Some Tips for CKA Exams

I’ve passed my CKA exam on my first attempt, it’s not hard because it’s the entry level certificate for Kubernetes but still a good preparation is necessary even for someone already experienced in Kubernetes.

First of all, the exam is fully hands-on: every question requires a set of commands done in a terminal provided in the browser. And what’s even better is that there’s a handful of real Kubernetes clusters provisioned for the test and can be accessed via the terminal. The exam provides 2 sessions of simulated CKA tests, which are very helpful to get familiar with the environment. Also the simulated tests are actually harder than the real ones.

Simulated exams by

Most likely typing in the browser based terminal consumes the biggest portion of time, so it’s beneficial to practice Kubernetes and even Bash commands in advance. Here are some tips to improve the efficiency of the terminal:

  • There’s an alias k for kubectl, use k instead
  • Be familiar with a terminal based text editor, such as Vim
  • All commands can be re-used from the command history, ie. use ctrl-r to search previous commands instead of using up arrow multiple times
  • Use tab completion for kubectl commands as much as possible

As there are multiple Kubernetes clusters available for the test, it’s very important to make sure working on the correct cluster. Same goes for the namespace. So in the beginning of a question, execute the following 2 commands first:

# select the correct cluster
k config use-context <cluster-name>
# set the current namespace
k config set-context --current --namespace=<namespace>

Last but not least, if you use a Linux desktop to take the exam as I did, make sure to switch to an Xorg session. Wayland screen sharing doesn’t work properly with Chrome and your proctor won’t be happy to see a black screen.

Good luck 🙂