I achieved Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) and Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) last week. 😝

I wanna share my own experience and might provide tips or tricks to help someone who would like to take these exams in recent days (ya, the content of the exam might change as if Kubernetes release new versions).

Censored for protecting my personal privacy

It’s kinda easy and I took 88 scores on CKA and 98 on CKAD, both only spent 1h20m of 2h (showing off but whatever is meaningless). But damn it, it took me whole the Golden Week for these exams, spending 5 days on CKA and CKAD courses, labs, and simulation exams, another day for exams, the remainder is for Tweet my certificates on Timeline.

Before preparing for these exams, I was doing DevOps stuff in my team, typing kubectl commands every day, and I have read Kubernetes - The Definitive Guide in early 2020. When I take these courses, it was just recapping the architecture of Kubernetes components, but with flow charts, you can understand easier.

So I shall give advice to guys not just wanting wasting time on them in the end of this article.


Take a look at CKA and CKAD exam’s objectives:

CKA general domains and weights

Domain Weight
Cluster Architecture, Installation & Configuration 25%
Workloads & Scheduling 15%
Services & Networking 20%
Storage 10%
Troubleshooting 30%

CKA is for managing the whole Kubernetes cluster, performs installation, configuration, updating, and troubleshooting. So as an administrator, you should be able to install Kubernetes cluster on machines, configure cluster network, create client credentials, and so on.

Lots of things to do, but don’t worry, you are required only the basic knowledge acting as a CKA.

CKAD general domains and weights

Domain Weight
Application Design and Build 20%
Application Deployment 20%
Application Observability and Maintenance 15%
Application Environment, Configuration and Security 25%
Services and Networking 20%

Although CKAD is focused on Application Development, actually it seems to be DevOps works, like learning how to deploy your application by using Kubernetes Resource Manifests.

Notice that these exams only include skills that meet the minimum requirements for managing or being a Developer of a Cloud Native application.

Exam itself

It’s quite invaluable buying CKA/CKAD exam without discounts, it will cost you $375 for just one exam. I purchased CKA and CKAD exam bundle only for $349 in the Black Friday sale.

I’m not sure if it’s worth taking these exams, but there' no better choice otherwise you wanna take AWS certification or other stuff. It’s much easier than CNAA (Cisco Certified Network Associate).

In the exam, you will be asked about 17 questions, multiple Kubernetes clusters are provided, you can switch between them by using kubectl contexts.

Learn about Exam FAQ for more details.

It’s an online proctored exam through PSI and you can take a look at PSI Online Proctoring Experience to learn the environment of the exam.

Piece of cake but it’s annoying that you are asked to clean your working desk and hide books from the bookshelf. You might wanna see others sharing their exam experience, check this Reddit discuss out CKAD Exam - Laptop setup query. I end up hiding my books on the bookshelf covered by a curtain (Ahh).

The Invigilator will “talk” to you in the Chat window, they just sending you message texts and expecting your replies.

Exam User Interface
Exam User Interface

Learn more about Exam User Interface.

Tricks and Advice

If you don’t know where to start, put your sight on this repo, walidshaari/Kubernetes-Certified-Administrator.

Getting yourself familiar with commands in kubectl Cheat Sheet.

Definitely, you do not need to learn JsonPath, It’s a piece of sh*t (even I won’t link a reference here). And do not use confusing alias. You have enough time to get everything working properly.

Useful links for you, Sher-Chowdhury/Kubernetes-Study-Guide.

Sharing you my own Exam Bookmarks, mayocream/CKA-CKAD-Bookmarks.