Second attempt at the CKAD exam

CKAD Take Two

Last Friday, I attempted the CKAD exam. I had studied for weeks and was trying to pass before November 1st. I went way too slow. I only answered 10 of the 19 questions completely. I left 5 questions completely unanswered. I tried to pay attention to the weights of each question, so there was a chance that I was going to pass. I answered all of the highest weight questions. My friends, who had already taken the test, told me that I would get my results the following night, around midnight. The wait was brutal, all day Saturday I was checking my email, not knowing how I did. I was hoping, but not confident. I got the email shortly after midnight on Sunday morning. Unfortunately I only scored 61% and needed 66% to pass.

I immediately rescheduled my retake exam before going to bed. Before falling asleep, I figured I would have four blocks, of two hours, to study more and practice going faster. I didn’t get to study during any of the blocks that I thought I would have. Instead:

  • One 1-hour session on Monday
  • One 2-hour session on Tuesday
  • Two 30-min sessions on Wednesday morning

I took the test again on Wednesday afternoon (yesterday) and this time I feel much better. I answered 17 questions completely. The questions that I didn’t answer completely had weights of 2% and 3% and I think I had partial answers. I think it is very possible that I get above 90%, but I will definitely be happy with 66% too! My confidence is high, and I’m going to have a celebratory lunch today, even though I don’t know for sure that I passed.

Looking back, I realized that I learned the most while I was pairing with a teammate, Sean. We had a couple of Zoom sessions where we just talked about our approaches, while we worked through exercises. As I continue to wait for my results, I’m looking foward to studying for the CKA exam. I will definitely do more pairing as I prepare for the CKA exam. My perception today is that I had 2x-3x more value per minute, while I was pairing, compared to just following the online training material. I’ll still use online training for the CKA, but I am already scheduling time to pair before I have actually started the new course.

My previous experience with kubernetes definitely helped me get through. It was very clear to me that I have been spoiled by Cloud Foundry. To me, kubernetes is a step back from what I’ve been doing for years, and that was painful. I would still like to explore more of the kubernetes ecosystem, like Helm. I’m glad that I’ve got this experience under my belt, even though I don’t know if I passed yet.

Lastly, now that I’m in this mode of studying and practicing, I think I’m going to stay in this mode for the next 60-90 days at least.