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Girish Mukim
Girish Mukim

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How I Passed the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) Exam and How You Can Too

I recently passed the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam, and I want to share my journey with you. This exam is challenging, primarily because it's based on practical scenario-based questions rather than multiple-choice questions. Don't get me wrong; multiple-choice questions have their challenges, but the hands-on nature of the CKA makes it particularly demanding.

Passing the CKA was no easy feat. It took me a lot of preparation and practice to get there, and I want to provide some insights and tips that might help others in their journey.

My CKA Journey

I passed the CKA on my second attempt. Failing the first time was tough, but fortunately, the CKA exam fees cover two attempts. This allowed me to prepare more effectively for my second try without worrying about additional financial costs. When I finally succeeded and posted about my achievement on LinkedIn, I was overwhelmed by the response. The post garnered a lot of interest, and many people reached out to me, asking about my preparation strategies and details about the exam itself. It was clear that there was a significant demand for guidance on this topic, which inspired me to write this blog in the hope that it would help a larger audience.

To give you a bit of background about myself, I come from an infrastructure background with experience as an AWS Solutions Architect. While I had a solid understanding of cloud technologies and infrastructure management, I never had hands-on exposure to Kubernetes before. Preparing for the CKA exam provided me with the opportunity to dive deep into Kubernetes and gain practical experience with this powerful container orchestration platform.


First and foremost, I highly recommend the Udemy course by Mumshad Mannambeth. It covers all the required concepts with practice sessions at the end of each topic. The questions in these practice sessions aren't modeled after actual exam questions but are designed to reinforce the recently learned concepts. The course also includes three mock exams, which are incredibly helpful. I can't recommend these enough.

In addition to the Udemy course, I Googled for CKA questions and practiced using those. After failing the first attempt, I became more cautious and focused on hands-on practice for my second attempt.

If you don't have a practice sandbox, the Udemy course should suffice. However, I also created a sandbox on an AWS EC2 instance. I had some unused AWS credits, so I spun up a t2.medium EC2 instance and used Minikube to create a single-node Kubernetes cluster. This was fairly straightforward. If you're interested, you can refer to the documentation here.

This step is optional but can be beneficial.

Tips and Tricks

Once you pass the exam, you're entitled to share tips and tricks! Isn't it? :-). Here are a few that helped me, not in any particular order:

Familiarize Yourself with Short Names for Resources: Use short names like svc for service and ns for namespaces during your practice. You can find a list of all short names with the command kubectl api-resources.

Use Imperative Commands: Whenever possible, use imperative commands instead of creating manifest files every time. This saves a lot of time.

Use Documentation Effectively: The CKA is an open-book exam, so you can access Kubernetes documentation. Know how to find information quickly and efficiently.

Manage Your Time: Don't get stuck on complex questions. There are a few easy questions that you don't want to miss. Remember, you need to score 66% to pass.

Use Alias for kubectl: If you're comfortable, use alias like k for kubectl. The environment setup already includes alias and autocompletion, so no action is needed. If required, you can find commands in the quick reference here.

Set Context Before Each Question: Remember to set the context before each question. The command will already be given in the question, so ensure you copy and paste it. Try to copy-paste resource names, image names, etc. It's easy to make typos, especially when you're chasing time.

Understand Exam Interface: Before diving into the exam, understand how to navigate the screen, and how to copy and paste. These might seem trivial, but they are important.

Practice, Practice, Practice: This is the most important tip. Hands-on practice was the key difference between my failed and passed attempts. Even if you don't follow the other tips, make sure you follow this one.

Additional Resources
Since practice was the differentiator for me, I've created a free resource for you in the form of a YouTube playlist. You can follow along as I demonstrate various tasks, or just watch to get a feel for the process. I'm sure you'll find it valuable.

Certified Kubernetes Administrator [CKA] 2024 Q&A Series Welcome to the Certified Kubernetes Administrator [CKA] 2024 Q&A Series! This series is designed to ...


With that, I wish you all the best. You're going to ace the Certified Kubernetes Administrator exam. Let me know once you do!

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