DevOps, Kubernetes

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Cracking the CKA Exam: Your Ultimate Guide to Kubernetes Success

An Overview

Suppose you have accepted that making inroads into the Kubernetes arena by cracking Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) Certification Training.

CKA exams is the newest challenge. In that case, this blog is the ultimate guide for you that comprises information on preparation strategies, exam day strategies, useful study resources, access to important sample questions, and valuable tips from someone who has cracked this exam recently.

Exam Preparation Strategy

  1. Understand the Exam Blueprint:

Before diving into preparation, familiarize yourself with the official CKA exam curriculum. This blueprint outlines the domains and topics the exam covers, helping you tailor your study plan accordingly.

Follow the below link for the course outline and enrolment of the targeted exam.

  1. Set Up a Learning Environment:

Create a Kubernetes playground to practice hands-on tasks. You can set up a local cluster using tools like Minikube, kubeadm, or Kops, or go for cloud-based solutions like AWS EKS, Azure AKS, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), or go for free playground readily available online Regular hands-on practice is crucial for mastering the concepts.


  1. Enrol in a Reputable Course:

Choose a reputable online course designed specifically for CKA preparation. Platforms like CloudThat offer comprehensive courses that cover exam topics provide practice labs, and often include mock tests to simulate the real exam environment.

CloudThat CKA Certification Training


  1. Complete Courses and Practice Labs:

Work through all practice labs and mock tests provided in the course. It’s advisable to go through these exercises multiple times. Aim to finish the labs within half the allocated time and target a perfect score. Repeating the labs 3-4 times can solidify your understanding.


  1. Develop a Study Schedule:

Create a consistent study schedule encompassing learning and practicing the CKA syllabus regularly. Regular revision of concepts is crucial for retention and mastery.

  1. Leverage Simulator Sessions:

Registering for the CKA exam will give you access to two simulator sessions. These sessions grant you 36 hours of Kubernetes cluster access to tackle around 24 exam questions. Practice both tests diligently, as they closely resemble the actual exam. Note that the real exam generally comprises 15-20 scenarios. Some candidates find exams are more challenging than the official exam.

  1. Dive into Documentation:

Kubernetes offers extensive documentation that’s an invaluable resource for your preparation. Use it to deepen your understanding of various concepts, configurations, and best practices. Practice searching the documentation effectively, as it’s allowed during the exam.

  1. Embrace Time Management:

The CKA exam is time-bound, so practice time management during your preparation. Allocate specific time slots for different tasks, simulating exam conditions.

  1. Take Mock Exams:

Simulate the actual exam environment by taking mock tests. These tests help you understand the format of the questions, manage time, and identify areas where you need improvement.

  1. Master Kubectl Commands:

Kubectl is your Swiss army knife for interacting with Kubernetes clusters. Memorize essential commands and shortcuts to navigate, create, update, and delete resources.

  1. Focus on Troubleshooting:

Kubernetes administrators need to troubleshoot efficiently. Practice diagnosing and resolving common pod, networking, and configurations issues.

  1. Review and Revise:

Regularly review your notes, practice labs, and mock tests. Revise areas where you’re not confident and aim for a comprehensive understanding of the material.

  1. Confidence and Calmness:

On exam day, maintain confidence in your preparation. Stay calm, read instructions carefully, and tackle questions with a clear mindset.

  1. Utilize Breaks Wisely:

The CKA exam offers one optional break. Use it wisely to stretch, relax, and refocus before continuing with the exam.

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Effective Exam Strategies

  1. Utilize Imperative Commands: Rely on the Kubectl cheatsheet for quick assistance with imperative commands, streamlining your actions during the exam.

  1. Configure Auto-Completions and Aliases: Begin the exam by setting up auto-completions and Kubectl aliases to save valuable time while working with commands.

alias k=kubectl
complete -o default -F __start_kubectl k

  1. Expedite Resource Deletion: Speed up resource deletion by using the –force flag, ensuring more efficient use of your time.
  1. Switch Cluster Context Promptly: Follow the instructions provided at the start of each question to seamlessly switch to the appropriate cluster context before attempting tasks.

