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Community Manager



Information on Cloudera Certifications can be found on the Cloudera Training site


Frequently asked questions about Cloudera Certification are also available on the Cloudera Training site. The Purpose of this article is to address additional questions that are commonly surfaced on the Community. 


Q - Do I need to attend a Cloudera Training program to take the certification exams?


A - Our Cloudera Training teaches you everything you need to know for exams and gives you days worth of hands-on practice. We both train and test the same objectives (although we train on more of course) If you do not wish to take our training or cannot afford it, there are hundreds of free resources on the internet.

For example, if I point my browser to the List of objectives from our website. I then copy the first objective and search on it, I get dozens of free docs and training on the skill.As the exam page also tells you that you have access to resources of these during the exam, I suggest becoming intimate with the those.

If you take some time to search each objective and learn the skill, the exam will be easy. If you don’t want to take the time to learn on your own, and you’re not learning on your job, then training is your answer. 


Q - Is there a Study Guide for Exams?


A - There is not a study guide available for exams, but Cloudera tells us exactly what we will be tested on.  


For example, the Required Skills at tell us that we need to be able to join disparate datasets together using Spark. So go look up the join command in Spark.  Write a quick five line program in Scala.  Then write one in Python.  Also, browse the online documentation so you know where to look up the API during the exam (remember you will not have access to a search engine during the exam).  Putting in effort before the exam will save you a lot of effort during the exam.


Q - Can you provide some details of the Sandbox / environment that will be provided for CCA 175 Certification exam? 


 A -


CCA175 is a hands-on, practical exam using Cloudera technologies. Each user is given their own CDH5 (currently 5.10.0) cluster pre-loaded with Spark 1.6, Impala, Crunch, Hive, Pig, Sqoop, Kafka, Flume, Kite, Hue, Oozie, DataFu, and many others (See a full list). 


Since these are developer questions, the particular version of CDH should not matter much.  The Quickstart VM should be almost identical to the cluster environment.


Q - Do I need to know both Scala and Python for the CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer (CCA 175) Certification?  


A - The answer is yes, there are questions using both languages.


However, please remember that the goal of the exam is to test your Spark knowledge, not your Scala and Python knowledge.  The development questions typically provide you some code and ask you to fill in TO-DO sections.  So the key is to understand the Spark API.  You must have some knowledge of programming, as you will need to be able to read the existing code and understand how to store and retrieve the results you get back from calling the API, but the focus will be on you adding the Spark calls.


Q: How are the certification exams scored?
A: Each scenario that you are given during the test will have a list of output requirements that you must fulfill.  Each of your questions will be machine graded based on those requirements after the exam is submitted.  You should recieve a score report of your results on each question within a day of taking the exam.


The pass rate for all certifications is between 70% and 80%, and the scoring itself is complicated.  Different questions can have different difficulty levels and be worth more or less points than other questions, and some questions may award partial credit.  So it is possible that the score report shows that you missed a question, and yet you may still get some points towards you final score, or vice versa the score report may show that you got a question correct and yet you may not get full credit for it.  


Hi cjervis.. Many thanks for writing this FAQ. It clarifies many things.


One question though. I could not find CDH 5.3.2 Quickstart VM on cloudera web site (The oldest VM that is available is 5.5.x). Can you please provide the link to 5.3.2 Quickstart VM ?



Community Manager

Great question @DineshP. The most current Quickstart VM should be fine for your studies. While the current test environment provided is CDH 5.3.2 the test concepts are related to the major release of CDH 5. 


Hi @cjervis.. few more questions related to CDH 5.3.2 and DS 700+ certification series.


1. For DS700-DS702, typically how big the dataset would be (on the top side) ? The answer to the question will help me to decide on the tools to be used during evaluation.

Normally I would not be so much worried as I intend to use Spark for solving problems. However CDH 5.3.2 has Spark 1.2.0 which has machine learning libraries which are not considered performant enough (Mlllib in later versions of Spark 1.3+ are fine) compared to  R and Python (scikit) ML libraries. But both R and scikit are considered good if the dataset is not too big and can be processed on a single machine. Hence the quandary.


