Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) Exam Study Guide

CKA exam guide
Contents

The Certified Kubernetes Administration Exam was something that I have worked hard for.

It took me a few attempts to clear the exam, and I will share my experience regarding the same.

In this CKA Exam Study Guide, I have mentioned several tips, tricks, and strategies that you may use, as well as some of the latest Linux Foundation coupons to help you get discounts of up to 65%.

It would be best if you gave it all to gather enough knowledge about Kubernetes cluster components.

This exam combines 6 Kubernetes clusters for your practical assessments.

As an engineer, I was always interested in setting up Kubernetes clusters. This made me interested in taking the CKA Exam, one of the best DevOps certifications.

Further in this article, I will discuss all the details regarding the CKA Exam. Read along to know more!

What is the CKA Certification?

The Certified Kubernetes Administrator certification is a product of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation in collaboration with the Linux Foundation.

CNCF offers various other certifications alongside CKA, including Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate, Certified Kubernetes Application Developer, and Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist.

The CKA program aims to ensure that certified administrators possess the requisite skills, knowledge, and competency to fulfill Kubernetes administration responsibilities. The demand for proficient DevOps Engineers with expertise in Kubernetes cluster administration is on the rise.

Earning the CKA certification opens doors to opportunities in companies and organizations leveraging Kubernetes. It signifies your capability to navigate this dynamic field and contribute effectively to the deployment and management of Kubernetes environments.

CKA Exam Coupon Code (20% Off)

To begin your journey toward earning your CKA certification, the first step is to register for the exam. With a free retake option, you have the flexibility to schedule the exam within 12 months.

To save on the cost of certification exams, take advantage of the exclusive 20% discount on CKA, KCNA, CKAD, and CKS certifications.

Use the promo code UPWRITEZ20 at checkout. However, please note that this code will expire soon.

If you plan to pursue CKA and CKS certifications, consider purchasing the CKA+CKS bundle, which can help you save $395 using the CKA 50% discount 2023. For those interested in KCNA, CKAD, and CKS certifications, an exclusive deal offers a 25% discount when using the coupon code UPWRITEZ20.

Upon registering for the CKA exam, you can access the killer.sh platform’s CKA practice exam simulator at no additional cost. Using your Linux foundation credentials, you can access the simulator through the exam portal.

The simulator provides two exam sessions and is actually harder than the real exam. By completing the simulator exam, you will be better prepared for the actual CKA exam.

Should You Take the CKA exam?

Yes, you should take the CKA exam because this opens another door for your career in managing Kubernetes clusters.

However, there could be some conflicting opinions within the tech industry regarding the significance of certifications. Long story short, I would say that it depends on your capability and experience.

Some tech experts argue that real-world knowledge surpasses the importance of top Linux certificates, but in reality, not everyone has exposure to practical knowledge or experience.

Certification exams push you to go the extra mile when you prepare for it and often simulate real-world scenarios. It provides a valuable learning opportunity for those lacking hands-on practice.

The CKA exam is for you if you are already well-versed in a technology like Kubernetes. The certification exam can allow you to showcase your knowledge and work on complex projects.

CKA Exam Details

I am providing the latest CKA Exam Details for the 2023 curriculum below:

Exam duration2 Hrs
Exam TypeHands-on Practical Lab
CKA exam cost$395
Kubernetes Versionv1.27
Pass Score66%
Certification Validity3 years
CKA Coupon Code20% Off discount on CKA

CKA Exam Syllabus

CKA Exam Syllabus includes the topics and their corresponding weightage in the Examination- 

TopicWeightage
Troubleshooting30%
Cluster Installation, Architecture & Configuration25%
Services & Networking20%
Workloads & Scheduling15%
Storage10%

CKA Practice Labs

The CKA practice labs help you excel in the CKA Certification exam. I used these labs to get my concepts more straightforward and practical exercises for real-world experience in Kubernetes.

They have helpful designs to help you create a practice environment using a cluster of actual machines. 

I learned how to tackle real problems on these live systems because the CKA Exam has comprehensive problems instead of multiple-choice questions.

