How to Pass Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) 2024

Get ready to conquer the CKA exam with our comprehensive study guide. Enhance your Kubernetes knowledge, optimize your preparation, and achieve success

This CKA Exam study guide is here to help you get ready for the CKA Certification exam. It includes all the stuff you need. CKA is a top Kubernetes certification that focuses on how to develop with Kubernetes.

In this guide, I’ll share all the resources you’ll need to prepare for the CKA exam. Plus, I’ll give you tips that helped me pass the CKA exam with a score of 98 out of 100.

CKA Exam certification

What is Kubernetes ?

CKA Exam Kubernetes

Kubernetes, also referred to as “kube” or “k8s,” is software that automatically manages, scales, and maintains multi-container workloads in desired states.

Why use Kubernetes?

One of the benefits of Kubernetes is that it makes building and running complex applications much simpler. Here’s a handful of the many Kubernetes features:

  1. Standard services like local DNS and basic load-balancing that most applications need, and are easy to use.
  2. Standard behaviors (e.g., restart this container if it dies) that are easy to invoke, and do most of the work of keeping applications running, available, and performant.
  3. A standard set of abstract “objects” (called things like “pods,” “replicasets,” and “deployments”) that wrap around containers and make it easy to build configurations around collections of containers.
  4. A standard API that applications can call to easily enable more sophisticated behaviors, making it much easier to create applications that manage other applications.

What Is CKA (Certified Kubernetes Administrator) Exam?

The official CNCF certification page says :

The purpose of the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) program is to provide assurance that CKAs have the skills, knowledge, and competency to perform the responsibilities of Kubernetes administrators.

Register for the CKA Certification [Save 20% Today]

To begin your journey of becoming a Certified Kubernetes Administrator – start by registering for the exam on the Linux Foundation portal.

Register today and use our exclusive coupon code TECK20 for the CKAD exam to get a 20% discount on CKAD (and KCNA, CKA, and CKS certifications ). This code expires soon.

CKA Exam Voucher: Use coupon Code TECK20 at checkout

Hurry Up: Offer valid or Limited Time  ⏳

  • Upon registration, you have ONE YEAR to schedule and complete the exam.
  • The CKA exam is conducted online and remotely proctored.
  • To pass the exam, you must achieve a score of 66% or higher.
  • CKA Certification is valid for 3 years. If you give the exam after April 1st 2024, it will be valid for only two years
  • You are allowed a maximum of 2 attempts to take the test. However, if you miss a scheduled exam for any reason, your second attempt will be invalidated.
  • Free access to killer.sh for the CKA practice exam.

Note

 Save $80 Today on CKA | CKAD | CKS certification using the Voucher code TECK20 .

Offer Ends Soon !

Note: You can always check the latest Kubernetes Certification Voucher Codes to save costs on the CKA, CKAD, and CKS certification registration

CKA Certification Preparation Guide

This section will go over resources and links that can help you prepare for the CKA exam and pass the CKA certification with very good score.

CKA Exam Prerequisites

CKA does not require any candidate to have any other certification before they can appear for the CKA exam. The only thing required to clear the exam is a conceptual and practical understanding of Kubernetes’s components and native objects. Also a lot of hands-on practice.

Personally I preferred to start with CKAD as it offers a narrower focus and a good foundation for understanding Kubernetes. Others might prefer diving into CKA directly, especially if they have experience with Kubernetes administration.

To get started with CKAD Exam Preparation journey check our certification Study Guide here :

CKA Exam Details

Exam Duration2 hours
Pass Percentage66%
CKA exam kubernetes versionKubernetes v1.29
CKA Validity3 Years
Exam Cost$395 $316 ( GET 20 % OFF using Coupon TECK20)
CKA Exam Details

The CKA exam is an open-book exam i.e. you can use the following websites while you are taking the exam.

  1. https://kubernetes.io/docs/
  2. https://github.com/kubernetes/
  3. https://kubernetes.io/blog/ and their subdomains. This includes all available language translations of these pages (e.g. https://kubernetes.io/zh/docs/)

CKA Exam Environment

The CKA exam environment consists of six clusters ( running Kubernetes v1.29) , each composed of a different number of nodes.

ClusterMembersCNIDescription
k8s1 master, 2 workerflannelk8s cluster
hk8s1 master, 2 workercalicok8s cluster
bk8s1 master, 1 workerflannelk8s cluster
wk8s1 master, 2 workerflannelk8s cluster
ek8s1 master, 2 workerflannelk8s cluster
ik8s1 master, 1 base nodeloopbackk8s cluster − missing workernode
  • To ensure efficiency and minimize context switching, each task in the exam must be completed within a designated cluster/configuration context.
  • The tasks are thoughtfully grouped together so that all questions pertaining to a particular cluster are presented consecutively.

