My Experience and Tips for CKA

I started preparing for the exam in January 2021.I have listened to the four hours long youtube video by Nana Janashia. That was a good introduction and overview on Kubernetes. I had also gone through some videos in Pluralsight on various CKA concepts. Then I purchased the udemy course on CKA by Mumshad Mannambeth (founder of KodeKloud). I have also joined their slack channel. This course is organised in an excellent manner with hands-on labs within the browser itself for each topic. I prepared a plan on what needs to be covered on each week and I did stick to the plan. As part of doing that course, I first listened to the video and then did the lab for the same topic. In the initial days, I had to depend on their solution videos. To understand the concepts better, I started referring to the “Kubernetes in Action” book by MARKO LUKŠA and documented some of the important concepts in slides for self-learning and reinforcing the concepts. Once I completed one round of learning and practice for all topics, I did a revision round of the same thing, but in a quick manner. This time, many times, I skipped the videos and took the labs directly and was able to do labs with lesser dependency on solution videos. Wherever I felt I had to depend on the solution video/hint for answering, I started going through those topics/labs more time. Since CKA allows you to only refer to their official documentation, I made it a strict habit to refer to their documentation and start building my personal bookmarks.

In the whole journey, one of my close friends and myself met thrice a week online and studied/discussed together on the concepts. Then closer to the exam date, I started attempting the lighting exams and mock exams in that udemy course. Initially I was scoring very less. But then after one round, I listed down topics that I need to practice again and practiced them again before attempting the mock exams again. Then, over time, I started scoring around 90% for all mock exams.

Tip #7 from this page by Gineesh was very helpful for better formatting with vi. I practiced them and updated my .vimrc file immediately when I started the exam with that line.

On the exam day, my exam was scheduled in the evening. In the morning, I attempted all lightning and mock tests again. In the afternoon, I took a nap, had a small discussion with my friend on some last minute doubts and then allowed myself to cool down for two hours away from my laptop before the exam.

Tips:

  1. Plan for your studies (I chunked out a plan based on Udemy course by Mumshad what should be covered on a weekly basis) and stick to it as much as you can
  2. One hour a day on weekdays and 1–2 hours on weekends is what I spend for preparation
  3. Actively go through the doubts people ask in that slack channel and you can learn a lot from their experiences and questions.
  4. Make it a habit to refer to officially allowed documentation when you practice and bookmark important links in an organised manner as per your style.
  5. I made it clear only to refer to those bookmarks and that too only one tab for references during practice (since you can use only one extra tab for documentation during exam)
  6. They give you a notepad as a scratch area for any notes. So I used a sublime text edit to simulate the same experience during my practices
  7. Two gems in the documentation are Reference doc and Cheat sheet
  8. Take practice tests, lightning tests and mock exams as many times as you can. I took practice tests many times and took the mock tests 3–4 times
  9. I did not use any alias during the exam
  10. Imperative commands are very useful in many situations. Practice using them
  11. Do not build yaml files from scratch. Copy them from documentation and build on top of it
  12. If you find a question difficult, just flag it and move forward. There are other easy questions waiting for you there.

Feel free to reach out to me for any questions/help

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ganeshniyer/