How to prepare for the CKA and CKAD certifications?

There is little doubt that Kubernetes usage is rapidly increasing in the industry, and we must be prepared to establish credibility and value to compete. CNCF enables us to distinguish ourselves from the crowd by granting us credentials such as Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) and Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD).

Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)

The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) credential is one of the most in-demand markets. It’s for engineers who want to learn how to design, develop, create, and manage Kubernetes applications.

The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) curriculum ensures that CKADs have the skills, knowledge, and competency to undertake Kubernetes application developer duties.

CKAD does not require any candidate to have any other certification before appearing for the CKAD exam. The only thing needed to clear the exam is practice, practice, and practice.

Exam Duration 2 hours
Pass Percentage 66%
Kubernetes Version v1.22
CKAD Validity 3 Years
Exam Cost 375 USD

Exam syllabus

The following are the domains and competencies part of the syllabus and their respective weightage.

Topic Weightage
Core Concepts 13 %
Configuration 18 %
Multi-Container Pods 10 %
Observability 18 %
Pod Design 20 %
Services & Networking 13 %
State Persistence 8 %


Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) 

The Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) program aims to ensure that CKAs have the necessary skills, knowledge, and competency to perform Kubernetes administrator tasks.

Kubernetes adoption is rising as one of the fastest-growing open-source initiatives. The demand for competent DevOps Engineers with Kubernetes cluster administration knowledge is increasing in this context.

As a result, earning the CKA certification can help you advance your career in many Kubernetes-using firms and organizations.

Exam Duration 2 hours
Pass Percentage 66%
Kubernetes Version v1.23
CKA Validity 3 Years
Exam Cost $375 USD

Exam syllabus

The following are the domains and competencies part of the syllabus and their respective weightage.

Topic Weightage
Cluster Architecture, Installation & Configuration 25 %
Workloads & Scheduling 15 %
Services & Networking 20 %
Storage 10 %
Troubleshooting 30 %

Curriculum for Exams

The exam is entirely practical. There are no multiple-choice questions in this section. A set of six Kubernetes clusters is provided to us. The questions are about building and implementing cloud-native applications in the Kubernetes environment, and each cluster has a different setup. As illustrated below, five major broad areas are evaluated. These include the following:

20 percent application design and development, 20 percent application deployment

Observability and upkeep of the application 15 percent

Services & Networking 20% Application Environment, Configuration, and Security 25%

In partnership with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the Linux Foundation is conducting the exam (CNCF).


Knowledge of YAML/JSON files: YAML or JSON files can be used to construct all Kubernetes objects. However, because of its simplicity, YAML is extensively utilized. As a result, understanding YAML is advantageous.

Linux Knowledge: 

For those who have never dealt with a Linux-based operating system, a beginner’s course in Linux is highly advised; knowledge of Linux networking is also essential to some level if you are going for CKA.

Vim Editor: Vim is a text editor. You’ll need to create and change files when studying for the exam. 

Practice Vim:

Vim cheatsheet:

Docker Knowledge: 

Because Kubernetes is a container orchestrator, prior knowledge of Docker is required before you begin preparing for the CKAD or CKA. I recommend taking a course on one of the following learning portals if you are new to the container world: Udacity, Udemy, and edX are examples of online learning platforms.

Avoid These Mistakes

● Don’t fall into the trap of registering for the exam six months before starting to study. If you aren’t completely prepared by the time your exam date approaches, you may become apprehensive and want to postpone the exam to learn more. This cycle never comes to an end.

● Don’t be inconsistent with your studies, even if you started late. One would study one day and then take two days off. That is not something you should do. Maintain consistency and stick to a routine.

● Labs must not be skipped. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that it’d be good to finish all of the lectures at once and then return to the laboratories. No way! That’s not a good idea!

● It’s one thing to finish a course. However, you won’t know how much you know until you take the practice tests. So don’t put off taking them till you’ve just got 3-4 days left to study.

● Don’t wait until the last day of your exam voucher’s validity to take it. If you wait until the last day of the voucher and don’t pass the exam on the first try, you’ll be stuck with the no retake choice. As a result, start studying, practicing, and taking the exam at least a week before the deadline.

Do’s for CKA and CKAD Certification

● The most obvious is practicing, practicing, and practicing some more.

● Make it a habit to attend a lecture and then do the lab that follows.

● If feasible, complete the courses first, and then apply for certification when you believe you are ready for the exam. After completing the course, you’ll have a year to use it. There is enough time to put your skills to the test.

● During preparation, talks in the KodeKloud CKA and CKAD group’s Slack thread helped us play and attempt several questions/scenarios. In addition, if you have any doubts, feel free to seek advice from the forum.

● Instead of binding an alias for everything, practice with entire commands.

Don’ts for CKA and CKAD Certification

● Don’t make the mistake of using an alias for everything.

● If you become stuck, don’t worry; simply flag/mark the question in question. You can always return to it at a later time.

● Don’t take the exam on the last day of the semester (like many folks do).

● Have nothing on the table other than your system at the exam.

● If you don’t have time, don’t go all out with Kubernetes the Hard Way.

Bottom Line

Though the Kubernetes examinations are difficult since they are practical exams, if you practice sufficiently and pay attention to the above recommendations, you will pass them easily, regardless of whether you have prior experience with Kubernetes. You can also take online training of CKA and CKAD for better understanding. 

We believe that this information will assist you in better planning and preparation for the CKA and CKAD certification exams.

We’ll be pleased to address any further questions you may have.