, DevRel Director at Civo Cloud

If I had to give only one tip for passing the CKAD exam, it that would be to practice the

--dry-run=client -o yaml
command so that you can use that to get the templates for the YAML files you want to create and then modify them according to the question you are asked.

I’d also recommend bookmarking essential pages from the Kubernetes documentation to save you time from searching.

2. Abubakar Siddiq Ango, Developer Evangelist PM at GitLab

Time Management is vital! You will be presented with a number of tasks to complete in 2 hours — some of these tasks have a higher weight in score than others.

I’d recommend that you try not to waste time on questions that will fetch you less score and focus on the ones that will give you a higher score. After you’ve completed them, go back and work on the rest.

Also, knowing your way around the official Kubernetes documentation will save you time as you won’t have to spend time searching for the correct document because you already know where to find it.

3. Ibukun Balogun, Production Support Engineer

To pass the CKA, practice, practice, and when you are done practicing, practice one more time.

The etcd key-value store is the only stateful element in the control plane. So you need to be careful with it. If you do anything on the

etcd
, always ensure the cluster comes back up.

Finally, using an alias can save you some time! Remember, speed is essential during the CKA exam. For example,

alias k=kubectl

4. Idowu Emehinola, SRE at Westwing

The CKAD exam is a practical hands-on exam that must be completed in 2 hours. Due to its practical and time-sensitive nature, it is extremely important for you to be calm and fast at the same time.

Calm because you need your mind to be in the right place while typing and fast because you only have 2 hours to write this exam.

If you think about it, you’ve been studying and preparing for this moment. Just take a deep breath, stay calm and implement all the given tasks. You’ve got this!

5. Emmanuel Bakare, Systems Engineering at AWS Cloud

It is impractical to just read about Kubernetes without practicing. Practicing is what will make you pass the CKAD exam. I’ll recommend checking out and using the practice test simulations on either killer.sh or .

Remember, the goal isn’t to get 100/100. The goal is to pass the exam by reaching the 75% pass score. So, you need to find a balance between answering questions that will aggregate to a higher score than questions that will result in a low score. In essence, time management is vital!

6. Dipo Ajayi, Solutions Architect at Container Solutions

Consistently practicing the mock exam shared after registering for the exam is essential. It will increase your chances of passing the exam.

You can’t cram all the commands needed to pass the exam, so you need to also practice how to quickly get the commands you need from the Kubernetes official documentation (this is the only resource you’ll have access to).

Also, do well to confirm that you are in the right environment (cluster, node, or namespace) before implementing the task and answering the question.

7. Aurélie Vache, DevRel at OVHcloud

Even if you use Kubernetes daily in your job, take several days to train yourself before taking the CKAD exam. You need to practice, practice, and practice.

Understanding how to create, edit, delete and handle resources using the kubectl CLI is extremely important. You won’t pass the exam if you don’t know how to do this.

Always read every question carefully before going straight to writing your

kubectl
commands.

In the exam environment, you can’t use your lovely IDE, so you need to learn how to use Vim.

8. Daman Arora, Software Engineer Intern at Nokia

My ultimate tip for passing the CKA exam would be to get hands-on with the Kubernetes documentation. Honestly, the documentation is your best friend when it comes to preparing for and then taking the CKA exam.

If you start using the Kubernetes documentation at the time of your preparation, it will help you during the exam day to navigate through it faster when you are stuck on a question and trying to find help. I had the important links from the documentation bookmarked in a browser from which I took the exam, which made finding help in the documentation a lot quicker.

Using the k8s documentation effectively would help you beyond just passing the exam. So, try to make the best out of the k8s documentation when taking an exam or even troubleshooting a problem in a real cluster.

9. Uche Nebed, Senior DevOps Engineer at Optiva Inc

One of the major things that helped me pass the exam was going through all the practice test questions shared with me after I registered for the exam. I did this to ensure that I knew the answers before starting the exam. Interestingly, the questions in the practice tests were very similar to the questions asked during the exam.

A practical experience and understanding of Kubernetes is important because you’ll know how to fix any error you encounter.

10. Gustavo Carvalho, Engineer at Container Solutions

You need to be very conversant with Vim — practice until you can adequately edit files without thinking about the process deeply.

Bookmark the YAML files you may need to create, so you can easily access them. Remember, the exam is timed-based, so the faster you are, the better.

Three easy questions are worth more than a hard one. Be as fast as possible when working on easy questions.

Conclusion

I firmly believe that implementing these tips will increase your chances of passing any CNCF Kubernetes certifications, but more specifically, the CKAD or CKA exam as the people who shared these tips have either passed the CKA or CKAD.

Have any other tips? Please share them in the comment section or reach out to me. If I see a lot of great ideas. I can always create another similar article!

Ace the CKAD with me

This article is part of the CKAD Tips weekly series, where I write articles that will enable anyone studying for the CKAD to excel during the examinations. Stay up to date on the latest additions to this series by following us on Medium or Twitter and kickstart your Kubernetes learning on our Kubernetes Developer Learning Center.

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