So, the best advice to clear the CKA Exam is to practice as much as you can in the provided setups that offer you a Kubernetes cluster where you can hone your skills effectively.

My best strategy to crack CKA Practice Labs was understanding Kubernetes concepts and so much practical practice.

Certified Kubernetes Administrator Exam Modules

There are five modules in the Certified Kubernetes Administrator Exam.

  • Troubleshooting
  • Cluster Installation, Architecture, and Configuration
  • Services and Networking
  • Workloads and Scheduling
  • Storage

How to Verify Your Answers on the Exam?

To verify your answers on the exam, I followed the steps below.

Check Pod Status

I used the following command to ensure that the pod is in the ready state.

“kubectl get pod nginx.” 

If the pod isn’t ready, look for events with the command. 

“kubectl describe pod nginx” or “kubectl logs nginx.”

Deployment Status Check

Verify the status of the deployments by using the command.

“kubectl get deployments nginx-deployment.” 

In case the deployment is not ready, then use the following command- 

“kubectl describe deployment nginx-deployment.”

Service Endpoint Verification

I used to verify the functionality of service endpoints, and launch helper pods with the image “busybox”. 

Access the helper pod with the command-

“kubectl exec –stdin –tty busybox — /bin/bash”

Retrieve the service endpoint with the command-

“kubectl get svc my-service.”

Best CKA Exam Preparation Courses

I have selected the best CKA Exam Preparation Courses. They are as follows- 

UdemyCertified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) with Practice Tests: This is one of the top-rated CKA preparation courses that comes with a browser-based practice test environment.
Linux FoundationCertified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) with Practice Tests: This is one of the top-rated CKA preparation courses with a browser-based practice test environment.
KillerCodaCKA Interactive Practice Scenarios

Free Kubernetes Practice Clusters for the CKA Exam

The best free Kubernetes practice clusters for the CKA exam to manage services of the Kubernetes cluster are mentioned below.

  1. Kubernetes on Vagrant

Automated Vagrant Based Kubernetes Cluster Setup with Kubeadm

  1. Google Cloud GKE

Use google cloud free credits ($300) 

  1. Azure AKS

Use Azure free credits ($300)

  1. AWS EKS

One-year free tier program. Apply for $300 free AWS POC credits.

  1. Digitalocean Kubernetes Service

($200) Free credits valid for two months.

  1. Minukube Setup

CKA Exam DOs & Dont’s

Based on personal experience, I have mentioned several Dos and dont for the CKA Exam below:

  • Start the pre-exam process 30 minutes before the scheduled time
  • Set up the PSI browser
  • Check the exam environment
  • Aim to complete your CKA exam 15 minutes before the end time
  • Take a lot of practice exams
  • Focus your preparation efforts on improving your weak areas
  • Mark the questions as for “later” if it is too time-consuming
  • Ensure a solid and stable internet connection during the exam
  • Have a backup internet source available in case your Wi-Fi fails

CKA Exam Tips & Shortcuts

CKA Exam is no joke, so you must look for the following Tips & shortcuts below. You must also know about the terminology given here:

kubectl

Mastery of kubectl CLI commands is essential for effectively managing Kubernetes resources throughout the exam.

Kubectl Autocompletion

Use kubectl autocomplete commands, which can be employed in the current shell or added to your ~/.bashrc file for easy navigation.

Managing Multiple Clusters

Since the CKA exam involves working with multiple clusters to answer questions, ensure that you use kubectl config use-context appropriately. 

CKA Detailed Study Guide With Official Resources

Further, I will share my collection of detailed study guides with official resources of CKA based on the latest syllabus. Also, make sure that you adhere to the following- 

  • Follow the exam curriculum
  • Use the official Kubernetes documentation. 
  • The exam permits the use of kubernetes.io documentation during the test. 

