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How to clear Hortonworks administrator (HDPCA) certification?

In Hadoop administration, We have three certifications provided by MapR  (MCCA), Cloudera (CCA) and Hortonworks (HDPCA).I have cleared Hortonworks administrator certification (HDPCA) and also I helped many of my friends to clear the Hortonworks administrator (HDPCA) exam . In that process , I have learned many things about this exam . 

I would like to share few tips on how to clear HDPCA exam. May be these tips will help you in clearing the certification.

Exam will provide 2 hours of time to resolve practical tasks on a HDP 2.3 cluster. Exam result does not provide any score or detailed explanation why you have failed. Exam result just provides either you passed or failed. It is better to follow few tips mentioned below.

Start early

Try to come online for exam at least 30  minutes before your actual exam time. Hortonworks will send you exam link before 15 minutes , You need to click the link for further instructions about the exam. Once you click on the link , Your examiner will join in webex like environment and will complete pre-checks for the exam. Pre-checks will include checking candidate photo identity card and checking room environment. You need to come online at least 30 minutes before to complete all these formalities.


Hortonworks provided cluster could be slow. Use your time wisely. Certification will have GUI base tasks and terminal based tasks. If web UI is taking time to load, Go to terminal to perform another task.


Due to slow cluster , You may not be able to complete all tasks in time. Talk to your examiner about cluster slowness, He could give you some more time for completing your other tasks.

Verify answers

If you get fast cluster, You can even complete the tasks much before your total exam time . It is good idea to revisit tasks to verify how did you resolve your tasks.

Read tasks carefully

It is very important to read tasks carefully. Every task will complete information on what is expected from you. For example task will mention you that you need to install node manager on the host master1. if you do not read tasks carefully , you might install node manager on the host master2.

Go to master node first 

When your exam starts , you will given gateway node access. You will also be given all credentials for many hosts in the cluster. Do not forget to ssh to master node of the cluster . Even though it is known thing for many people , some times we forget about that. at least I forgot to ssh to first master node and was trying to resolve some tasks on gateway node itself.

Try mock exam on AWS

Mock exam on AWS is almost same as original exam. It is recommended to try mock exam before taking actual exam.Mock exam will give you  real exam experience, Mock exam can also give you confidence to attend real exam.

The following is the syllabus for HDPCA exam along with tutorials.


Configure a local HDP repository

Install ambari-server and ambari-agent
Ambari server installation
Ambari agent installation

Install HDP using the Ambari install wizard

Add a new node to an existing cluster

Decommission a node
Decommissioning of node managers
Decommissioning of data nodes

Add an HDP service to a cluster using Ambari


Define and deploy a rack topology script

Change the configuration of a service using Ambari

Modifying configurations to enable or disable ACLs

Configure the Capacity Scheduler

Create a home directory for a user and configure permissions

Configure the include and exclude DataNode files

Decommissioning of node managers
Decommissioning of data nodes


Restart an HDP service

View an application’s log file

Configure and manage alerts

Troubleshoot a failed job

Checking versions of Hadoop eco system tools

High Availability

Configure NameNode HA

Configure ResourceManager HA

Copy data between two clusters using distcp

Create a snapshot of an HDFS directory

Recover a snapshot

Configure HiveServer2 HA


Install and configure Knox

Introduction to Knox
Installing and configuring Knox
WebHDFS REST API with knox and without knox

Install and configure Ranger

Install and configure Ranger
Creating HDFS policies in Ranger

Configure HDFS ACLs


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