Certified Kubernetes Administrator CKA Learning Path

CKA Certificate

Certified Kubernetes Administrator CKA Learning Path

Recertified Certified Kubernetes Administrator CKA certification recently with 91%. After knowing how to use Kubernetes, it was really interesting and intriguing to know Kubernetes internals and how the overall system works.

  • CKA is more of an open-book test, where you have access to the official Kubernetes documentation exam, but it focuses more on hands-on experience.
  • CKA focuses on “The skills required to be a successful Kubernetes Administrator “. It tests the candidate’s ability to do basic installation as well as configuring and managing production-grade Kubernetes clusters.
  • Unlike AWS and GCP certifications, you would be required to solve, debug actual problems, and provision resources on a live Kubernetes cluster.
  • Even though it is an open book test, you need to know where the information is.
  • Trust me, if you are not prepared this time is not going to be sufficient.

CKA Exam Pattern

  • CKA exam curriculum includes these general domains and their weights on the exam:
    • Cluster Architecture, Installation & Configuration – 25%
    • Workloads & Scheduling – 15%
    • Services & Networking – 20%
    • Storage  – 10%
    • Troubleshooting – 30%
  • CKA requires you to solve 24 questions in 3 hours.
  • CKA exam has been upgraded and requires you to solve 15-20 questions in 2 hours. I got 17 questions.
  • CKA was already upgraded to use the k8s 1.28 version. But it keeps on being upgraded with new Kubernetes versions.
  • You are allowed to open another browser tab which can be from kubernetes.io or other product documentation like Falco. Do not open any other windows.
  • Exam questions can be attempted in any order and don’t have to be sequential. So be sure to move ahead and come back later.

CKA Exam Preparation and Tips

  • I used the courses from KodeKloud CKA for practicing and it would be good enough to cover what is required for the exam.
  • Prepare yourself with the imperative commands as much as you can. This will help cut down the time required to solve half of the questions. I was not stretched for time for CKA and had much time to review.
  • Each exam question carries weight so be sure you attempt the exams with higher weights before focusing on the lower ones. So target the ones with higher weights and quicker solutions like debugging ones.
  • CKA exam provides 6-8 different preconfigured K8s clusters. Each question refers to a different Kubernetes cluster, and the context needs to be switched. Be sure to execute the kubectl use context command, which is available with every question and you just need to copy-paste it.
  • Check for the namespace mentioned in the question, to find resources and create resources. Use the -n <namespace>
  • You would be performing most of the interaction from the client node. However, pay attention to the node (master or worker) you need to execute the exams and make sure you return back to the base node.
  • With CKA is important to move the master node for any changes to the cluster kube-apiserver .
  • SSH to nodes and gaining root access is allowed if needed.
  • Read carefully the Information provided within the questions with the mark. They would provide very useful hints in addressing the question and save time. for e.g., namespaces to look into for a failed pod, what has already been created like configmap, secrets, network policies so that you do not create the same.
  • Make sure you know the imperative commands to create resources, as you won’t have much time to create and edit YAML files.
  • If you need to edit further use --dry-run=client -o yaml to get a headstart with the YAML spec file and edit the same.
  • I personally use alias kk=kubectl to avoid typing kubectl

CKA Learning Path

CKA Key Topics

Cluster Architecture, Installation & Configuration – 25%

Workloads & Scheduling – 15%

Services & Networking – 20%

Storage – 10%

Troubleshooting – 30%

  • Practice CKA Exercises – Troubleshooting
  • Evaluate cluster and node logging
  • Understand how to monitor applications
  • Manage container stdout & stderr logs
  • Troubleshoot application failure
  • Troubleshoot cluster component failure
    • Practice Debug cluster for troubleshooting control plane failure and worker node failure.
      • Understand the control plane architecture.
      • Focus on kube-apiserver, static pod config which causes the control panel pods to be referred and deployed.
      • Check pods in kube-system if they are all running. Use docker ps -a command on the node to inspect the reason for exiting containers.
      • Check kubelet service if the worker node is shown not ready
  • Troubleshoot networking



CKA General information and practices

  • The exam can be taken online from anywhere.
  • Make sure you have prepared your workspace well before the exams.
  • Make sure you have a valid government-issued ID card as it would be checked.
  • You are not allowed to have anything around you and no one should enter the room.
  • The exam proctor will be watching you always, so refrain from doing any other activities. Your screen is also always shared.
  • Copy + Paste works fine.
  • You will have an online notepad on the right corner to note down. I hardly used it, but it can be useful to type and modify text instead of using VI editor.

All the Best …