Those who passed the PCA - how was the exam and how did you prepare?

Hi all,
Was wondering if anyone has taken the PCA exam yet and could share their experience or tips…
For example:

  • Is completion of the udemy courses sufficient preparation for the exam?
  • What is exam format?
    • Can it be taken remotely?
    • Is documentation access allowed during the exam?
    • Will the format be hands-on like the CKA or multiple choice or a mixture?
    • How many questions are to be completed and it difficult to answer them all in the time alloted?
  • What was the turnaround time to receive the results to know whether you passed?
  • Now that you have gone through the process, are there any general preparation tips?

Any information would be helpful, thanks!

Hi @MxNxPx I can help answer some of your questions.

(disclaimer I work here at Portworx, just want to shine some light to your great questions for others)

  • Is completion of the udemy courses sufficient preparation for the exam?

The exam is based on the PCA Training on Udemy. Therefore, the exam does not have any surprise questions that were not available in the training, labs and links used for the course. Though it would be a good idea to continue to try portworx beyond the labs. We also recommend you take the free Portworx Fundamentals course. https://www.udemy.com/course/portworx-fundamentals/

  • What is exam format?

The exam is Multiple Choice Questions.

  • Can it be taken remotely?

Yes, only remotely actually.

  • Is documentation access allowed during the exam?

Yes, however there is a time limit and you will get about 45 seconds per question.This time limit is based on online exam standards which shows it is enough time for students who know the material. So if you can answer a few of the questions quickly, in theory this will give you time quickly lookup something. Though, time limits are to ensure students taking the exam are familiar with content and do not lookup most answers.

  • Will the format be hands-on like the CKA or multiple choice or a mixture?

NOT hands on. Only multiple choice.

  • How many questions are to be completed and it difficult to answer them all in the time alloted?

There are 155 questions and a 2 hour time limit. 74% is a minimum passing grade. This should be sufficient time to answer questions, however i’ll let others comment on their experience.

  • What was the turnaround time to receive the results to know whether you passed?

Immediately. If you pass, you will receive your certificate the same day.

  • Now that you have gone through the process, are there any general preparation tips?

I’ll let others comment. However, we recommend at least the Fundamentals course and PCA course. Beyond that, hands on is the best preparation, and you can get try other scenarios here as well https://www.katacoda.com/portworx

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Thanks @Ryan_Wallner – your information helped me pass the PCA!!!

Here are my notes & tips to anyone else interested in taking the PCA:

  • The exam is a mixture of true/false, multiple choice, and fill in the blanks (so expect to type in some answers)
  • You should be spending 45 secs or less on each question to get through all 155 in 2 hours, but I don’t think any individual question had a hard time limit, just keep an eye on the time left on the exam in the top right and number of questions left
  • There is no “mark for review” option within the exam for questions you are struggling with; so perhaps note that question number in a personal note taking tool - such as notepad - to revisit later
  • Don’t know if this is allowed, but I definitely could have benefited from having a Portworx cluster handy to validate some syntax quickly rather than looking up the docs (specifically for some commands I rarely use)
  • When you complete the exam (at least when you pass) there was no score or additional feedback beyond a note like this “You have completed the exam. Passed Based on this result, you earned a certificate.”
  • I think understanding Kubernetes is kind of assumed for the PCA, but I just calling it out as a pre-req
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Good to know, will be taking the exam in the enxt weeks, thx for all the notes, tips and observations.

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Good luck @Gerardo_Hernandez. Please let us know your experience of how the exam is and post your experience here.

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This is great feedback. Thank you.

There is no “mark for review”

This is a valid observation, we will see if we can add this for future test takers.

Don’t know if this is allowed, but I definitely could have benefited from having a Portworx cluster handy to validate some syntax quickly rather than looking up the docs

Sure, this is fine. We cannot provide one, but if you have one, you are more than welcome to use it as an aid. Just dont spent too much time checking and remember to finish the exam :slight_smile:

When you complete the exam (at least when you pass) there was no score or additional feedback

We will try to add some more detail.

I think understanding Kubernetes is kind of assumed for the PCA, but I just calling it out as a pre-req

Thank you for this input. Your assumption is correct. We will make this more clear

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Hi !
Just wanna share that I just completed the exam (passed)
I’ve followed the recommendation from @MxNxPx

having a Portworx cluster handy to validate some syntax quickly rather than looking up the docs (specifically for some commands I rarely use)

  • A lot fo questions regarding to security and migrations, things that currently I am not working on, but thanks to my notes, can get a better understanding.
  • It was good to have the opportunity at the end for reviewing some questions.
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