2. What is the version of Sparkling Water, H2O, Anaconda on CDH 5.3.2


I know Cloudera is of the opinion that version info should not matter. But when I look into the available libraries in CDH 5.3.2, I find something or the other missing. Therefore, I request you to provide the version info.




For CCP Data Engineer (DE575), do I need to know Python, Java, Scala and Impala? I know its not mentioned on the objectives, however the cluster mentions about these items. Do I need to write any code using above items?


If I don't need to use any of above to write code, I should be able to write my exam next week. Any guidance on this is much appreciated.



Community Manager

I asked around and this is the reply I received.


The exam asks takers to solve problems, we don't ask them to use specific technologies. There are multiple questions that requires the use of data in the Hive Metastore. That can be Hive or Impala.


There are multiple questions where there will likely be need to code. That could be MapReduce, Spark, Python, etc. It is up to the user to know how to solve problems with the language they know, not for them to understand all languages.


I hope this helps...

Hi, My question is regarding restrictions during taking up an exam...


  1. Would restriction be only for search engines or for an entire web-browsing? and
  2. Is our local machine (directories) accessible, so that we can refer our own materials or references?



Community Manager

If you look at the exam delivery and cluster information section for CCA175 and DE575 they list exactly what resources, documentation and links will be available during the exam. They both end with this statement:


Only the documentation, links, and resources listed above are accessible during the exam. All other websites, including Google/search functionality is disabled. You may not use notes or other exam aids.

Thanks cjervis

New Contributor

Hello @cjervis,


I cleared my Cloudera Certification (CCA-500) on September 11th and received email the same evening confirming my score. Also, it stated that I would receive my certificate and license number in 4 to 5 working days.


Today it is 7th October and I am yet to receive anything. I had the most harrowing & unprofessional experience from Cloudera when it comes to addressing my queries. Be it over the email or leaving voice messages.


I have sent out over half a dozen emails asking for status of my certificate & I never got the replies on time. It's almost 1 month & I am wondering how could it ever take so long for Cloudera to process my certificate. The only replies I have got are from Devon Michaels. I find it extremely appalling & as lack of simple courtesy when I hardly receive any reply from the coordinator about the status of my certificate. It is extremely frustating when no reason is even told as to where things are stuck. Is certificate processing such a Big Process that it takes 1 month? I am extremely disappointed by this laid back and casual approach which has made me wait for a month. 


I hope this issue would be escalated and solved from here as I have lost faith over getting it addressed over the email.


Thank you.

Abhishek Vadnerkar

Community Manager

@abhishekv I am sorry to hear about your issues with the certification. I reached out to the certification team and was advised that they corrected the issue that caused the delay but did not supply any additional information. You can email with any further issues as the forum is not the appropriate place to discuss the specifics of an incident. 


sorry @cjervis

for how long are you planning to stay with cloudera 5.3.2... any imminent plans to update the exam,

I am asking as I am spending time on preparing the CCA175 now


@DineshP I think you need to install cmf with packages and select the 5.3.2... I am doing this way

Community Manager

Since the exam is based on the major release of CDH 5 I wouldn't expect any changes until CDH 6 at this point. I can ask the certification team to be sure though if you would like. Is there a particular concern you are having over the version for the exam?


hi @cjervis

I can see from the official page 


'Each user is given their own CDH5 (currently 5.3.2) cluster pre-loaded with Spark, Impala, Crunch, Hive, Pig, Sqoop, Kafka, Flume, Kite, Hue, Oozie, DataFu, and many others'


so the cluster image has not been updated fro a while....


so as long things will not change by the cloudera academy I am ok; I am sure cloudera 6 will come out not very very soon so I can go ahead with the training targeting version 5.x for the next 2-3 months and then attempt the exam (without re-training effort to target the new platform)






Community Manager

I stand corrected. I double checked with the certification team and they are working on a new cluster now based on 5.8/5.9 to be added near the start of next year. 


thansk a lot @cjervis

so we should hurry up to get the certifdiaction asap based on that to avoid to restrain on the newer version (at least spark woukld be much never) etc

do you agree?

Bests Mario

Community Manager

It is really dependent upon your own comfort level. If you are ready before the end of year, take it then. If you have any doubts or would be more comfortable, wait for the new testing environment.  