Refer to the following official kubernetes.io documentation during the exam-

CKA Exam Organized Browser Bookmarks

Provision Underlying infrastructureKubernetes the hard way
Cluster InstallationSetting up a Kubernetes Cluster using Kubeadm
HA Cluster SetupSetting up a Highly Available Kubernetes Cluster
Kubeadm Cluster UpgradeHow to upgrade a kubeadm kubernetes cluster
Kubernetes BackupBackup and restore Kubernetes using etcd backup
Kubernetes RBACComplete Kubernetes RBAC Guide

Kubernetes Services & Networking

Understand host networking configuration on the cluster nodes1. Node Configuration 2. Control Plane – Node Communication 3. Comprehensive Kubernetes Networking Guide 4. Kubernetes Networking 101
Understand connectivity between PodsCluster Networking Concepts
Understand ClusterIP, NodePort, LoadBalancer service types and endpointsKubernetes Service complete Guide
Know how to use Ingress controllers and Ingress resources1. Ingress resource guide 2. Ingress Controller Guide 3. Kubernetes Ingress Tutorial
Know how to configure and use CoreDNSKubernetes CoreDNS Configuration
Choose an appropriate container network interface pluginKubernetes network plugins guide

Kubernetes Troubleshooting

Evaluate cluster and node loggingKubernetes Cluster Logging Architecture
Understand how to monitor applications1. Tools for monitoring 2. Metrics API Guide
Manage container stdout & stderr logsRefer logging Architecture
Troubleshoot application failure1. Kubernetes applications Monitoring and Debugging guide 2. Debugging kubernetes applications
Troubleshoot cluster component failure1. Kubernetes cluster troubleshooting guide 2. DNS Troubleshooting 3. Kubeadm cluster troubleshooting guide
Refer to the debug cluster guideRefer to debug cluster guide

Kubernetes Workloads & Scheduling

Understand deployments and how to perform rolling updates and rollbacksComplete Kubernetes Deployment guide with a rolling update and rollback strategiesDaemonset rollback strategy
Understand deployments and how to perform rolling updates and rollbacksKubernetes configmap guideKubernetes Secrets ExplainedTask explaining Kubernetes secret implementation
Know how to scale applicationsHorizontal pod autoscalingInteractive Tutorial to scale kubernetes applications
Understand the primitives used to create robust, self-healing, application deploymentsKubernetes deployment concepts and interactive tutorialKubernetes deployment tutorial
Understand how resource limits can affect Pod schedulingkubernetes container resource management guideTask: CPU resource allocation for containersTask: Memory allocation for containers
Awareness of manifest management and common templating toolsKubernetes management toolsUse kubectl –dry-run to generate YAML templates during the exam.

Kubernetes Storage

Understand storage classes, persistent volumesStorage Classed ExplainedKubernetes Volumes explainedKubernetes Persistent VolumesLimit Storage UsageChange the default Storage cluster
Understand volume mode, access modes, and reclaim policies for volumesRefer to Kubernetes Persistent Volume Doc.
Understand persistent volume claims primitiveAll about persistent volume claims
Know how to configure applications with persistent storageCreate a pod using persistent storage

Conclusion

CKA Exam Study Guide can help you more than you can imagine.

Ensure you follow the guidelines on the official website and do not forget to adhere to the tips & tricks to perform the best in your CKA exam.

Use this detailed CKA Exam guide with all the resources available to practice as much as possible to be ready for a comprehensive solution of Kubernetes clusters.  All the Best!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my Extended Monitor For The CKA Exam?

You can use your extended monitor for the CKA Exam, but you must have the camera attached to the extended monitor.

Can I use any coupon code for the CKA Exam?

There are many CKA coupon codes available for the CKA Exam like UPWRITEZ20, for an instant 20% discount.

How much will it cost me to appear in the Certified Kubernetes Administrator?

The Certified Kubernetes Administrator exam registration fee is $300.

Should I get Kubernetes CKA certification?

Yes, CKA certification is beneficial if you are interested in the Kubernetes environment. Its certification proves that you can solve real problems in Kubernetes clusters. 

Is CKAD easier than CKA?

Yes, the CKAD exam is comparatively easier than the CKA. This is because CKA focuses on cluster administration and troubleshooting while CKAD focuses on application deployments and troubleshooting.

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