CKA Exam Syllabus

The following table has the domains and competencies part of the syllabus along with their respective weightage.

TopicSubtopicsWeightage
Cluster Architecture, Installation & Configuration1. Manage role based access control (RBAC)
2. Use Kubeadm to install a basic cluster
3. Manage a highly-available Kubernetes cluster
4. Provision underlying infrastructure to deploy a Kubernetes cluster
5. Perform a version upgrade on a Kubernetes cluster using Kubeadm
6. Implement etcd backup and restore
25 %
Workloads & Scheduling1. Understand deployments and how to perform rolling update and rollbacks
2. Use ConfigMaps and Secrets to configure applications
Know how to scale applications
3. Understand the primitives used to create robust, self-healing, application deployments
4. Understand how resource limits can affect Pod scheduling
5. Awareness of manifest management and common templating tools
15 %
Services & Networking1. Understand host networking configuration on the cluster nodes
2. Understand connectivity between Pods
3. Understand ClusterIP, NodePort, LoadBalancer service types and endpoints
4. Know how to use Ingress controllers and Ingress resources
5. Know how to configure and use CoreDNS
6. Choose an appropriate container network interface plugin
20 %
Storage1. Understand storage classes, persistent volumes
2. Understand volume mode, access modes and reclaim policies for volumes
3. Understand persistent volume claims primitive
4. Know how to configure applications with persistent storage
10 %
Troubleshooting1. Evaluate cluster and node logging
2. Understand how to monitor applications
3. Manage container stdout & stderr logs
4. Troubleshoot application failure
5. Troubleshoot cluster component failure
6. Troubleshoot networking
30 %
CKA Exam Syllabus

CKA Practice Labs

The best way to prepare for the CKA Certification exam is to get a clear understanding of the concepts involved and do a lot of hands-on practice.

Even if you’re actively working in Kubernetes production environments, you’ll still need to practice to pass the exam

The CKA exam doesn’t include multiple-choice questions, so hands-on practice is essential

The Practice Labs are a great way to reinforce your learning and increase your confidence in taking the CKA exam.

KillercodaIt is an interactive learning platform and a shell script for the CKA exam
Play with Kubernetes (PWK)It is an online learning platform to practice and test your Kubernetes skills. PWK provides hands-on experience through real-world examples.

CKA Certification Learning Path

You are a Newbie

This roadmap provides a structured approach to learning the fundamentals of Linux, containers, and Kubernetes. With dedication and consistent practice, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the world of cloud-native computing and advanced DevOps.

Here’s a recommended roadmap for beginners to embark on this fascinating learning journey:

Linux for Beginners

  1. Introduction to Linux: Gain a comprehensive understanding of the history, philosophy, and core principles of Linux.
  2. Linux Shell: Master the command-line interface, including essential commands like cd, ls, mkdir, rm, and touch.
  3. Linux Kernel: Delve into the heart of Linux, exploring its architecture, components, and role in managing system resources.
  4. RunLevels: Understand the concept of RunLevels and how they determine the system’s startup behavior.
  5. FileTypes: Familiarize yourself with the various file types and their usage in Linux systems.
  6. RPM/YUM: Learn about the RPM package management system and how to use YUM to install, update, and remove packages.
  7. DPKG/APT: Understand the DPKG package management system and how to use APT to manage packages in Debian-based distributions.
  8. APG (Advanced PGP): Explore the concept of encryption and learn how to use APG to generate and manage cryptographic keys.
  9. vi Editor: Master the vi text editor, one of the most prevalent editors in the Linux ecosystem.

Networking Fundamentals

  1. Network Basics: Grasp the fundamental concepts of networking, including IP addressing, routing, and network protocols.
  2. DNS (Domain Name System): Understand how DNS resolves domain names into IP addresses, enabling internet navigation.
  3. SSH (Secure Shell): Learn how to establish secure remote connections using SSH, a crucial tool for managing Linux systems remotely.
  4. SCP (Secure Copy): Master SCP for securely transferring files between Linux systems over SSH connections.
  5. iptables: Delve into the world of iptables, the Linux firewall tool used to control network traffic.

