Browse By

CKAD Exam Experience and Tips

Just got the awaited email from Linux Foundation this morning saying that I passed the CKAD (Certified Kubernetes Application Developer) exam that I took on Sunday. I’m so glad that I passed so that I don’t have to retake exam (even though it’s free). 🙂

A summary of my experience when I took the exam:

  • My computer setup:
    • Linux Ubuntu 18 on a laptop.
    • External 28″ 4K monitor (set to 2560×1440 resolution) as primary display and the laptop screen as secondary display.
    • External keyboard + mouse
    • External webcam
    • Main Chrome window for test on the external monitor, and use laptop monitor for K8s docs
  • Joined 15 minutes early before the schedule
  • Went through webcam and screen sharing, ID verification, room/desk inspection, and guidelines in about 5-10 minutes
  • Had internet connection issues for the first 30 minutes 😢

Test Taking Strategies

  • Started with the questions having 5 points ≤ first
  • I used the exam notepad to track the questions that I’ve answered and their points:
1 - done - 5pts 
2 - 2 pts # skipped
3 - done - 9 pts 
  • By the end of the exam, I had enough time to try to answer all of the questions having 5 pts or above (although I wasn’t able to fully complete one). When the time is over, I didn’t get a chance to answer only two questions having 2-3 pts.


  • Use mainly these two shortcuts:
$ alias k=kubectl
$ export do='--dry-run=client -o yaml'
  • If I had to redo it, I’d add this one too:
$ alias cs='kubectl config set-context --current --namespace'
  • Another handy command to remember:
$ kubectl command help (-h)
  • Didn’t use any of the vim settings. Maybe they would help save some more time, but I didn’t practice using them enough.

Chrome bookmarks

  • I used bookmarks I created myself and make sure I know where they link to before the exam.
  • The bookmarks that I think everyone must have:
    • PersistentVolume and PersistentVolumeClaims YAML
    • Readiness and Liveness probes YAML
    • kubectl cheatsheet
    • Using ConfigMap and Secret (per env variable, all values, and using volume)
    • Job and CronJob YAML
    • NetworkPolicy YAML


  • I used Tmux for 1-2 questions.
  • Not a must, but can be quite handy when we need to open more than one manifests at the same time.
  • Just knowing basic Tmux commands is enough for me:
# start tmux

# split screen horizontally
Ctrl+b %

# navigate between two tmux console
Ctrl+b (up) or (down)

My learning and practice resources


  • Though it’s not easy, I like how CKAD questions are all lab questions, and not multiple choices. This make sure all the candidates have Kubernetes hands-on knowledge to pass the exam, not just knowing the theories.
  • Thanks to other candidates before me who have shared their experiences and tips on how to pass the exam.
  • Good luck for those who are going to take the exam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *