At work, we were looking into switching from using IIS servers to moving to Kubernetes after we have containerized our application. I found this to be an excellent opportunity to learn Kubernetes get certified in the subject as the same time.
The Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate (KCNA) exam is designed to test your foundational knowledge and skills in Kubernetes.
The test is broken out into different domains and competences. At the time of this writing, this includes the following:
- Kubernetes Fundamentals (46%)
- Container Orchestration (22%)
- Cloud Native Architecture (16%)
- Cloud Native Observability (8%)
- Cloud Native Application Delivery (8%)
You have 90 minutes to complete a multiple choice exam with 60 questions. Don’t worry if you fail the first exam because you are given one retake. You have one year from the time you purchase the exam to take it.
My only complaint about this certification is that it expires after 3 years. Yes, I am aware that the technology changes rapidly. However, how much is it really going to change fundamentally in 3 years? That’s a rant for another day I suppose.
Cost and Study Material
Relatively speaking, the cost of getting certified wasn’t terrible. In the end, the cost of me getting certified was approximately $280 USD.
Linux Foundation - The exam costs you $250. This is the minimum requirement here in terms of cost. However, for just $49 more you can add the “Kubernetes and Cloud Native Essentials (LFS250) Course” provided by the Linux Foundation. I didn’t get a chance to work with this course but I have a feeling that it does a better job sticking to the proper terminology than other course. This is just an assumption though.
ExamPro - ExamPro is a third-party exam preparation site. This is what I used to do all of my studying. They use AWS cloud services for the “follow along” exercises. I strongly recommend doing this. After a month of on and off studying and remembering to spin down my virtual cloud development environment, I only owed AWS just a little over $4 USD. The exercises are what I think helped me to solidify my knowledge on Kubernetes. At the time of writing this, the course is on sale for $24.00 USD (Normally $60). You can get the course from HERE
ExamPro (Free Resource) - If you are the type of person that knows they will never utilize the Practice Exams or Flash Cards, the videos for this course are free on youtube. Source: CNCF Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate Certification Course (KCNA) - Pass the Exam!
My personal Tips For Passing Your KCNA the First Time
After going through this whole experience I want to give you some tips on what I did and some of the things I would have done differently knowing what I know now.
- Just spend the extra $49 on the on the “Kubernetes and Cloud Native Essentials (LFS250)” course when you purchase your Exam. I found that some of the practice question from the ExamPro practice tests were not that similar to the real test.
- Take advantage of the Practice Tests if you purchase the ExamPro course. I took all 4 practice tests over several days in preparation for the real test. Even though there were several questions I just knew because they were repeats from a previous practice exam, its really helped to solidify my knowledge on the subject.
- If you purchase the ExamPro course, do the exercises! Nothing beats actually being hands-on with Kubernetes. You will learn a lot from your mistakes and the instructor gives some good tips throughout the exercises.
- Expect to wait a full 24 hours for your test results. I literally got my results 24 hours later. I started my test at 11AM in the morning and got my results right around 11AM the next day.
After I took the exam, I was certain that I had failed it. I was not confident in my answers and there were several that I just had to make educated guesses on. In the end, I scored 84% out of the required 75% or above requirement. I hope this short little article gives you a successful strategy for passing your KCNA exam. Good luck!