Frequently Asked Questions: CKA and CKAD & CKS


Click the link to find out how the Sept 12, 2024 00:00 UTC changes may affect you.

The Linux Foundation has a zero tolerance rule in regard to anyone who engages in Exam Misconduct. Our exams are administered under strict supervision and exam rules, and are carefully monitored during the live exam, and upon completion of the exam, the session recording is reviewed.

Any suspicious activity will be addressed and will result in consequences including, but not limited to, revoking a passing score and restricting an individual’s ability to take an exam again.

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) can design, build and deploy cloud-native applications for Kubernetes. A CKAD can define application resources and use Kubernetes core primitives to create/migrate, configure, expose and observe scalable applications. The exam assumes working knowledge of container runtimes and microservice architecture.

The successful candidate will be comfortable: – working with (OCI-compliant) container images – applying Cloud Native application concepts and architectures – working with and validating Kubernetes resource definitions

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

The 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.

How much does the exam cost?

Please review our Training & Certification Catalog for pricing information.

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.

The main function of the proctors during the exam is to facilitate the check-in process and to monitor the session. They do not, nor are they expected to, have the technical expertise to weigh in or provide insight on the exam servers or exam content. Proctoring for Linux Foundation Exams is explained here.

If you’re interested in taking an online proctored exam through PSI and want a better understanding of what to expect before registering, watch the PSI Online Proctoring Experience video.

Candidates should review the Bridge FAQ Information, published by PSI, to prepare for the Secure Browser installation and be aware of how to resolve issues with the Installation/download or launch of their exam:

PSI Secure Browser FAQ (General) PSI Secure Browser - Linux OS Troubleshooting

What are the system requirements to take the exam?

Candidates should run the PSI Online Proctoring System Check to verify that their machine meets the technical requirements for taking a proctored exam.

The online proctored exam is taken on PSI's Proctoring Platform "Bridge", using the PSI Secure Browser (a web browser created to guarantee a secure exam delivery over a virtual connection).

The PSI Secure Browser download/installation will being when you Select “Launch exam” from the PSI Dashboard.

Candidates must provide their own computer with:

  • Supported OS: Please review the System Requirements, published by PSI, in particular the supported Operating System Information.

  • All browsers are supported, however PSI highly recommends using the latest version of Google Chrome for the best exam scheduling experience, and because the secure browser is Chrome-based and will give a more accurate experience..

  • One active monitor (either built in or external) (NOTE: Dual Monitors are NOT supported) The Linux Foundation recommends a screen size of 15” or higher to support the ExamUI. The Linux Foundation recommends a screen resolution of 1080p.

  • Reliable internet access

    • Ensure others on the same internet connection are not performing activities that use excessive bandwidth (i.e. holding conference calls, streaming content, gaming, etc.)

    • A wired connection is often more stable and robust than a wireless connection

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

    • HTTPS connectivity to AWS S3 endpoints like https://** is required, make sure your network environment is not blocking those requests (e.g. Firewall rules, HTTP Proxy, etc)

  • Microphone

    • Mac users may need to allow the PSI Secure Browser within their 'System Preferences: Security & Privacy: Privacy' settings for Microphone, Camera, Automation and Input Monitoring.

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

  • Webcam

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

    • Mac users may need to allow the PSI Secure Browser within their 'System Preferences: Security & Privacy: Privacy' settings for Microphone, Camera, Automation and Input Monitoring.

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

  • To ensure a smooth exam experience, we recommend using personal devices without stringent security features, and on which you have the privileges needed to install applications and to end system process' and services.

  • We strongly advise test takers to avoid using work-provided devices for their exams, as this practice can result in technical challenges. Although it is sometimes possible to initiate and access the exam on such devices, work devices often come with security features and work-related applications that can disrupt the exam software, causing technical complications.

Candidates are not allowed to have other applications or browser windows running except the one on which the Exam is being shown.

Please review the PSI Bridge Platform: System Requirements to ensure your machine will meet the requirements of our online proctor.

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 need to provide identification (ID) that meets the requirements outlined below:

  • All IDs must be a valid (unexpired) Government-issued original, physical document (not photocopied or electronic)

  • IDs must include the candidate's name, photo, and signature*

    • *Government-issued biometric IDs that do not contain signature will be accepted

  • The first and last name on the ID must exactly match the verified name entered on your exam checklist

  • Acceptable forms of ID:

    • International travel 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

    • Alien registration card (green card or permanent resident/visa)

    • 住民基本台帳 (Basic Resident Register with photo) or マイナンバーカード(My Number Card)

  • 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, 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

  • 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?

Upon completion, exams are scored automatically and barring any exceptions or technical difficulties, a score report will be sent to the candidate via email within 24 hours from the time that the exam was completed.

What resources am I allowed to access during my exam?

Please review the Resources Allowed information published here:

CKA & CKAD Resources Allowed

CKS Resources Allowed

What application version is running in the Exam Environment?

The CKA, CKAD and CKS exam environment is currently running etcd v3.5

The CKA exam environment is currently running Kubernetes v1.30 The CKAD exam environment is currently running Kubernetes v1.30 The CKS exam environment is currently running Kubernetes v1.30

The CKA, CKS and CKAD exam environment will be aligned with the most recent K8s minor version within approximately 4 to 8 weeks of the K8s release date.

What language(s) is the exam offered In?

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

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, CKAD and CKS Certifications are valid for 2 years.

(NOTE: CKA and CKAD Certifications achieved prior to April 01, 2024 are valid for 3 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.

Where can I find practice questions for CKA/CKAD/CKS?

Candidates who register for the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA), Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD), and Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) exams will have access to an exam simulator, provided by

Login to My Portal and click Start/Resume to view your exam preparation checklist. The link to the Simulator is available on the Top Right-Hand corner of the Exam Preparation Checklist.

Candidates will have two attempts (per exam registration). Each attempt grants 36 hours of access starting from the time of activation. The exam simulations include 20-25 questions similar to the ones candidates can expect to encounter on the real exam. Please review the FAQ section of the site for further information.

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.

The Kubernetes Security Essentials (LFS260) course provides the skills and knowledge on a broad range of best practices for securing container-based applications and Kubernetes platforms during build, deployment and runtime. This course is designed as preparation for the Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) Exam, and will substantially increase students' ability to become certified.

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 a retake for those who do not pass the first time, regardless of why.

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