CKA Exam Experience

On Wednesday 29th January I took my Certified Kubernetes Administrator exam, and after much baited breath (31 hours worth), I passed. This briefly covers my experience and the resources I used to get there.

Lead Up

In the weeks leading up to the exam I was becoming fairly proficient with Kubernetes but felt I needed a target to get to the required standard. So I booked my exam, on the basis that

  1. It can be rescheduled, and
  2. There’s a free re-take available.

By the time the exam came around I figured I was in a place where I could give it a fair crack, with the security blanket of the free re-take. So I took it, for the craic.


For those of you that don’t know the exam is remotely proctored, i.e. you sit it from the comfort of your own home, while you and your screen are streamed to the exam proctor. I didn’t really know what to expect of this, I’d cleared my desk and some shelves that are next to it and hoped it would be enough.

Once I was connected to the proctor we ran through some information, proof of ID and panned the camera around so he could make sure all was well, which it was. He made sure I was happy with everything before he released the exam. This was the last I heard from him until a time warning near to the end. Truth be told, it was very easy to forget you were being watched. Although I was conscious of not talking to myself or covering my mouth as this is not allowed.

The exam environment itself is all browser based, the questions down the left and the rest of the screen taken up by a terminal window. You can also have another tab open to which is very handy.

Exam Experience

A few people have mentioned that the exam is tough. While it’s certainly not easy, I think it’s fair. If you know the material well enough you’ll be fine. My concern initially was time. I’d taken the exam simulator at which I’d leaned the documentation really heavily and consequently did not finish in time. The extra study I’d done the couple of weeks between obviously paid off as I didn’t need the documentation as much, mostly just for example YAML files. I also tend to work quite quickly which helped, in the end I had no worries about the time limit. I actually had time to review my answers at the end! I came out of the exam feeling it had gone pretty well, and actually wondered if I’d done something wrong. I almost felt I’d gotten lucky with a string of questions that I knew the answers to and didn’t really get tested on my weaker areas, but perhaps I don’t give myself enough credit.


Unfortunately the results don’t come through immediately, it takes up to 36 hours to get your results. This made for a very nervous wait! Then the email came through reporting that I’d passed fairly comfortably. To say I was chuffed would be understating it!



Key resources for me taking this exam were:


kubectl run podname --image=image --restart=Never --dry-run -o yaml > pod.yaml

alias k=kubectl
alias kgp='kubectl get pod'
alias kaf='kubectl apply -f'
echo "set tabstop=2" >> .vimrc
echo "set expandtab" >> .vimrc

All in all, a pretty good experience. My doubts about remote proctoring have (nearly) all been eased. I’d like the option of going to a test centre, but the test centres near me aren’t the best.