Tips to learn & pass Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) exam

Anh Dang 🔥💻🎵
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4 min readDec 15, 2018


Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) and Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) are the best Kubernetes certification exams which managed by CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation). Last week I passed the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) exam with 83% and here are some tips that I want to share with you.

CKAD exam requires you 100% hands-on with Kubernetes features. It’s not going to be hard if you have used Kubernetes before. But if not you should go steps by steps from manual, online courses, exercises… to be familiar with K8s. Read more to learn how to steps up your own study guide based on the following suggestions.

Getting started Kubernetes

Firstly, there are some good Kubernetes courses that you can start Udacity, Udemy, edX. Free but provide you with some basics concepts. Besides, there is also a paid course from The Linux Foundation. I started with edX, it’s enough for the basic knowledge The origin, architecture, primary components, and building blocks of Kubernetes. If you just want to get CKAD you can skip learning the Installation of K8S. The CKA certification requires the Installation. For learning, on your local machine or your laptop, you can install minikube.

If you finished the training or got enough basic knowledge you should read through the official document ( This manual provides you concepts, tasks, tutorial to understand in deep. In my case, I spent at least 6 months before the exam to work with K8s before the exam.

Alternatively, if you prefer to read books instead, get yourself a book on Kubernetes: Up & Running.

Practice practice & practice with CKAD Exercises

After you have basic concepts and you want to focus in the exam. This is the Best Kubernetes CKAD sample exercises which cover all parts of the exam

Do this exercise at least 4-5 times. You don’t have time to read the document on exam time. Therefore, be familiar with kubectl command line to solve problems quickly. If you forget you should use helps by command kubectl -h, kubectl run -h… to find resources.

Again, the best practice is use kubectl command well. Use kubectl to create resources (such as deployment, service, cronjobs, secret, configmap…) instead of creating them from manifest files. Incase you have to edit manifest, use dry-run and -o yamlto save yaml file then edit manifest files.

Finally Tips for the exam

Remember 120 minutes contains 19 problems, ~6.3 minutes/problem. Don’t spend too much time on one question. Skip the questions with weight 2%-3% if it takes a long time. Note it and re-do when you have time.

From my experiences, some important parts with the high weight you need to read then practice for earning the CKAD certificate.

  • On the CKAD exercise, it misses two parts includes network policy and logging architect. But it takes 15% of your score so it’s very important to finish.
  • Network policy question: On my exam, this is a troubleshooting problem. The pod cannot access service because of created network policy. So you might describe network policy then the correct label of the pods to fix it. If you understand the network policy, very quickly to finish the problem. Read more the task Declare Network Policy.
  • Logging architecture k8s: You should understand cluster-level-logging. Read Logging Architecture, especially Sidecar container with a logging agent to understand sidecar container, fluentd.

Prepare for Exam Environment

  • Prepare quite room, no one in the room, The exam proctor will force you to clear all items on the table includes papers, pens...
  • Being well-rest before the exam. Schedule during morning is better for concentrating.
  • Prepare the ID, must provide their own front-end hardware to take exams, including a computer with: Chrome or Chromium browser, reliable internet access, webcam, microphone
  • The cost is $300 and includes one free retake. So keep calm with the first take, remember the questions with high score, take note if you can not finish for the second retake.
My CKAD Certificate

I wish my suggestions from this post might help you earn k8s certification. If you pass the exam, please share with me. I’d love to hear it.

Finally, we have many opening positions for engineering experts like you. Join our engineering teams:


Good luck!!!