Sharing my experience on getting CKAD certified

Finally, a few hours before i start writing this post, i received my CKAD result and the email title was “You have successfully completed CKAD certification”.

So today i am going to share my experience on some of the preparation and tips of how i get certified on CKAD.

Preparation

First, you have to understand the core concept of Kubernetes and for myself, i enrolled into this Udemy CKAD course conducted by Mumshad Mannambeth.

Basically, it is an online course that you can take your own sweet time to complete the course. It is advisable to set some time everyday or alternate day to go through the course so that you will understand and remember the concept. This is a paid online course and for myself, i have been studying the contents repeatedly for more than 7 hours because i try to familiar with the command and run through the practice given after each of the session multiple times to ensure that i really know what to do when exam questions come out.

The contents of the course contains the details explanation on the main CKAD requirements like below :

  1. Core Concepts
  2. Multicontainers
  3. Pod Design
  4. Configuration
  5. Observability
  6. Services and Networking
  7. State Persistence

What did i found so useful was the practice lab for each of the session to learn the command on deploying, troubleshooting and writing the yaml file on the kubernetes.

The most important part of this course that i found was the labs after end of all the contents :

  1. Kubernetes Challenge
  2. Lightning Lab
  3. Mock Exam

I kept repeating on practicing the labs especially the Lightning Lab which helps you to learn on time management and how to deploy to kubernetes within the given time frame. The lightning lab concept is quite aligned to the exam which you need to read through a long question with a series of steps that you need to perform. Mock Exam will give you additional questions to practice. So by combining both, at least you will familiar on managing and deploying into kubernetes.

Secondly, i read through some of the online material to learn on how other’s candidate passed their exam and also some knowledge on how to operate in the terminal like :

  1. https://nbtechsolutions.wordpress.com/2020/04/30/ckad-experience/

This one consolidates all the other posts which are quite useful.

2. https://github.com/dgkanatsios/CKAD-exercises

Personally, i practice a lot on this exercise and you will be able to familiar with the kubectl command.

3. https://coderwall.com/p/adv71w/basic-vim-commands-for-getting-started

The basic VIM command is very handy as, without this, you won’t be able to modify the yaml file. So make sure that you are familiar with the command. One of the command that i used quite often is double “d” to delete the unnecessary line from the yaml file.

4. Other Command :

Tips For the Exam

The duration for the exam is 2 hours, and the total number of the questions are 19.

Tips #1 : Bookmark

Bookmark is very important because it will help you to save a lot of time during the exam. You neither need to search the yaml file on the spot nor executing the kubectl explain command to find out the spec. Due to this, prior to the exam, i did actually bookmark all the yaml file that i would like to reference during the exam and it really saves me a lot of time. You can open one additional tab during the exam at : https://kubernetes.io/docs/ , https://github.com/kubernetes/ ,https://kubernetes.io/blog/ and their subdomains. The guidance is from the Candidate Handbook. Remember time is very crucial and you have to fully utilize the time to answer the as many questions as possible.

Below are the list of my bookmark for reference :

CheatSheet, PersistentVolumes, ConfigurePV, EnvVar, ConfigMap, Deployment, CronJobs, Secret, ExposeSvc, NetworkPolicy, ContainerResources, ReplicaSet, IngressResource

Tips #2 : Time Management

Every questions will show the Weightage, and it will be like 2%, 3%, 7% or others. The weightage is very important because for myself, some of the questions that weight 2% but the steps are long or questions that weight 3% and at first glance i do not understand, those i might skip and flag on the questions to revisit. So every questions you might have average of 6 minutes and if you are stuck on one question with a weightage of 3% then it might delay your progress to complete the exam.

Tips #3 : Exam Environment

The above picture is for reference, so the questions can be located on the left side bottom and you are allow to copy and paste the highlighted naming for example the pod name, or the image name and etc. It is advised to copy and paste into the terminal to avoid any unnecessary mistakes.

To copy and paste : Ctrl + Insert (Copy), Shift + Insert (Paste)

For CKAD, it contains 4 clusters and you can refer on the above picture the top left corner will indicate the context to use. Remember to switch the context if you are jumping the question back and forth.

Lastly for the environment tip, on the questions panel, you can mouse over to the highlighted words for the image name, definition name, pod name, etc. Then copy the highlighted words and paste into the terminal. This will avoid unnecessary typo error and causes the name incorrect.

Tips #4 : Do not panic

It happens to me that suddenly my exam environment went to the disconnected mode and the person that monitoring on the environment disconnected as well. The screen only show please wait for the monitor to connect. So i waited for 10 mins and the person connected back and the timer starts again after i connected back to my environment and all my existing answer is in the cluster. But i notice that for the questions that i flag to revisit, it does not show flagged and i have to recall and check on the cluster on which questions i did not answer.

Lastly, i hope you guys all the best for your CKAD exam and good luck. Please share with me if you find this useful and if you passed your exam.

“PS: As I am sharing the experience of CKAD exam, the writings are solely my own views and do not express the views or opinions of our employer or any organization”

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