Containers and Kubernetes

  1. Introduction to Containers: Gain a thorough understanding of the concept of containers, their benefits, and how they differ from virtual machines.
  2. Docker: Master Docker, the leading containerization platform, for creating, running, and managing containers.
  3. Kubernetes: Explore Kubernetes, the container orchestration platform, for deploying, managing, and scaling containerized applications.
  4. Networking in Containers: Understand networking concepts specific to containers, including Docker networking and Kubernetes networking.
  5. Kubernetes Deployments and Services: Learn how to deploy and manage containerized applications using Kubernetes deployments and services.
  6. Kubernetes Scaling: Master Kubernetes scaling techniques to automatically adjust application resources based on demand.
  7. Kubernetes Observability: Explore tools and techniques for monitoring and troubleshooting Kubernetes clusters.
  8. Security in Kubernetes: Understand security considerations and best practices for securing Kubernetes deployments.

Finally check this Udemy Course :

I recommend going for the CKA preparation course by Mumshad. His course has a lot of quizzes and the quality is top-notch.

To practice for the CKA exam, you can try the Mock exams. It will help you build confidence and practice many scenarios for the exam.

If you spend 2 Hours a day learning you will ≈ 5-6 Months to complete preparation

You Know Kubernetes

I recommend simply going for the CKA preparation course by Mumshad. His course has a lot of quizzes and the quality is top-notch.

To practice for the CKA exam, you can try the Mock exams. It will help you build confidence and practice many scenarios for the exam.

If you spend 2 Hours a day learning you will ≈ 2-3 Months to complete preparation

CKA Exam Study Resources

Here, I will be discussing official Kubernetes resources and Syllabus that can be used to prepare for each topic of the CKA exam. You can use these documentation pages during the exam for reference.

Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) Study Guide

Some Unofficial Useful CKA Resources

  1. Understand kubernetes SSL certificates
  2. Simulator for hands-on practice
  3. Vim shortcuts. This will help you save time on exams.
  4. Hands-on CKA practical question bank on Github

Top 7 CKA exam tips and tricks

Practice , Practice , Practice …

This exam is hands-on in nature, emphasizing the importance of proficiency with the Kubernetes command line interface (kubectl).

My advices are :

Cultivate a high level of comfort and familiarity with kubectl, practicing the art of typing commands swiftly and accurately.

Enroll in the two killer,sh, hands-on sessions and aim for outstanding scores in order to thoroughly prepare yourself before attempting the actual exam.

Make sure to practice using Vim as it is a crucial tool for the CKA exam. The exam environment does not offer IDEs like VSCode, so being proficient in Vim will greatly expedite your task-solving abilities.

Use the short name of K8s Resources

Short nameFull name
cmconfigmaps
dsdaemonsets
deploydeployments
ependpoints
evevents
hpahorizontalpodautoscalers
ingingresses
limitslimitranges
nsnamespaces
nonodes
pvcpersistentvolumeclaims
pvpersistentvolumes
popods
rsreplicasets
rcreplicationcontrollers
quotaresourcequotas
saserviceaccounts
svcservices

Useful commands or parameters during the exam

# Use "kubectl describe" for related events and troubleshooting
kubectl describe pods <podid>

# Use "kubectl explain" to check the structure of a resource object.
kubectl explain deployment --recursive

# Add "-o wide" in order to use wide output, which gives you more details.
kubectl get pods -o wide

# Check always all namespaces by including "--all-namespaces"
kubectl get pods --all-namespaces

# Show labels for all pods (or any other Kubernetes object that supports labelling)
kubectl get pods --show-labels

# create a service
kubectl create service clusterip my-service --tcp=8080 --dry-run=client -o yaml

# create a deployment
kubectl create deployment nginx --image=nginx --dry-run=client -o yaml

# create a pod
kubectl run nginx --image=nginx --restart=Never --dry-run=client -o yaml

Use dry run to generate yaml

During the exam, creating K8s resources like pods, deployments, and services from scratch can be time-consuming and challenging to remember their entire structure. To simplify this process, you can use the “dry run” feature to generate a basic YAML file. Then, modify the generated file as needed before using it to create the required resources.

For instance, to address the question of creating an nginx pod with specific resource limits (memory: 1M, CPU: 500m), follow these commands:

Generate the YAML file with dry run:

k run nginx --image=nginx --dry-run=client -o yaml > pod.yaml

Modify the “pod.yaml” file to add the resource limit settings.

