How hard is Docker Certified Associate Certification? Proven Tips to Conquer the Exam

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docker associate exam difficulty

Docker skills are highly valued and generally in demand in today’s competitive job sector, and for that reason, Docker Certified Associate Certification comes in. The DCA is intended to validate skill sets and comprehensive knowledge required by Docker practitioners for effectively carrying out the tasks.

Although the Docker Certified Associate certification is the talk of the hour, passing the DCA exam is also a hard nut to crack. Need assistance for preparing for the exam? We’ve curated the best approaches and strategies to lessen the DCA exam difficulty and uplift your exam preparation. So, let’s get started with an overview.

Comprehensive Overview of Docker Certified Associate Certification

The Docker Certified Associate certification is aimed to showcase skill sets with real-world questions designed by experienced Docker practitioners. The credential emphasizes the ability to perform essential tasks that the Docker Certified Associate operates in day-to-day activities. It will in-build recognition of Docker skills that are most demanding and current.

Earning this certification doesn’t require any prerequisites but it is recommended to have 6 to 12 months of Docker experience and best practices. Moreover, you should also have an understanding of the Linux kernel, namespaces, and control groups. You also have a thorough understanding of Linux essentials.

Docker Certified Associate Certification Exam Structure

Before we talk about the DCA difficulty, it is important to get through the exam structure. 

Exam Format: 13 multiple choice questions, 42 discrete option multiple choice questions 

Time Allowed: You have 90 minutes to complete the exam. 

Language: English 

Exam Cost: USD 195 or Euro €200 purchased online

Read more: Docker Certified Associate Certification Roadmap

How hard is the Docker Certified Associate Certification exam?

Docker is a powerful tool for operating and managing containers. Currently, Docker is the leading container platform and offers a wide array of features including container management and orchestration. Getting a grasp on the features contained within the Docker Community Edition as well as other features offered through Enterprise Edition is difficult unless you have some experience and knowledge. The difficulty and how hard an exam is generally subjective and depends on the aspirant experience. 

Generally, aspirants considered this exam difficult because it requires in-depth knowledge of Docker practices and a lot of technicalities. 

Test Taker’s Experience: Difficulty Level

For many candidates, the exam appeared to be challenging because of the exam structure which included 42 discrete option multiple choice. The exam tests the core concepts and there is a high probability that real-life examples will be asked, so make sure you’re well versed with the concepts. Some candidates, who were aware of the exam structure properly, solved the exam with ease and didn’t find any difficulty. Ultimately, the difficulty level is subjective and it depends on how thoroughly you’re prepared for the exam, how much previous experience you have, and how mindfully you respond to exam questions on the actual day.

If you have pretty good knowledge about the Docker containers and best practices and respond to exam questions calmly and with mindfulness on exam day, you can prevail over the DCA exam difficulty level.

How to Prevail the Docker Certified Associate Exam Difficulty?

Well, passing any exam demands hard work and persistent effort, and you can’t overcome the difficulty by just hoping and doing leisure activities. You will triumph in the exam for sure if you follow the below approaches and strategies. 

Understand the DCA Syllabus Scope

Always begin your study path with an understanding of the syllabus scope. Lay out all the exam topics and start researching them one by one. There are several resources that you can use as a go-to resource such as the Docker Certified Associate study guide. It provided a clear outline of what candidates should expect. Because exam questions can cover any aspect of the syllabus, it is critical to thoroughly understand the topics. The main themes and objectives that cover the exam are discussed below with the defined percentage weightage:

Exam Domains %Weightage
Orchestration 25%
Image Creation, Management, and Registry 20%
Installation and Configuration 15%
Networking 15%
Security 15%
Storage and Volumes 10%

Breakdown the Syllabus/Topics

Once you understand the syllabus, the next step is to break down the exam syllabus and concentrate on one topic at a time. Don’t mess up and boggle your mind by adding so much information all at once. Make sure you’re giving time to one domain based on the percentage weightage on the actual exam. For instance, Orchestration consists of 25% of the total exam, so invest your time more in clarifying related to this domain.  Get acquainted with additional concepts of Linux essentials and other information that is recommended. 

Utilize Various Resources for Delving Deep into Concepts

Don’t rely on a single resource. Use a plethora of resources that enhance your knowledge and complement the previous information. As you prepare with a combination of resources, you will get more insights about the particular concept. Moreover, it is important to choose resources that are perfectly aligned with the exam syllabus.

