Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) Exam

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Certified Kubernetes administrator (sep 2020)

disclaimer: non official content, errors and omissions excepted


  • 2 hours in duration
  • 20 questions
  • Kubernetes revision is v1.19
  • Pass mark is 66%
  • Cost is $300 dollars and includes one free retake
  • CNCF Exam guide - Five domains covered in the exam

Things to know

Pre Exam Notes

  • Chrome based extension monitors exam machine - Works on any machine supporting Chrome!!
  • Require a decent camera to take an image of identification
  • Do the system check a couple of day before the exam
  • No breaks during two hour exam
  • (Try and) get a good nights sleep before the exam
  • The exam is based on hands on lab exercises!
  • Highly recommend you know how to use Vim
  • Highly recommend you know some Linux commands
  • Buy an exam voucher on Black Friday, valid for a year

Post Exam Notes

  • Pretty comprehensive overview of Kubernetes v1.19.
  • Exam requires you to understand Kubernetes concepts
  • The 2 hours will go really fast - practice speed as well as accuracy
  • Can request feedback on exam result - Well done CNCF!!
  • Exam results sent after 48 hours

Exam Preparation

I used the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) with practice tests on Udemy by Mumshad Mannambeth. Actually I got both the CKA and CKAD as I plan to do both exams at a bargain price of £11.99 each. Meanwhile I read the excellent Kubernetes in Action by Marko Luksa. It's a really well written book and covers more than enough to get you through the exam material. Finally I used my collection of Raspberry Pis to make two 3 node clusters - one for installation configuration and the other for workloads. I was also going to do the LA course as I already have a subscription but ended up not using that.

Taking the Exam

This is an online proctor exam, so a quiet room and camera is mandatory. I logged on 15 mins early to get my machine setup and prepare myself. The exam uses a Chrome extension to monitor your device, there is a compatibility tool to confirm your environment prior to the exam. I took my exam on a Chromebox and this worked fine - although the moderator was confused about which operating system instructions applied. Once you have been given a tour of the environment, it's onto the exam. The exam requires you to work on a designated cluster. Make no mistake, this is probably the most important aspect of the exam - don’t forget to switch to the correct cluster for each question (very easy to do as the 2 hours will fly)!! The questions are broad and test your understanding of both Kubernetes and the pretty awesome documentation. Knowing where configs exist in the documentation will save you heaps of time. Another general timesaver is knowing how to use Tmux, Vim and various linux commands. During the exam, the moderator will periodically give you a countdown to the end of the exam. You can also contact the moderator through chat if needed.

Post the Exam

At the end of the exam, you will be given the standard, exam results will be available within 36 hours. And … then you can use the following days to kick yourself for not completing the questions to the best of your ability. It is a bit of a mad rush in the exam scenario as it can take a fair amount of time to create configs etc. Overall I really enjoyed the experience and having the certification certainly cements my opinion that this is a great exam to take.


A link to an earlier blog post providing an overview of my experience with the Mumshad Mannambeth Udemy Course. Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) with tests

Selected Training material

Source Type Description Rating
Linux Academy Course Exam specific content, good practice questions 3.5/5
Udemy Course Excellent overview and training labs for Kubernetes exam by Mumshad Mannambeth 5/5
Killer.sh Course Excellent training - exam simulator 5/5

Best of luck!