Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Exam Guide
Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Exam Guide

This course explains several important aspects of taking the official Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) exam. You will learn about the exam procedure, where to find the latest information about the exam, and a few helpful tips for taking the exam.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the official CKAD exam procedure
  • Understand where to find the latest information about the official CKAD exam

Intended Audience

Certified Kuberentes Application Developer (CKAD) exam candidates


You are now near the end of the learning path. You have developed your skills in each of the CKAD exam domains, and are almost ready to schedule your exam. This short video will explain some important details about the exam to make sure you don't have any surprises on exam day. 

The CKAD exam is a practical exam, meaning you will be issuing commands in a shell to perform various tasks. The exam tests your knowledge in the following five domains: Application Design and Build, which is worth 20% of your final score, Application Deployment, also worth 20%, Application observability and maintenance, worth 15%, Application Environment, Configuration and Security, 25%, and Services and Networking, 20%.

The exam is taken online in a browser. Your screen and your webcam will be recorded to ensure that it is you, and only you taking the test. You have two hours to complete the exam starting from the time the Proctor releases your exam. It shouldn't be necessary, but you may find it comforting to know that you get one free retake when you purchase an exam. 

Before you can take an exam you will register from the official exam website, which we'll see soon. During registration, you will select an available time slot and pay the exam fee. On exam day you will sign in using a link provided in your registration confirmation email, and click start to being the check-in process. You have up to 15 minutes after your scheduled exam time to start the procedure, otherwise, you'll be marked as a no-show and are ineligible for a refund.

During the check-in you will be contacted by a Proctor that will verify your government-issued photo ID, and also ask you to pan your camera around the room to verify that your workspace is clear and no people are with you. They will review a few points and then release your exam.

During the examination, you have two hours to complete the questions. You can request breaks, but the timer doesn't stop if you take a break. You will have the exam interface open in your browser, it shows the questions on the left, and a browser-based Linux shell connected to an Ubuntu machine where you will issue commands to complete the questions.

Each question shows how much it is worth of the overall exam score. Avoid spending a lot of time on questions that are not worth much of the total. Budget your time, and move on after a minute or two if you get stuck. You can always return to it later. The timer is always shown so you can see how much time you have left. You can also write as many notes as you want in the exams notepad feature.

Results will be emailed to you within 36 hours from the time that the exam is completed. If you pass, you will receive a virtual certificate, and earn the use of the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer title. If you don't pass, remember that you get one free retake with your exam fee.

Run through the learning path again and get familiar with the documentation of anything that you're not very comfortable with. You should always consult the official exam website for the most up-to-date information. Let's navigate over to it now. 

I've put a link to the website in the transcript for this video. On the website, you'll find a link to register for the exam, as well as some details for the exam, including the weightings of each domain. At the bottom are several valuable exam resources. The first is the exam candidate's handbook. There you can find everything, including the registration procedure, the grading system, and appeal procedures. What I want to highlight for you now is the first candidate requirement, that states that you need to use Chrome or the Chromium browser. The exam uses a Chrome extension to record your screen and you need to install it before starting the exam. There is a link to a website where you can go to test your system to ensure that it meets all of the requirements in the Hardware Compatibility Check section. I've also added the link in the transcript. The other section I want to highlight is the tips for using the browser-based shell terminal. You can read all of them on your own but I want to make sure that you know that your usual keyboard shortcuts might not work. One important example is Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V for copying and pasting, they're not supported. This is particularly important for Windows systems. To copy and paste from the shell terminal you should use Ctrl+Insert and Shift+Insert. Lastly, you can open up multiple shell tabs, so you may want to familiarize yourself with a tool like tmux if you think you will benefit from splitting the shell to have, say, a shell prompt on the left, and a vi editor on the right. The course curriculum shows all of the domains for the exam, as well as included topics for each. This learning path has been designed with all of those topics in mind, but you may want to review the topics and ensure that you have some idea about each. 

Next, I want you to see the cluster table. They tell you how many clusters you will be using in the exam, as well as some configuration information. You can infer what you like from this table. You can also see what version of Kubernetes the exam environment is using at the very bottom. The last exam resource that I'll review is the FAQ. Again, there is a lot of repetition, but one question you can keep an eye on is what resources are allowed during the exam. Currently, it says that you are allowed one additional browser tab, or you can access official Kubernetes documentation at, or official Kubernetes blogs like The newest addition is the Kubernetes Github repository. This is subject to change, so check back before taking the exam. Keep in mind you are responsible for not opening links that navigate outside of the allowed areas. A bit further down, you can see that the required score to pass the exam is 66%. I've encouraged you to review the documentation as you go through the learning path. One page you might not have come across that could be useful in the exam is the kubectl Cheat Sheet. Here you can find a list of many useful commands for you to search through, again you should be familiar with most of this, but if the exam pressure gets to you, you might consult this, or other documentation pages. 

Feel free to repeat the content in the learning path as many times as you need to prepare for it. When you repeat labs, try to achieve the goals of each lab step, only referring to the instructions when you really need to. That way, you can simulate the actual exam environment.

That's all for this summary video. I'll wish you good luck with the actual exam, but I think if you followed along, and understood everything in the learning path, you won't need luck. Do be sure to read through the official exam documents before taking the exam, and perform the system test so you don't have any surprises on exam day.


About the Author
Learning Paths

Jonathan Lewey is a DevOps Content Creator at Cloud Academy. With experience in the Networking and Operations of the traditional Information Technology industry, he has also lead the creation of applications for corporate integrations, and served as a Cloud Engineer supporting developer teams. Jonathan has a number of specialities including: a Cisco Certified Network Associate (R&S / Sec), an AWS Developer Associate, an AWS Solutions Architect, and is certified in Project Management.