Applied Your Learning to Practical and Real-Life Scenarios

True learning always comes when you learn from scratch and implement your knowledge in real-life scenarios. You can install Docker on any operating system and start practicing. Mostly, candidates install the community edition. But Docker also offers a free trial for the enterprise edition for 30 days. You should use and practice on this trial because the exam equally focuses on the EE topics (UCP, DTR, and DCT, etc.) as well.

Be Relaxed and Solve the Exam Calmly

You pass half of your exam when you know how to control your mind. Have you ever encountered a situation, where the candidate was fully prepared but still didn’t get the desired outcome? Exam anxiety is one of the predominant factors here. Before appearing in the exam, calm yourself by breathing in and out, and solve the questions with mindfulness. Don’t panic and try to attempt every question.

Best Resources to Avail for DCA Exam Preparation

There are numerous resources that you can avail for preparing for the DCA exam. But you should be really careful while obtaining any resources because, in the end, they will determine whether you will pass the exam or fail it. We have probed into various resources and come out with the best that you can fetch and triumph the exam.

Download the DCA Study Guide

The first resource you should gather is to download the Docker Certified Associate Study Guide. The study guide consists of everything you need to know for the exam including exam structure, syllabus, and other relevant information. It will help you to go through all the exam objectives comprehensively.

Enroll in Docker Certified Associate Training Course/ Hands-on Labs

If you can avail of the training, then you must enroll in it. Usually, candidates don’t have much time and due to time constraints, they don’t appear in the online training courses. But if you want to delve deeper into the Docker container and its practices, enrolling in a training course or hands-on lab from an appropriate training partner is an effective and efficient way.


Mirantis training has a curated boot camp that is tailored to help you prepare for the Docker Certified Associate exam efficiently. This will build competencies in the Docker practices and managing containers.

Practice with Dumpsgate DCA Dumps

After you learn all the concepts, the main part comes: practicing these concepts. Practicing is the crucial task as well as the best way to increase your exam readiness level. Make sure to practice and take mock tests over and over. We at Dumpsgate have created top-notch and premium DCA exam dumps that aid you in practicing the domains widely. These not only helped you gauge your knowledge but also helped you become acquainted with the format of the actual exam. As you solve these dumps, you will become more confident about your preparation.

3 Secret Tips to Remember

Skip The Question

You have 90 minutes to solve 55 questions. It is very crucial to solve the exam while keeping a check on time constraints. The best approach is to specify and divide the time equally for all questions. However, if you are stuck on one question and don’t know the answer, don’t waste time remembering the solution, it is better to skip it for a while. Solve the rest of the questions first and if there is any time left at the end, go toward the unsolved ones.

Mark Every Question

Try to attempt every question. Don’t leave it. Even if you have a mere guess, mark the question. Sometimes, the guessed one tends to become right. So, don’t leave any exam even if it has a 0.01% possibility of being right.

Attempt the Exam at Your Ease

Even if you are well-prepared for the exam, always schedule when you feel comfortable taking it. If you don’t feel comfortable taking the exam, you can reschedule it. Remember there is no free retake for this exam. You have only one attempt. So, avail this attempt when you feel like attempting it.

Read more: Is DCA Certification worth it

Bottoms Line

The DCA exam requires extensive preparation and validation of Docker skills. Although the Docker Certified Associate is a challenging exam, the right preparation resources, strategies, and strict study schedule can aid you in acing the exam. 

Moreover, the more you practice for this exam, the more chances of succeeding in the exam. So, buckle up yourself and get Docker certified today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Docker skills are high in demand in today’s technological world. If you haven’t heard about Docker, you’re not upskilling lately. Many IT aspirants are pursuing this certification because of its undisputed value. The DCA certification validates skills that are essential for Docker practitioners to carry out day-to-day activities. Getting this certification also opens several opportunities and helps you advance your career.

The exam cost for Docker Associate Certified is USD 195 or Euro 175 purchased online.

No. Docker certifications are not free. You have to pay exam costs and other miscellaneous costs for completing the certification. However, you can get a discount on exam vouchers when purchasing multi-packs of 10, 25, 50, or 100 exams.

Your DCA certification is valid for two years. You have to update your certification after the expiration period.

In case you don’t pass the exam on the first attempt, you can retake the exam which is subject to some conditions: 

  1. a) Wait 14 days from the day you fail to take the exam again
  2. b) pay the exam price each time you attempt an exam.



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