This is how I passed my CKA Exam (Certified Kubernetes Administrator)


Let me take you through and give you my fair share of tips on how I managed to pass my CKA Exam. My grade was a staggering 68% out of 66%. I am currently working as a Junior DevOps Engineer at a company in Romania and I managed to get this certification for FREE. So read on to see if this can also apply to you, or at least get some great tips on how you can pass it.

Firstly, I do not consider myself a very talented learner, hence the edgy score. But, I did it on my first try and passed it. So I believe you can do it too.

It took me about three months to prepare for this exam without having prior Kubernetes experience, so plan your exam accordingly.

About the exam

Now let me give you some brief details about the exam itself:

  • is two hours long
  • you have 17 questions
  • passing score is 66%
  • has a custom environment inside a browser, and is only replicated by which gives you two free tries before exam
  • you get 2 tries

You can also find more information about this on the internet but this is the main gist of it.

What you need to learn

To pass this exam you should:

  1. do Mumshad Mannambeth Udemy course, take notes and try to understand. Also do every practice exercise to get you hand muscle memory going with the kubernetes commands and environment. Use the documentation page as much as you can and familiarize yourself with it, because it is allwed in the exam.
  2. finally do the mock exams, if you get them wrong the first time, write down what you did wrong, re-learn the stuff and do them again until you pass them
  3. use for an extra bit of practice with their scenarios. You’ll learn some extra stuff there as well.
  4.  research third party materials on YouTube etc. I found that YouTube is not that useful, unfortunately. Many YouTubers have spread-out tutorials which is very annoying because they will not give you everything you need to know in one place.
  5. pay your exam and do the mock test.
    • This will give you an indication of where you are. After you finish the first test, save the web page with the answers so that you can go through them and learn what you did wrong.
    • This exam is slightly HARDER than the actual CKA exam, but not that far away from the real thing.
  6. book your first CKA Exam about 1-2 weeks in advance:
    • Ensure you have a clean, quiet room with a good internet connection in which you can take your exam. Remove all objects that have may have letters or writings on them, like books, sticky notes, TVs, mobile phones, motivational wallpapers.
  7. congrats, you passed!
    • If you fail your first CKA Exam, you still have one try left, so use the downtime to go through the materials again, specifically the parts that you found difficult during the exam. When you have done this, do the mock test exam again and make sure you pass it. Book it again once you can pass the mocktest without problems. You got this!

Exam Tips

Below are some of my exam tips for you to focus on while learning and going through the Udemy course materials.

  • after finishing the Udemy course, look at the current exam curriculum. Try to brush up on your knowledge in those areas where you do not feel comfortable
  • use bash aliases, memorize them, and write them the first thing you start your exam. Then you can use kubectl run testPod –image=busybox $do > testpod.yml to make the .yml file and c testpod.yml to create the pod. Use kn spider-namespace to switch to the spider-namespace namespace and k delete pod $now to delete a pod faster. These aliases help a lot to speed you up so get comfortable with them and develop your own if you want. Here are mine. Open up .bashrc with vi ~/.bashrc and write:
export do="--dry-run=client -o yaml"
export now="--force --grace-period 0"
alias kn='kubectl config set-context --current --namespace'
alias c="kubectl create -f"
  • use vim aliases too. There are no line numbers by default. So, open up .vimrc with vi ~/.vimrc and write:
set nu
set tabstop=2
set autoindent
set expandtab
set shiftwidth=2
  • use imperative commands like k run myPod –image=redis/alpine as much as possible
  • during the exam you can also flag questions, so flag the hard ones and do them last
  • copy-paste as much as possible: you can do it from the question description and the official Kubernetes documentation page. Learn the structure of the Kubernetes docs and feel comfortable copying and pasting the necessary snippets from there.

Can I do the exam for FREE?

Let me share with you my case. I work at a tech company in Romania that offers us FREE Udemy access and Certifications. So this means I could do the Udemy course mentioned here for free. Also, I could do the exam for free, as the company paid. But there was a catch, I would have to pay upfront and they would pay me back only if I got my certification. So had I failed the exam twice, I would have lost the money.

This means that if you are currently working somewhere, try to find out if your employer supports your learning and development. It is a good chance that they help their employees grow their abilities and pay for their training.

If not, you can use this coupon code to get a 20% discount on your exam: 20KODE

Useful resources

If you have any other nice resources to share, leave a comment. I wish you the best of luck with your exam!

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