Create the pod using the modified YAML file:

k create -f pod.yaml

To save time on input, you can define a shell variable for the --dry-run=client -o yaml option like this:

export do="--dry-run=client -o yaml"

Then, you can use the defined variable in the command like this:

k run nginx --image=nginx $do > pod.yaml

By employing the “dry run” and shell variable approach, you can efficiently create K8s resources and manage their configurations during the exam.

Time management

Since you will be executing the kubectl command multiple times, setting up aliases can save you valuable seconds with each entry. For instance, assigning an alias like ‘k’ for ‘kube-control’ can potentially grant you an additional minute or two towards the end of the exam

alias k=kubectl

Review Completed Tasks

After each question, it is crucial to review your work meticulously to ensure accuracy. Avoid the risk of spending 10-15 minutes on a question and unintentionally overlooking potential errors

For example, if you have made changes to the kubelet during a task, it is highly recommended to check its status before moving on to another task. This verification step ensures that the kubelet is functioning as expected after the modifications. To check the kubelet’s status, use the following command:

systemctl status kubelet

Stress Management

You will be able to complete the exam in 2 hours.
PLEASE DON’T get panic because :

  • First: if it is your first attempt then you have the other left.
  • Second: is that you only need 66 % to crack the exam 🙂

Configuration Management during the Exam

As mentioned previously, the CKA exam environment consists of six clusters, each with its own dedicated set of nodes. It is essential to emphasize the significance of switching contexts correctly between these clusters before attempting any tasks in the exam.

One common mistake individuals make is performing actions on the wrong cluster. To avoid this, ensure that you carefully switch the context to the intended cluster before executing any commands or tasks. Paying close attention to this detail will help maintain accuracy throughout the exam and prevent errors caused by working on the wrong cluster

At the start of each task you’ll be provided with the command to ensure you are on the correct cluster to complete the task , for example :

kubectl config use-context k8s

An example of command to ssh to a master node during a kubernetes cluster update :

ssh mk8s-master-0 

Us elevated privileges on the master node :

sudo -i

CKA Question & Answers

QuestionResponse
Schedule Pod on Master NodeCheck Github HERE
Storage, PV, PVC, Pod volumeCheck Github HERE
RBAC ServiceAccount Role RoleBindingCheck Github HERE
DaemonSet on all NodesCheck Github HERE
Deployment on all NodesCheck Github HERE
Multi Containers and Pod shared VolumeCheck Github HERE
Create Secret and mount into PodCheck Github HERE
Update Kubernetes Version and join clusterCheck Github HERE
NetworkPolicyCheck Github HERE
Etcd Snapshot Save and Restore

CKA Exam FAQs

Is CKA exam difficult?

CKA is a tricky exam, but you can take it with a good plan, consistent study, and practice. The preparation may take some of your family’s time, but the result makes you feel confident about this cutting-edge technology.

Which is easier? CKA or CKAD?

CKAD exam is comparatively easier than CKA as deals with cluster administration and troubleshooting. At the same time, CKAD is more focused on application deployments and troubleshooting.

Is there any coupon code for the CKA Exam?

Yes , we offer 20% on CKA exam registration using the coupon code TECK20.

How many attempts are there for CKA?

Retake Policy: You get a maximum of 2 attempts (per exam registration) to take the exam.

What should I do after CKA?

You should aim for CKS Exam. Candidates must have finished and passed the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam before actually taking the Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) exam.

Can I retake the CKA exam if I fail?

es, you can retake the CKA exam if you don’t pass on your first attempt. However, there may be a waiting period before you can retake the exam, so it’s important to thoroughly prepare and give your best effort.

Can I use an Extended Monitor For CKA Exam?

Yes. you can connect an extended monitor to a single computer as long as you have the camera attached to it

Conclusion

Congratulations on completing our comprehensive CKA exam study guide.

By following the roadmap we’ve provided and mastering the essential concepts, you’re well on your way to becoming a Certified Kubernetes Administrator. Remember to practice regularly, explore additional resources, and stay up to date with the latest Kubernetes developments. Best of luck in your CKA exam journey!

Check Other Kubernetes Exams Study Guides :

Author

  • Mohamed BEN HASSINE

    Mohamed BEN HASSINE is a Hands-On Cloud Solution Architect based out of France. he has been working on Java, Web , API and Cloud technologies for over 12 years and still going strong for learning new things. Actually , he plays the role of Cloud / Application Architect in Paris ,while he is designing cloud native solutions and APIs ( REST , gRPC). using cutting edge technologies ( GCP / Kubernetes / APIGEE / Java / Python )

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