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Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist

Question about my EX200V9K exam

Hello everyone,

So I have a couple questions in regards to the RHCSA exam,

I have taken it twice and failed twice. And I am confused on what I am doing wrong, am I studying the right way? Am I studying the correct material? My main study method is Red Hat Academy via a subscription from my college. The 1st attempt was an issue-o-mania in regards to a not-so-good webcam that kept crashing the remote environment, and the 2nd one was no issues, but also a fail

1st attempt: 0
2nd attempt: 14

I am extremely confused on my score, I mean I would deserve the score if I didn’t study, but I have been studying during school hours for days on end for both attempts, the only thing was after the 1st attempt, I made a different study plan. The other thing is why for objectives for “Configuring local storage” I got 25% while creating users, it was 0%. Without breaking any NDA’s, is there something that I am not doing right? Is there something I should have done during the exam? I have another exam voucher available to use, so I do plan on retaking to pass this cert….
7 Replies

Hello @lkraimer 

It's unfortunate that you're facing difficulties with the RHCSA exam. The gap between your study efforts and exam performance could be due to various factors, including your exam strategy, or how you're applying your knowledge practically.

Studying through Red Hat Academy is a solid start, but given the exam's practical focus, ensure you're getting enough hands-on practice. Revisit areas where your scores were low, like "Configuring local storage" and "Creating users," and focus on practical application.

Also, think about your approach during the exam. It's crucial to read questions carefully and manage your time well. The exam environment can be stressful, and it's easy to misunderstand tasks or miss important steps.

Consider diversifying your study resources to gain different perspectives and explanations. Reflect on your past exam attempts to identify challenging areas and focus your studies accordingly. Getting feedback from instructors or peers who have passed the exam can also be very helpful.

As you prepare for your next attempt, use your previous experiences to shape your study plan, emphasizing areas of difficulty and simulating exam conditions in your practice.

The key to passing a hands-on, practical exam like the RHCSA is balancing theoretical knowledge with practical skills. Keep working hard, and best of luck in your next attempt!

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Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist


Thank you very much, why yes it is unfortunate, I myself am trying to figure out the gap between the knowledge required for the exam, vs. applying it practically. I agree with starting with Red Hat Academy, it’s been doing pretty well for me in regards to class work and studying the labs. I ended re-creating a similar environment to RHA in VMWare workstation (1 workstation, 2 servers) and completed RH124 guided/challenge in there, and RH134 as well, except for the ones where I couldn’t get the auto-created file, or had to connect to a link where I wasn’t sure if I would be able to or not. I am definetly open to more options as study materials! And recommendations! My approach is quite interesting (without discussion the specific questions and breaking NDA) I tend to go chronologically and stay on that question UNTIL I think it’s complete. It was great for the easier ones, however some of ones I wasn’t 100% sure about I got stuck on, which caused me to take longer than I thought. Unfortunately regarding peers or instructors none of them have taken it. In fact, according to my directory I am the 1st student in the college/program to have taken this type of exam. Usually during the semester we are either required or have the option to take a certification exam and pretty much they are multiple choice. This is the first ever certification that I have taken that is practical/performance based, and it is very different than your typical multiple choice one. While I was preparing for my 2nd attempt, I took the feedback I got and the questions I struggled on and studied off of that. And let’s say for my 2nd attempt it worked pretty well! However now, it’s looking at some of the specific topics I struggled with. If you know of any resources that I can study with, including any RHA labs (besides the RH124/134 labs) that will be excellent! I have extensively looked at the objectives to help me with studying. My instructors have the options to enroll me in any additional courses if need be, as I’m in those 2 and RH294 for one of my other classes. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and the advice! I’m hoping “3rd times the charm!”

- Louis Kraimer
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Starfighter Starfighter

Hello lkraimer,

Let me begin by saying congratulations on making the effort to achieve the
certification that this exam provides!!!

I know you mentioned that you've taken the exam twice, with both attempts
being unsuccessful in achieving a passing score.  Based on what you stated
about the camera issue on the first exam, I'm going to look at your outcome
as being unsuccessful on only one attempt.  I know that will sound as though
I'm splitting hairs, but even if you possessed more than the knowledge required
to pass the exam, technical issues are not something that even the complete
knowledge for the exam could/would have overcome.  So, let's not count that
first attempt.

