Both “Certified Kubernetes Administrator” (CKA) and “Application Developer” (CKAD) certifications are hands-on, covering almost one topic, and are nearly the same as they overlap in scope. It will be just perfect for getting prepared and ready for both exams and thus spending less preparation time and efforts. However, this mainly depends on your inspirations and goals for sure and your ability to keep up with such challenges. :)

1. CKA & CKAD in a nutshell:

Kubernetes CKA and CKAD will be upgraded to v1.19 in September 2020. The exam objectives and weights are also going to be updated. The major differences are shared with you in the curriculum.

Both of the exam vouchers provide a Free Retake. Thus, I recommend using the first attempt as a good exercise to get familiar with the exam with “No-Stress”.

Exam Location

Don’t forgot your laptop 🙏 ;)

An examiner will be supervising you based on Remote Screen viewing, Video and Audio. This means that whispering is not even allowed during the exam. Breaks are allowed, but the clock will not freeze and continue counting down.

The clock is not your enemy, if you’re well prepared!

Exam Prerequisites

The results will be provided in a maximum of 36 hours starting from the exam completion time. Mines were received more than 30 hours after the exam completion time.

Recommended Courses

  • Use the magic of Katakoda to get started,
  • Play with Kubernetes using Kubernetes-Labs,
  • Use KodeKloud Labs to practice, practice && practice,
  • Avoid losing time on Linux Academy courses as they are bad quality and will not help you much on the CKA/CKAD.

Kubernetes the easy way:

2. Learn Kubernetes the Hard Way (A must for CKA)

Try deploying a cluster using Kubeadm and then use the “hard way” by Kelsey Hightower for a better experience. KodeKloud covered you already.

3. Master the documentations

4. Practice, Practice && Practice

4.A Deploy Kubernetes 1.17

4.B Get familiar with Cluster upgrades

Breakup your cluster and troubleshoot it, you’ll be the K8s God.

4.C Be a Kubectl heavy-eater

Read the command-line tool references thoroughly and practice the Kubectl, vim, file redirection, grep.

Rely on Kubectl autocompletion:

source <(kubectl completion bash)

Make use of the -help option “kubectl <command> -help”, as it includes a lot of ready to use examples.

Rely on “explain” commands

kubectl explain deployment
kubectl explain pod.spec.containers

Learn how to switch contexts smoothly

Switching contexts between the clusters is provided already during the exam. Ensure changing context for each of the questions.

kubectl config set-context --current --namespace <NANESPACE>

Master JsonPath

Be comfortable with formatting the output of the kubectl command, with ordering and filtering the output. This might be requested during the exam.

kubectl get pods -o=jsonpath=”{range .items[*]}{.spec.nodeName}”

Play with field selectors > Example is showing pods that are running on a specific node

kubectl get pods -A   --field-selector spec.nodeName=NodeNameID

Play with Sort-By flags

kubectl get daemonsets sort-by=”{.spec.nodeName}”

Generate resources

Use imperative commands to generate resources’ definition quickly, which can be customized as required. This will avoid losing time in typing, reducing human-errors and especially avoid remembering all the specs of each resource.

kubectl run mypod --image=nginx --dry-run=client -o yaml > mypod.yaml
kubectl create deployment mydeploy --image=nginx
kubectl expose deployment/mydeploy --port=80

For an exhaustive list of Resource Generators check this link.


One tip is, break things in your lab before Linux Foundation does it for you in the exam !! And then you’re stuck, you can’t progress, you’re stressed out!

Break and repair! You’re the genius here.

One quick tip to validate the “kubeconfig” configuration file and identify any potential errors:

kubectl cluster-info --kubeconfig=/root/super.kubeconfig

Some knowledge on “systemctl” also will be so useful (Examples are: Where to locate the “sysctl” config files and the Kubernetes config files).

Last Advice

Avoid spending too much time on questions you found hard to solve, rather just make a quick attempt to solve them, flag and move on.

To Finish! CNCF wants you to succeed

Numerous CKA/CKAD applicants achieved the exam in just one hour!! Their trick was Practice, Practice and Practice.

Do the hard part, before the exam. You’ll be ready for the easy staff later-on.

Good luck, you’ll be ready. You’ll be rewarded.

Is a DevOps & Cloud enthusiast with 10 plus years of experience. He’s continuously immersing himself in the latest technologies trends & projects.

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