Flag Challenging Questions:

    For complex questions, mark them for review and address them later. Prioritize answering questions you’re confident about initially.
  1. Navigate Kubernetes Documentation: Familiarize yourself with the Kubernetes documentation. Efficiently use official references and your bookmarks to quickly locate information during the exam.
  1. Time Management According to Weight: Manage your time judiciously by focusing more on higher-weight questions. Return to lighter-weight questions if there’s time.
    Avoid these pitfalls for a smooth exam experience:
    • Solving questions sequentially, potentially encountering time constraints later.
    • Getting stuck on a single question for too long jeopardizes your overall time allocation.
    • Starting with complex, low-weight questions, leading to time pressure as you proceed. By adhering to this time management strategy, you’ll enhance your chances of achieving a better score and a successful outcome in the CKA exam.
  1. Stay Aware of Shell Location: Keep track of your current shell location on the bash terminal, especially during actions like switching to another node or becoming the root user.
  1. Mind the Namespace: Carefully read and adhere to question instructions. Create or remove resources within the specified namespace as indicated.
  1. Ensure a Stable Internet Connection: Secure a dependable internet connection to prevent lag or disruptions during the exam. Consider having a backup connection in place.
  1. Streamline Problem-Solving: Adopt a problem-solving approach that emphasizes speed and efficiency. Choose the quickest methods to solve each question.

Exam terminal

You will be entering your examination commands on a terminal. It’s always good to know what your exam terminal will look like. Go through with below link for official documents.

Opt for the most efficient and speedy approach when solving questions during the exam. There can be multiple methods to achieve a task, so choose the one that gets the job done quickly. For instance, opt for the Kubectl run command when creating a pod instead of manually crafting Kubernetes YAML. Remember, your performance will be scored regardless of the method you use.

Remember that you’re not limited to a specific technique to solve a problem. If you’re comfortable editing YAML using Vim, go ahead. Similarly, you can utilize Kubectl generators, copy and paste from Kubernetes documentation, or manually modify a resource via Kubectl edit. The Kubectl cheat sheet is a valuable resource for the exam.

To optimize your time during the exam, consider these commands:

  • For generating a YAML file for a pod, utilize
    kubectl run <POD-NAME> --image=<IMAGE-NAME> --dry-run=client -o yaml > <file-name>.yaml
  • When removing a resource like a pod, streamline the process with
    kubectl delete pod <POD-NAME>

Exam Day Guidelines:

1. Schedule Wisely: Opt for a morning exam slot to leverage a fresh, unburdened mind devoid of work-related stress.
2. Tidy Environment: Ensure your room and desk are clean and organized, creating an optimal space for focused exam-taking.
3. Stay Hydrated: Have a clear water bottle with you, considering the exam’s two-hour duration. Remember to remove any labels from the bottle.
4. Early Login: Join the exam platform at least 15 minutes before the designated start time to avoid any last-minute technical issues.
5. Online Monitoring: An invigilator who strictly enforces the exam’s code of conduct will remotely proctored your exam.
6. Initial Verification: The exam commences with identity verification and rules compliance checks. You must activate your camera and screen sharing, requiring around 30 minutes.
7. Pre-Exam Meditation: Take five minutes to meditate before starting the exam. This guideline can help calm nerves and enhance focus.
8. Adhere to Guidelines: During the exam, avoid covering your mouth, reading questions aloud, or moving away from your desk or camera’s center. Such actions are prohibited.
9. Proctor’s Instructions: The proctor will provide additional instructions before the exam begins. It’s imperative to strictly adhere to these directions.
By following these guidelines, you’ll be well-prepared to confidently approach your exam day and clearly understand the procedures to ensure a smooth experience.

Some sample questions to practice:

  1. Mark the node “ek8s-node-0” as unavailable and reschedule all the currently running pods on that node.
  2. Upgrade all the Kubernetes control plane and node components on the master node exclusively from version 1.27.1 to version 1.27.2 in an existing Kubernetes cluster. Before the upgrade, ensure the master node is drained, and following the upgrade, reinstate its operational status.
  3. Modify the current deployment of the front-end application by including a port definition called “HTTP” that exposes port 80/TCP of the existing nginx container. Simultaneously, establish a fresh ” front-end-svc ” service that exposes the container’s “http” port. Additionally, configure this new service to allow access to the individual Pods utilizing a NodePort on the nodes they are assigned to.
  4. Generate a fresh NetworkPolicy named “allow-port-from-namespace” within the current “vmk8” namespace. This NetworkPolicy should grant permission for Pods located in the “devops” namespace to establish connections with Pods in the “vmk8s” namespace on port 9090. Additionally, guarantee that this NetworkPolicy adheres to the following conditions:
  • It restricts access solely to Pods configured to listen on port 9090.
  • It denies access from Pods that are outside the “devops” namespace.
  1. Generate a fresh ClusterRole called “dep-clusterrole.”
  • This ClusterRole should exclusively grant permission to create the subsequent types of resources: Deployments, StatefulSets, and DaemonSets.
  • Establish a ServiceAccount named “devops-cicd” in the currently existing “devops-team” namespace.

Associate the newly created ClusterRole, “dep-clusterrole,” with the recently established ServiceAccount, “devops-cicd” This binding should be limited in scope to the “devops-team” namespace.

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