You mentioned that you're using the material from the Red Hat Academy as
the resource for exam preparation.  You've got all that you need in terms of
study material!!!  

When you're studying, be sure that you're performing the lab exercises, and
that you're "truly" digesting what is being covered.  The guided exercises are
great, however, I would strongly encourage you to go beyond just following 
the steps that are provided!!!  In addition to what is given to you in the course
material, may I suggest that you create/generate your own exercise(s) to solidify
what is covered in each of the chapters.  I truly feel it's great to enter the exam
in the same manner that you would be entering a new job - you are expected
to be able to perform.  I'm not saying that you are expected to know everything
from A-Z.  However, because the Red Hat exams are alll performance based, the
do demand a much higher level in the comprehension of the material.  

Without having actual/practical experience with many of the concepts covered
on the exams, it's not likely that one pass through the course material will be 
sufficient in achieving a passing score.  Again, I say it's a great approach to the
preparation by learning the material as if you're expected to go to work as a 
consultant, which translates to your being expected to "know your stuff".

Okay, you get the point that I'm attempting to drive home here.  In closing, let
me suggest that you practice, practice, and practice some more!!!  Outside of
issues beyond your control (i.e. technical issues), it's impossible to "truly" 
understand the concepts that are assessed, and not be able to achieve a 
passing score.  You can do it!!!

Whatever you do, don't quit.  You only fail if you stop!!!

Trevor "Red Hat Evangelist" Chandler
Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist


Thank you so much!! This exam is definitely a challenge, and while I have failed both attempts (or the one that you mentioned ) I have learned and have grown in how I can get better so that way I can pass this certification!! And regarding that first attempt, after talking to instructors and peers, they even don’t count it as my 1st attempt due to the stress of handling technical difficulties and screwing up my brain before the exam. So you are not splitting hairs at all! In regards to RHA, I agree! The content and the labs have been VERY helpful in preparation!! While the guided labs are as in the name implied “guided”. The challenge labs and the comprehensive reviews are WAYYY better! I remember while studying, I did the first one from RH124, which is creating users, moving files, creating links, etc. I remember I felt confident my first time that oh yea, it’s a pass! This is easy! 2 were off due to 2 reasons. 1. Missed an instruction to remove a line via VIM, and 2. I switched the softlink file with the directory on the file I wanted to softlink, oops :). But I learned from that mistake and knew to read better. Unfortunately being someone with ADHD, one of the things that I commonly do is read too fast, or skip an entire line when I don’t mean to, and when I do, my brain when I try to remember that topic goes down the drain. Again, something personal I need to work on. I actually ended up recreating a workstation and 2 servers of RHEL for practice!! I was able to do some, however due to some of the links and files automatically provided in RHA, some of them I couldn’t do (unless I could? Not sure….). I agree that not practicing “practically” and reading through the content does not prepare you for these performance-based exams. In fact, the reasons why I am taking this is 1. Experience 2. Red hat is cool 3. Pre-requisite for the EX294 certification exam (RHEL Automation with Ansible). So practical experience is pretty much required for these certs. I totally get where you’re going with your points! Trust me, I will never give up! I luckily accidentally had my director buy another EX200V9K exam, so I got some more attempts! Thank you again for your advice. And hope I pass!!!

- Louis Kraimer
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Hello @lkraimer !

 Thanks for taking out time and sharing your experience with all of us here. It is really inspiring to see your determination in your attempts to gain the prestigious RHCSA badge. 

You will get it - of that I have no doubt!