Thanks that was very useful... so likely spark 1.6 by then
New Contributor

Don't go for cloudera certifications as they have opened a money making business by selling their reputation in the form of certifications. When I gave CCDH-410 in 2014, it was scheduled at some center. Now cloudera has taken off those facilities and you have to give exam from your laptop only and still certification charges are same, there is no reduction in the cost of certification. If cloudera is charging for certification than they should provide facilities as well. Now you have to connect to their remote machine from your machine. And that remote machine will be so slow even a tortoise can move faster than their remote machine. If you have to type "hdfs dfs -ls" on terminal than it was taking around 1 minute to type only. You will not be able to navigate from terminal to Firefox (Problem statement).


You will be really very disappointed after giving this exam as the provided infrastructure was so bad that if you have to click on terminal than that goes on unresponsive for so long, If you have to look at the problem in Firefox, It took lot of time to Firefox come-up. You will lose remote machine connectivity many times during the exam and so as your precious time of exam. Even you will not be able to attempt all the questions due to their environment. You will really get socked after experience this kind of environment for cloudera certification and will lose your money.


On top of it you will lose you remote connection many time in between and there will be one proctor who supposed to help you out in this situation but it will be very irritating and you will lose because cloudera arranged a virtual proctor for you to disturb in between with his regular pings.  You will feel like ditch from cloudera as there were lot of environmental challenges and it will be really difficult to debug in such a slow environment if you have to do that.


So my recommendation is that don't waste your hard earned money on cloudera. This is their business.



Pankaj Vashistha



Community Manager



I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with the certification process as that is not our goal. I have forwarded your information to the certification team to look into your situation. 


If you would like to email them as well, their email address is 


hi @cjervis

have you changed the spark questions too as now 1.6 (not 1.2.1) is on the cluster

or the questions haven't changed (just the platform)


Besta Mario 



Community Manager

@juddimal has started a thread on CCA175 required skills and cluster updates. I would post your question there to see what he has to say. 


New Member

cca 175 hadoop and spark developer certification




New Member

I m thinking for Spark certification but not sure which one to pick and how will it benefit me in future. Below are my quries
1) I have a background of Python, R, SAS etc now which certification should i opt
2) What other things will be covered in the certification like other languages, Architecture etc
3) Cost & validity for Certification

New Member


For the CCA175 prep, do we need just download and use the quick start VM as-is?

Or, should we install Cloudera Express that's offered free in the VM?


In case we are not using the Cloudera Manager, would we be able to install any service in the eco-system, start and stop them whenever necessary?




I have one queston:

Is there any particular order/sequence of giving the certifications out of these 4? Or can any of them be given in any order?

CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer

CCA Data Analyst

CCA Administrator

CCP Data Engineer




Community Manager

 Thank you for asking @nitmanit02. I did a quick check of each certification page and while I do see this on the CCP Data Engineer page:


What is the best way to prepare?

The CCP Data Engineer exam was created to identify talented data professionals looking to stand out and be recognized by employers looking for their skills. Outside of having hands-on experience in the field, it is recommended that professional looking to achieve this certification start by taking Cloudera's Spark and Hadoop Developer training course.


I also noticed on the main certifications page:


Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA)

CCA exams test foundational skills and sets forth the groundwork for a candidate to achieve mastery under the CCP program


For the CCA certifications, I do not see any recommendation on the order to take the exams or mention in prerequisites that one certification is required to take another exam. 

New Contributor

Hello @cjervis,


Thanks for sharing the above information - really helpful.


I am planning to give CCA 175 exam in coming week, I had a query regarding the same.


Query: Would we as test takers have access to databricks package during CCA-175 examination ?


Your earliest respone on the same would be highly appreciated.

Community Manager

When viewing the CCA-175 certification page, the Exam delivery and cluster information section provides information on the documentation, links, and resources that will be accessable during the exam. If there is any additional questions you can email the certification team ( directly. 

New Contributor

Will appreciate if someone can please guide which version of Spark will be used for test as Exam page states both 1.6 and 2.3 are available on cluster.


CCA175 is a hands-on, practical exam using Cloudera technologies. Each user is given their own CDH5 (currently 5.15.0) cluster pre-loaded with Spark 1.6, Spark 2.3



Thank you  in advance for helping me out.

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