Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

First Experience on RedHat Exams & Very first failed results #UnofficialPost

Hi, community members I created this post as a place where I hope everyone can share their experience of very first RedHat exam & challenges you faced in the very first experience of the RedHat exam as this will help the people who are new to RedHat exams.

Note: Please don't share any content of exams but instead share the challenges you faced [ like blank mind, nervousness etc ] and how you dealt with your exam fail results and any fun story you would like to share.


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Starfighter Starfighter

I have a number of certifications from a number of different vendors (Cisco, CompTIA, etc.). I didn't find any of them to be hard - including the RHCSA.

The RHCE (which I did with EX254 - before it was Ansible), however, turned out to be a different breed of animal. I failed this twice before I passed it. What did I learn?

Fail #1 - badly) I didn't study or practice enough. In my case, because I taught RH254, I thought I knew the material well enough to easily pass the exam - like I had all the other exams. I was wrong.

Fail #2 - missed by only 7 points) READ the instructions. I have a bad habit of scanning the instructions. I found that, when I took time to read the instructions word-for-word during my third attempt, I had previously skipped over important information.

(Incidentally, I easily passed the exam on my third attempt.)


Copy (and paste): Not to get into specifics, but you may be instructed to configure more than one system in very similar ways. Create / edit the configuration on one system then copy it to another - then make the changes necessary on the other system. Why recreate the wheel in its entirety?

Remember, when you highlight something, that's copy. Shift-Insert (or pressing the middle mouse button) is paste. Saves on typing and helps eliminate typos.


Use the Tab key on your keyboard. (If you don't know what I mean, you aren't ready for the exam...)


Create small scripts and aliases: I frequently mis-type certain commands (as I get older, this happens with increasing frequency). Create a script, or alias, to replace the command. The big three that I typo all the time are: nmcli, firewall-cmd, and systemctl. So I set aliases so I only have to type their full forms once:

alias n='nmcli'
alias f='firewall-cmd'
alias s='systemctl'

* I am NOT saying that any of these commands are used on any exam - they're just examples.


They're timed tests. Try to relax. Remember to breathe.


Never forget: You can always verify your own work - and you should.


You don't need to know or memorize everything - as long as you know where to find it. Even so... Because it is a timed test, you should know how to do most things. You can easily fail if you spend too much time looking things up.

Program Lead at Arizona's first Red Hat Academy, est. 2005
Estrella Mountain Community College
Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

My very first RedHat exam Experience:

1. When I sit on exam I was super nervous and also worried.

2. When exam started my mind got blank.

3. I was sleepy. [ was studying all night before exam without sleeping ].

4. I made silly mistakes and wasted my 30 mins on troubleshooting it.

5. I was thinking of giving up.

6. Got into 10 mins calm down session and then started solving the tasks from very start

    and solved most of them.


Learnings from very first RedHat Exam & Later experiences:

1. Take rest before exam.

2. Keep your mental state calm and steady.

3. Don't remmember the commands with options instead remmember the approach to get

    the proper command.

4. Read Product documentation.

5. Study together.

6. Experiment as much as possible.

7. Read all instructions carefully.

8. Extract the important data from each task and keep it in a file in terminal and use that in the approach to avoid the confusion. [ basically read question then start solving ]

9. Start from very first task and do it in sequence till end.

10. Many tasks are linked in many of the RedHat exams so always try to troubleshoot from very first task where you got the issue and in sequence solve the rest issues. [ unless task is  not linked ] it will help you solve the tasks properly.

11. Create script [ on your env bastion node ] - incase server goes down use script to

      recover the progress.

12. Last but not least - Do all tasks [ attempt & and utilize all time to check and troubleshoot

      and solving tasks . ]


Learnings from failure:

1. Analyze your attempts after every attempt and see what is wrong in your approach.

2. Don't give up.

3. Have good friends that cheer you up and supports you.

4. Fight till end - [ Do it until you succeed in turning failure in pass ]


My Growth journey :

I also failed lots of RedHat exams, but that taught me lots of things and also helped me create a right approach. 

When I first started with RHCSA back in 2019 - I used to do practice guided excercises only with checking help options but what I missed was to explore the RedHat courseware, try to read more indepth in each concepts [ like checking out their applications in different way ] although I passed the exam but barely.

After that I started learning about ansible [ EX407 & EX294 ] - I started to explore the help options more and create own approach & read the chapters [ except checking the refrence links ].

I failed the EX294 Exam badly but after a week gave retest and cleared it [ started to explore more on refrence links in guided excercises & practice more and cleared EX294 & EX407 ]

then in later exams I started to have a circle of friends who used to prepare together and go for classroom exams on same dates [ we used to distribute the topics and help each other prepare the concepts as best we can and motivate each other to get our hands dirty and last but not least started to read the product documentations . ]

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Starfighter Starfighter

Start from very first task and do it in sequence till end.

Actually, I disagree with this one. The reason is that it may be that there may be tasks that aren't dependent on other tasks. Sometimes you can identify these and get them out of the way fairly quickly - leaving time for the more involved tasks.

The reverse may also be true: tasks may exist that are dependent on a prior tasks being completed successfully.

If you are truly prepared, you should be able to identify these situations and then be able to use them to your advantage.

Program Lead at Arizona's first Red Hat Academy, est. 2005
Estrella Mountain Community College
Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

I also agree with your opinion after going through many RedHat exams I prefer reading all tasks objectives before starting doing them in my preferred sequence but what I feel as per my opinion and understanding that it takes experience for beginners [ Who are new to linux and Open-Source Technologies and the particular technology domain ] to understand and develop their approach in reading all the tasks before solving them in exam where pressure is there on mind where it can lead to confusion and exams are mostly designed in way anyone can go through after reading them and slowly attempt them.

But in real life work tasks analyzing all tasks is must and then following the sequence which makes you complete the quicker tasks first will help you a lot.

But thanks a lot for sharing your own perspective

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I am new in this group. I have basic knowledge of RedHat, I planning to start learn more and certification. I confused from where I need to start ? Request you to guide me from where Is sholud start ?

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Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist

I failed my first Red Hat exam attempt (EX200) not too long ago. When I received my results, I was not surprised, however, I did feel a little deflated as I had been working so hard for so long and achieving the RHCSA is going to be a big first milestone for me. I've made very large strides in my linux knowledge over the last year and failing the exam gave me the feedback I needed. Thank goodnes for retakes!

The single chapter in the RHCSA course on containers was too much material for a single chapter for me. After failing the exam, I decided to tackle the topics I did poorly on, first of which, I decided to take DO188: Introduction to Containers with Podman. It may have been overkill for the RHCSA, but now I feel comfortable with basic containers and the bonus side affect is that I'm now prepared to also take EX188. In a similar fashion, I plan on tackling the other topics I did poorly on.

I am confident the next exam will go better!

Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist

Yesterday I failed.  EX200

         Manage basic networking: 100%
         Understand and use essential tools: 89%
         Operate running systems: 17%
         Configure local storage: 0%
         Create and configure file systems: 25%
         Deploy, configure and maintain systems: 50%
         Manage users and groups: 100%
         Manage security: 100%
         Manage containers: 0%

The only reason I am not able to score above is because I am not able to access node2 and all other remaining relevant tasks was need to perform on node2. (Reset Root Password without passwd)

What I don't like is if you want us to hack give us node3. Just because of one issue I am not able to perform other tasks like LVM, Mounting, Swap etc.

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