My CKA Experience + CKAD vs CKA FAQ’s

After completing my CKAD(you should my review somewhere here)last month, the logical step forward was to go for CKA. Many reviews spoke that CKA was a whole lot more difficult than CKAD which made me slightly nervous to plan it as I barely passed my CKAD with a score of 69/100(passing mark was 66). So this time I decided to take it a little slow with my preparation …

Before starting , I would like to give a brief background of myself to my readers. I am a security analyst in between switching roles within my organisation to a devops and administrator role . I am a 2021 B.Tech graduate from India with certifications such as OSCP, CRTE, CKAD ,etc(if anyone is interested , they can find reviews of the mentioned certifications in my blog profile). I work with deploying and managing kubernetes and cloud native solutions in my daily work so I can say I am clear with kubernetes basics.

CKA as you might be knowing stands for Certified Kubernetes Administrator offered by Linux Foundation. In order to be certified , one must pass the 2 hour hands on exam assigned by Linux Foundation. The certification mostly consists of performing administrative tasks on kubernetes clusters such as backing up etcd,joining a node, fixing broken clusters and much more.

Again like with CKAD I exclusively used only for my preparation. Please make sure that along with doing the labs, you understand why you are doing it. They even provide mock exams for you to practice, definately go through them .

I can vouch that kodekloud covers everything required. CKA deals only with kubeadm clusters so you wouldn’t need to do kubernetes the hard way as part of the preparation . However you can if you want to gain more clarity and how kubernetes services work.

My exam was scheduled on 18th September. Personally, I found the exam very easy and it took me only an hour to complete all the questions and complete the exam. I feel it could be maybe because I already work a lot with kubernetes which might have contributed to it. I strongly belive that if I could do it then anybody can, if you have a good solid foundation of kubernetes and it’s working, it would take you that much time only.

And yes , I did take and I can confirm it is quite hard compared to the exam. So don’t worry if you get a low score in like I did:)

As usual please make sure you follow all the guidelines laid down by linux foundation as it will be a proctered exam. You should find all the rules in the website :p

As promised , here are some FAQ’s I normally get asked about CKAD and CKA:-

Q)Which is harder , CKAD or CKA?

A)I belive it really depend from individual to individual. I read a lot of reviews that CKAD was a whole lot easier than CKA, but for me personally CKAD was a lot harder than CKA. I remember scrambling for time in CKAD whereas CKA for super chilled out for me. Also, I felt in CKA my strong linux background helped me as a lot of questions just needed some common sense and basic linux rather than kubernetes knowledge.

Q)What’s the difference between the CKAD and CKA curriculum? Is there any overlap?And if so how much?

A) The fundamental difference between both curriculums is that CKAD deals more with namespaced objects such as pods, services , pvcs whereas CKA deals primarily with cluster scope objects such as nodes, pvs, upgrading a cluster. That does not mean that you won’t face namespaced object related questions in CKA , but just that it’ll be less in number . So yes, there is a lot of overlap between both certifications , I would say around 30% of course content is quite similar.

Q)Is it compulsory to do “Kubernetes the hard way”

A)NO. I see a lot of blogs saying doing “Kubernetes the hard way “ is a neccessity to do. I never did that nor did I ever feel the need to do it. CKA deals with exclusively with bootstrapping and managing kubeadm clusters . Although if you want to add it to your preparation kit, by all means do it. The main point I wanted to make is that it’s definately not a neccessity.

This should be all, I hope this blog helps anyone looking to take this certification. Onto CKS now!

You can reach out to me in linkedin here .

Cats, pizza and cyber security are all I live for! Follow me for a wide variety of topics in the field of cyber security. OSCP ,CRTE , CRTP ,CKAD holder.