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shaik zillani
shaik zillani

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How I passed my CKAD exam

How I passed my CKAD exam

CKAD — Certified kubernetes Application Developer exam experience

I’m sharing about what I learned from the CKAD exam experience and a few tips about how to clear the exam. I already have a work experience in the k8s platform, but I feel that practice is necessary in order to pass the exam.

I failed the first attempt because I didn’t prepare in the proper format & I went timeout leaving 4 questions un-attempted as the time limit was challenging.

Note: Failing on the first attempt can be obvious 😄
After that, I understood how I should prepare & changed my preparation.

So on my second attempt, I was quick in reading and understanding the scenario. If a question had long description & the weightage of marks was low, I would skip such questions immediately and come back to them in the end. Notepad access was given so I noted the questions which I skipped.

Note: Notepad is embedded in the browser & exists only till the exam

What is the exam format?

It is a Task-based test, you will have 19 questions (19 tasks) to be performed on a server given to you for a time limit of 2 hours.
Think of the exam setup similar to katacoda.

Note: You will be asked to change the cluster context, on a few questions, the command will be provided.

How was the Proctoring?

Your exam is Proctored live by someone (you can’t see him/her, but only chat). Your webcam, speakers & mic should be On, the screen must be shared. Initially, you will be asked to close all the tabs and running programs in the background then you need to show your room and the desktop via webcam and you will be asked to remove if you have any items on the surface.
You have 2 hours and you can take a break by asking the proctor from the chatbox or via clicking the request break icon, but the time won’t pause.

You should ONLY use below websites during the exam, other websites are not allowed.

Also, you can’t cover your mouth with your hand, your face must be visible all the time, you can’t murmur anything.

I was warned when I tried to read out the commands, lol I have this habit while typing, So control that!


On my first attempt, I practiced deployments from the official documentation & a few other websites. On failing my attempt, I realized that my preparation needs to change, I should learn how to use kubectl to generate the yaml files and time control is the key, so I enabled auto-complete & alias, practiced generating yamls using kubectl and bookmarked few sections from the official documentation.

If you are a beginner, try kodekloud because they provide mock tests, Otherwise, a rigorous practice through official documentation is enough, try watching some youtube videos.


  1. Setup auto-completion on kubectl
  2. alias kubectl to k. (alias k=kubectl)
  3. Attempt the questions that have high percentage marks first (but this is my opinion, some suggest to first finish the easy questions, go with whatever suits you)
  4. Don’t copy Yaml all the time, use kubectl to generate yaml
kubectl create mynginx --image=nginx --restart=Never -o yaml --dry-run > nginx.yml
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kubectl create mybusybox --image=busybox --restart=Never -o yaml --dry-run -- sh -c 'sleep 3600' > busybox.yml
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You should basically master the kubectl create command to form any kind of workload like deployments, service, pod, job, cronjob etc, If you get stuck here, always refer the kubectl reference documentation.

  1. Use kubectl explain if you don’t know under which section a particular a key-values goes
kubectl explain deployment --recursive |grep -B300 serviceAccountName
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The above command will show you where to place serviceAccountName under spec or under spec.spec for deployment

  1. Copy-Paste issue for windows users As per the instructions, ctrl+insert is for copy & shift+insert for paste, I am not comfortable with it because of my awkward keyboard layout, but I found that the below key combination also works. On windows its,
ctrl+shift+c for copy
ctrl+shift+v for paste
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No issues on mac though, it’s cmd+c and cmd+v

  1. Access kubernetes.io in a new window instead of the new tab for easy switching.
  2. Move on to the next question if you are not confident about solving it or if you feel it’s going to take more time to solve.
  3. Be quick with vim
  4. Bookmark all the important sections from the official k8s documentation for quick reference.

Top comments (1)

bkpandey profile image
Balkrishna Pandey

@shaik_zillani Not sure why gif is not playing,

Following gif is working

Alt Text

![Alt Text](https://media.giphy.com/media/vFKqnCdLPNOKc/giphy.gif)
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