Journey to Kubestronaut #1 - CKA


Brief “What is CKA”: CKA is the Certified Kubernetes Administrator Certification from the CNCF, providing a practical exam to test knowledge on administrating Kubernetes clusters.

Now why did I do it?

Having messed around with specifically k3s for many years now in my homelab, with the majority of my homelab(Including this blog!) running off it, I wanted to test my skills and try to move further into the depths of Kubernetes. My overall end goal is to obtain the Kubestronaut Status, meaning you’ve completed CKA, CKAD, CKS, KCNA, KCSA certifications from CNCF.

To achieve CKA, I went through the course provided from LF, and then the exam itself, each step is covered below.

The Process

Linux Foundation Course

I took the course from the Linux Foundation, to brush up on some of the areas I was unfamiliar with / had not dived into for personal use, mainly RBAC & NetworkPolicy.

It was broken down into several sections, with each focusing on one specific topic(Scheduling, RBAC, etc).

The course itself felt very dated, with the UI being quite old. The information itself was mostly up-to-date and covered what you needed to know.

The lack of providing a ready lab environment was a major downside.

I’d recommend checking out a course for the CKA outside of LF, I have heard good things about the cloud guru course for CKA, albeit not taken it myself. was a very good practice resource, covering everything you needed to know for the exam, and being included was a great value.

The practice exam they give you covered everything you needed to know from the exam, whilst being slightly more difficult then the real exam itself.

They give you 36 hours per attempt(2 included), and a 2 hour timer at the start to simulate the real exam. After the initial 2 hour timer has expired, you are able to see the solutions(same on every attempt) and score you had achieved.

If you are able to achieve a passing score on within the 2 hours provided, you are more then capable of taking and passing the CKA exam.

If have external k8s experience, taking one of your 2 attempts early on to identify spots to focus on can be key.

CKA Exam Itself

Going into the CKA exam itself, i felt unnerved due the difference in the perceived difficulty from the harder practice exam, and comments from other sources about how hard it is.

The hardest / most challenging part was the PSI proctoring solution they use.

They are very strict to the point of insanity, I’d recommend showing up and starting the process the full 30 minutes before the exam to complete the shenanigans.

The exam itself was very similar to the simulation, provided slightly easier but not by a huge margin with a very similar interface.

Important things to note:

  • Remember to use the provided kubectl context for every question, as doing thing in the wrong cluster will give you no points.
  • Some names can be long - utilize the copy-paste where able
  • Don’t overthink it.

I ended up completing all but 1 question within 45 minutes, and finishing the last around the 60 minute mark.

24 hours later, I got my passing email.

Final Thoughts

If you have experience with K8S, this should be no challenge to obtain. Utilize the practice environment to make sure you know what you need to know / get familiar with exam UI. The LF course whilst good, is lacking and better courses can be found elsewhere.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.