How to Prepare for the Confluent Certified Operator for Apache Kafka (CCOAK) exam


I personally find the CCOAK certification of medium difficulty, and if you have seriously used Apache Kafka in the past year, many questions shouldn’t be surprising. Nonetheless, it is best to be as prepared as you can, as the certification cost of 150 USD is not something you’d rather pay for twice.

Exam Details

Studying for the Certification

If you find lacking the knowledge, you may already know I have plenty of online content with the Apache Kafka Series to help you learn Kafka at your own pace and with over 35 hours of videos. A countless number of my students did successfully pass the CCOAK certification exam after studying with my online courses.

Apache Kafka Fundamentals

You need to know everything about brokers, topics, partitions, offsets, producers and message keys, consumers and consumer groups, delivery semantics, Zookeeper, and more. My Apache Kafka for Beginners course will help you get there

Kafka Setup

You’ll need to know the kinks of setting up a Kafka cluster, important configurations, and so on. Check out my Kafka Setup course

Kafka Security

Understanding some of the intricate details of Kafka Security will be helpful for your exam to address 2–3 questions. Check out my Kafka Security course

Kafka Monitoring & Operations

Knowledge in these areas is key to pass the exam — it’s a Certified Confluent Operator exam after all. Check out my Kafka Monitoring & Operations course.

Other knowledge

  • Kafka Streams, KSQL, Kafka Connect should be known at a high level
  • same goes for Confluent components at a high level: Confluent Schema Registry, Confluent REST Proxy, Confluent Replicator, Confluent Control Centre.
  • If you’re interested in these in a deep dive, here’s a link to all my Kafka courses

Sample questions

The following questions are an extract of my Practice Exam course (responses at the bottom of the blog):

  • A: Set `enable.idempotence=true`
  • B: Set `retries=Integer.MAX_VALUE`
  • C: Set `retries=0`
  • D: Enable compression
  • A: ``
  • B: ``
  • C: `max.poll.records`
  • A: The Kafka broker will refuse the message
  • B: The message will be sent as is to a random partition
  • C: The Kafka client will generate a random partition key and assign it to the message
  • D: The Kafka broker will generate a random partition key and assign it to the message

Closing Comments

Don’t rush your certification, especially if you’re just getting started with Apache Kafka, as I find the exam really great at testing your actual experience using Apache Kafka. Take your time to learn and practice, and answering the questions will seem natural.

  • It’s absolutely free.
  • It’s open and there is no registration required.
  • It’s packed full of deep-dive lessons and practical tutorials, perfect for everyone from beginners to experts.



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Stéphane Maarek

Stéphane Maarek

Udemy Instructor, 5x AWS Certified, Kafka Evangelist, New Tech Hunter