Please ponder over these things :

  1. Have you understood the core concepts and have practiced the guided exercise or labs given in the course chapters without looking at the solutions ?
  2. The lab at the end of each chapter sections comprises a comprehensive learning objective of the whole chapter and contains a lab grading script tp grade against the objectives of the lab - after you did the lab on your own ( without looking at the solution ) carefully observe how the grading script results ? If it is failing - try to see what went wrong and how did or can it become all pass ?
  3. Exam instructions are very important - please give sufficient time to read it during the exam - it contains vital information to use during the exam.  In no case we should deviate from the exam instructions in the exam.
  4. The password, username, filename , foldername, path , server , hostname etc - all informations are important and no spelligng mistakes shoule be there - it is the same way as a lab grade script in the end of chapter will grade you fail if you misspell anything ( which is part of question / objective ).
  5. Understad the objective of each question in the exam - where to do what is also important.
  6. The comprehensive review labs at the end of course is really really good practice lab - which covers a wide range of topics in a single lab.
  7. Remember that : the configurations must persist after reboot
  8. Unlearn the things first and then relearn with a new approach - you can take help from the links given at the bottom of course lessons to dig a little bit deeper or take help from inernet if you need so. 
  9. A lot of discussions regarding RHCSA is available in this community itself - go through them and see if they can benefit you in any way - to realign your learning goals. 
  10. Ask questions in the community - if you need any help - we are here to assist you.
  11. As @Trevor mentioned , practice and try to go beyond what is mentioned in the sections.
  12. Keep the exam objective handy and always refer it for exam practise : 

Please reach out to us in case you need any help from us. 

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Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist

Hi Chetan_Tiwary_!
Of course! It has been an experience that’s for sure! I am determined to be a certified Red Hat System Administrator (and in the future a Certified Red Hat Engineer) I’m gonna follow the numbered format you gave for your response

1. The core concepts for most I understand, the main ones I’ll admit I need to work on is Storage, SELinux, and containers. Those 3 tend to trip me up. I haven’t figured out for guided labs to hide the solutions, but for the challenge labs, I do that! Hide the solutions.
2. Yes! I have done the comprehensive reviews, very interesting! I’ve observed the grading script, and oh my is it EXACT . Even a minor spelling mistake can mark it as FAIL for the whole thing, including forgetting to enable a service instead of starting one.
3. I unfortunately am someone who’s a fast reader which is a good and bad thing at the same time, especially bad for a certification like this. I need to work on calming down and reading slowly. My anxiety and ADHD probably got the best of me, which is with me personally of course. Not the exam.
4. I agree! All of those are important, the main thing I question is (a GENERAL example of creating a user) is it where you first do useradd user01 and then create the password using passwd and add them to a group using usermod? Or is it all on one command? That’s my worry is the grading script checks for command history and even though it’s another way of doing it, the grading script doesn’t like it.
5. That too! Either root, sudo, emergency target, etc. Always good to know!
6. They have proven to be extremely useful during studying!
7. Admittedly, I may have rebooted once for the first set of tasks, oops… so that’s something I need to do probably after every task or every couple tasks
8. I never thought of this method before. Would definitely give it a shot!
9. Yes! While this is my first post, all of those who have relied have been nothing but helpful and I appreciate each and every one of you!!!
10. For sure! I may create some future posts asking for resources for understanding a few topics….
11. Yes! I’ve referenced/read the man pages, and “man” they are interesting! And also helpful
12. These objectives have been helpful in steering me in the right direction to hopefully succeed!
This has been super helpful! Thank you so much!!!

- Louis Kraimer
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>>>>>>4. I agree! All of those are important, the main thing I question is (a GENERAL example of creating a user) is it where you first do useradd user01 and then create the password using passwd and add them to a group using usermod? Or is it all on one command? That’s my worry is the grading script checks for command history and even though it’s another way of doing it, the grading script doesn’t like it.<<<<<<<<<<<<

No, grading script does not look at what command you executed to achieve it - it simply grades whether the objectve was met or not. You can doa certain task with any choice of commands you wish - provided it achieves the objective of the question in particular and exam in general.

Eg. suppose you have to create 5 users - it is upto you if you want to run the useradd command 5 times or you want to use a for loop to achieve the same in one go!


>>>>>>>>7. Admittedly, I may have rebooted once for the first set of tasks, oops… so that’s something I need to do probably after every task or every couple tasks<<<<<<<<<<<

Again it is upto you how you want to do this - it all depends upon how you manage your time and how do you want to assure yourself about the permanent configurations. To be honest - I would not do reboot after every question I solve - but definitely atleast once or twice ( after carefully doing each and every question I could do ). 

All the best - keep them coming - we will assist you in all possible ways ( ofcourse while keeping the NDA intact:)    )

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