Preparing for the Prometheus Certified Associate (PCA) Exam

PCA logo
The Prometheus Certified Associate (PCA) exam is a professional certification program administered by the Linux Foundation that helps you demonstrate your foundational knowledge of observability concepts and Prometheus skills.

We help you prepare!

What is PromLabs' role in the PCA certification?

Since the PCA exam does not include or prescribe specific course material to prepare for the exam, the Linux Foundation relies on independent training providers to offer learning experiences towards taking and passing the PCA exam. At PromLabs, we aim to offer the best possible training content and platform toward the certification, with only a few minor PCA topics not covered yet by our trainings (see below).

To help ensure the certification's relevancy for the Prometheus domain, Prometheus co-founder Julius Volz of PromLabs also worked with the Linux Foundation to define the scope and outline for the PCA exam.

Do the PromLabs trainings prepare me for the PCA exam?

The PromLabs trainings cover most of the topics that are covered in the PCA exam, and will soon cover all of them.

The only topics from the Domains & Competencies outline that are not covered in our trainings are the following ones from the general "Observability Concepts" section:

  • Observability Concepts > Understand logs and events
  • Observability Concepts > Tracing and Spans
  • Observability Concepts > Push vs Pull
  • Observability Concepts > Basics of SLOs, SLAs, and SLIs

Since these are only a few observability topics that are not specifically Prometheus-related, we recommend relying on other sources to study and learn these until we offer additional training material.

What about the Linux Foundation's own Prometheus training?

Our training author Julius Volz also originally authored the Linux Foundation's Prometheus training in 2018, but by now that content is fairly dated and has not received major updates in years.

At PromLabs we set out to provide more current and more extensive training content, and we also aim to provide a more accessible training platform. For example, labs do not need to be downloaded as separate PDFs, code boxes have PromQL syntax highlighting, copy-and-paste works for code boxes, PromQL queries can be directly opened in Prometheus or PromLens, and more.

Does PromLabs have access to the PCA exam questions?

While we helped define the outline of the PCA exam, the Linux Foundation does not permit training providers to review or contribute specific exam questions. Instead, questions for the exam are sourced and reviewed by a number of independent subject matter experts from the Prometheus community. This is to prevent training providers from creating overly specific trainings that allow you to pass an exam while not actually learning the foundations of the subject.

Still, we are confident that our trainings will give you a solid foundation for the PCA exam. Of course we cannot give any guarantee about passing the exam, which also depends on your level of personal preparation. We do appreciate feedback on your level of success though!

What are the requirements for passing the PCA exam?

Receiving the PCA certification requires you to pass a proctored online exam with the following requirements:

  • No. of questions: 60
  • Exam duration: 90 minutes
  • Minimum passing score: 75% (45 out of 60 questions)

You can find more details about taking the PCA exam in the Linux Foundation's PCA documentation and in the PCA FAQ.

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