My CKAD Certification experience: Tips and tricks

I have passed CKAD (Certifies Kubernetes Application Developer) exam in June’2020! It was really a race against time! It’s a fast pace, online coding exam!
In this blog, I will share my exam experience, hope it will be helpful for you.

It’s an open book exam, however you can only browse Kubernetes official website and their related blogs. You can’t Google search and find the answers. You can copy and paste YAML based code from K8s official portal only.

Exam Prepration

I have started preparation with CKAD Udemy online course of Mumshad Mannambeth. It’s an awesome online tutorial with real lab environment, where you will be given readymade Kubernetes cluster lab KodeKloud platfrom, It’s superb! Here, you can write code in K8s yaml files and run instantly without any K8s cluster configuration. It’s also creates K8s resources for you and also validates your answers.

Other Resources:

It would be great to setup a MiniKube or Kind ( Kubernetes in Docker) K8s cluster on your laptop/computer to practice more questions. I have used these resources to practice the exam-

D-Day (Exam-Day):

It’s a tough exam where you have to read, understand, code and verify in 6 minutes. There will be 19 questions and passing marks are 67%. It’ very difficult to complete all the questions in 2 hours. These are tips I have followed to do time management:

It’s 2 hours online coding exam where a human exam proctor will keep an eye on you for this duration by looking at you thru Web Camera and your monitor screen thru screen sharing!

Tips to save time and attempt most of the questios:

  • Practice, practice, practice so that your finger remembers popular commands and syntax!
  • Don’t try to create YAML file manually during exam! Use Kubectl imperative commands to generate yaml. Export yaml file by –dry-run -o yaml>pod.yaml and then edit this YAML file in vi editor. Once, you are confident, then save
  • They provide vim/nano. I prefer vi, it’s simple.
  • Always verify K8s objects status and logs after K8s object creating command. It will give you confidence!
  • Hit easy questions with high weight first: >10% and get back later for question with weight: 2–3% or those questions which are big and complex, and you are not sure.
  • Use exam console’s NotePad to track all your questions. Write all questions in new rows and write weightage and mark if you have completed. You can also click on a button to mark your questions which you want to return later. You can also shuffle easy and high score questions on the top and low marks and complex questions at the bottom. e.g: Here d means “done”
    • 1-13-d
    • 2-9-d
    • 3-7-p
  • Save important bookmarks and use as boomark tool bar to save time in searching bookmark links. You can download this bookmark which I have used from Github.
  • Create aliases before starting the exam and save it on Notebook which will be provided on exam console. You can’t use your personal Notepad or any copy-paste from your local computer to exam console browser’s windows. I have just used these aliases:
$ alias k=kubectl
$ alias kx="kubectl config current-context"
$ alias kn="kubectl config use-context"
$ alias kall="kubectl get all"
$ alias kc="kubectl create -f"

All the best!