Frequently Asked Questions: CKA and CKAD & CKS

What is the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) Certification?

The Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) certification is designed to ensure that certification holders have the skills, knowledge, and competency to perform the responsibilities of Kubernetes Administrators. The CKA certification allows certified administrators to quickly establish their credibility and value in the job market, and also allowing companies to more quickly hire high-quality teams to support their growth.

What is the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Certification?

The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) certification is designed to provide assurance that certification holders have the skills, knowledge, and competency to perform the responsibilities of Kubernetes application developers. A Certified Kubernetes Application Developer can define application resources and use core primitives to build, monitor, and troubleshoot scalable applications and tools in Kubernetes.

What is the Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) Certification?

The A Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) certification is designed to provide assurance that certification holders are accomplished Kubernetes practitioners (as evidenced by holding the CKA credential) who have demonstrated competence on a broad range of best practices for securing container-based applications and Kubernetes platforms during build, deployment and runtime.

Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) candidates must have taken and passed the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam prior to attempting the CKS exam.

CKS may be purchased but not scheduled until CKA certification has been achieved. CKA Certification must be active (non-expired) on the date the CKS exam (including Retakes) is scheduled.

How much does the exam cost?

The exam costs $300 USD.

How is the exam proctored?

The certification exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds. The screensharing feed allows proctors to view candidates' desktops (including all monitors). The audio, video, and screen sharing feeds will be stored for a limited period of time in the event that there is a subsequent need for review.

What are the system requirements to take the exam?

Exams are delivered online and Candidates must provide their own computer with:

  • Current version of Chrome or Chromium

    • you don’t need to install a virtual machine, use a client machine, or anything beyond a Chrome or Chromium browser

    • Make sure you have third party cookies turned on for the duration of the exam.

  • Reliable internet access

    • Turn off bandwidth-intensive services (e.g. file sync, dropbox, BitTorrent)

    • Ask others who may be sharing your Internet connection not to stream video or download large files.

  • Microphone

    • Please check to make sure it is working before you start your exam session.

  • Webcam

    • Ensure the webcam is capable of being moved as the proctor may ask you to pan your surroundings to check for potential violations of exam policy.

    • Try holding up your ID while viewing your webcam feed to ensure your placement and resolution are sufficient for the person viewing your feed to read your ID.

    • If you will be testing from an employer-provide ISP or will use an employer provided machine, please ensure that streaming will be allowed using WebRTC.

    Candidates should run the compatibility check tool to verify that their hardware meets the minimum requirements.

What are the Testing Environment requirements to take the exam?

Below are the expectations for an acceptable testing environment:

  • Clutter-free work area

    • No objects such as paper, writing implements, electronic devices, or other objects on top of surface

    • No objects such as paper, trash bins, or other objects below the testing surface

  • Clear walls

    • No paper/print outs hanging on walls

    • Paintings and other wall décor is acceptable

    • Candidates will be asked to remove non-décor items prior to the exam being released

  • Lighting

    • Space must be well lit so that proctor is able to see candidate’s face, hands, and surrounding work area

    • No bright lights or windows behind the examinee

  • Other

    • Candidate must remain within the camera frame during the examination

    • Space must be private where there is no excessive noise. Public spaces such as coffee shops, stores, open office environments, etc. are not allowed.

What are the ID requirements to take the exam?

Candidates are required to provide a non-expired Primary ID that contains Candidate’s photograph, signature and full name (see acceptable forms of ID in the table below).

The name on your Primary ID must exactly match the verified name on your exam checklist.

If the Candidate’s full name on their Primary ID contains non-latin characters, then the Candidate must ALSO provide a non-expired Secondary ID containing their full name in Latin Characters and signature, OR a notarized English translation of their Primary ID along with the non-latin character Primary ID.

Primary ID

(non-expired and including photograph and signature)

Secondary ID

(non-expired and including signature with Candidate name in Latin characters)

Passport

Government-issued driver’s license/permit

Government-Issued local language ID (with photo and signature)

National Identity card

State or province-issued identity card

住民基本台帳 (Basic resident register with Photo)

Debit (ATM) Card

Credit Card

Health Insurance Card

U.S. Social Security Card

Employee ID Card

Student ID Card

Additional Allowances:

  • Some government issued ID such as a passport, driver’s license, military ID or state/country card may be a biometric type and may or may not contain a signature. In these cases Primary ID will be accepted without a signature on condition that you also present a Secondary ID which does contain your signature (e.g. bank, credit or debit card)

  • For candidates testing in Japan, a Driver’s License (with name and recent recognizable photo) is acceptable as a primary ID as long as it is accompanied with a valid Blue Japanese Health Card. In Japan, the Blue Japanese Health Card is an acceptable form of secondary ID.

  • Minors, between the age of 16-18, are permitted to take an online proctored exam with PSI, provided they complete the following requirements:

    • A Parent/Guardian must complete the Parental Release for Testing of Minors form, and submit it to certificationsupport@linuxfoundation.org, at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled date of the exam

    • At check in, the minor candidate must present a valid student ID as a form of identification

    • During the PSI check-in process, the candidate's guardian must also present a valid ID and must provide verbal consent during the PSI check-in process.

Exams may be administered to citizens of a sanctioned country listed below PROVIDED the citizens are tested OUTSIDE the sanctioned country and their exam registration and current ID show an address OUTSIDE the sanctioned country.

  • Cuba

  • Iran

  • Syria

  • Sudan

  • North Korea

  • Crimea Region of Ukraine

How long will the exam take?

Candidates are allowed 2 hours to complete the CKA, CKAD and CKS Exams.

What score is needed to pass the exam?

For the CKA Exam, a score of 66% or above must be earned to pass. For the CKAD Exam, a score of 66% or above must be earned to pass. For the CKS Exam, a score of 67% or above must be earned to pass.

How is my exam scored?

Exams are scored automatically, usually within 24 hours of completion. Results will be emailed within 36 hours from the time that the Exam was completed. Exams are graded for results. There may be more than one way to perform a task on an Exam and unless otherwise specified, the candidate can pick any available path to complete the task as long as it produces the correct result.

What resources am I allowed to access during my exam?

During the exam, candidates may:

No other tabs may be opened and no other sites may be navigated to (including https://discuss.kubernetes.io/).

The allowed sites above may contain links that point to external sites. It is the responsibility of the candidate not to click on any links that cause them to navigate to a domain that is not allowed.

What application version is running in the Exam Environment?

The CKA exam environment is currently running Kubernetes v1.19 The CKAD exam environment is currently running Kubernetes v1.19 The CKS exam environment is currently running Kubernetes v1.19

What language(s) is the exam offered In?

CKA and CKAD Exam tasks are available in English, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese. CKS Exam tasks are only available in English.

When an exam is launched, the exam tasks will default to the preferred language setting detected in the Candidate’s browser. If the preferred language is not available for that exam, then the exam tasks default to English. Candidates may switch between available languages during the exam by clicking on the “Language Control Dropdown List” in the Content Panel of the exam console.

How long is my certification valid for?

CKA and CKAD Certifications are valid for 3 years. CKS Certification is valid for 2 years.

How do I renew my certification?

Candidates have the option to retake and pass the exam to renew their certification. Certification Renewal must be completed prior to the certification expiration date. The CKA & CKAD renewed certification will be valid for a further 3 years effective from the date the exam is passed. The CKS renewed certification will be valid for a further 2 years effective from the date the exam is passed.

Is there training to prepare for the certification exam?

The Linux Foundation offers a free Introduction to Kubernetes course which provides an introduction to many key concepts for Kubernetes. The Fundamentals of Kubernetes (LFS258) course builds on this introductory material and is designed as preparation for the Certified Kubernetes Administrator Exam.

The topics covered in the Kubernetes for Developers (LFS259) course are directly aligned with the knowledge domains tested by the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer Exam.

What is the recourse for someone who attributes exam failure to the testing environment?

We understand that taking the exams via remote desktop and a new platform environment may cause a lag time for some, however there are trade offs needed to offer this exam remotely. We will continually monitor and seek to improve the testing experience over time.

When eligible, we do offer free retakes for those who do not pass the first time, regardless of why.