2024 TiDB Community Special Session: PCTA Certification Sharing and Easy Exam Preparation

This topic has been translated from a Chinese forum by GPT and might contain errors.

Original topic: 2024 TiDB社区专场PCTA考证分享,轻松备考

| username: 苏慢慢m

Why Get a TiDB Certification

In my job, the big data team uses TiDB for testing. I set up a TiDB cluster for them, upgrading from v4.0 to the current v7.5. Some clients also use TiDB for data integration, which we then use for data analysis. Before the first half of 2022, there were free exam opportunities, and I regret not taking the exam then. Recently, I noticed that I could redeem points for the exam. I took the PCTA exam first and plan to redeem points for the PCTP exam later. I hope the moderator will let me pass, hehe. Points can be refunded and used for courses and exam opportunities.

Exam Outline:

Brothers, you can first check the specific exam outline:

The exam content is all included here. We only need to go through TiDB’s online courses:

  • 101 Database Core Principles and Architecture: About 4 hours at 1.5x speed.
  • Basic System Management [TiDB v5.x] (301): About 4 hours at 1.5x speed.
  • Advanced System Management [TiDB v5] (302): If you are only taking the PCTA, you can stop at lesson 16, which is about 6 hours at 1.5x speed.

If you don’t have a background in distributed databases, you need to listen carefully even at increased speed. Don’t ask why the exam is on v6.x while I watched the 301/302 5.x courses. I redeemed points for the PCTA exam slot but didn’t have enough points for the 303 course! Pay close attention to the teacher’s explanation of the final questions; about 80% of the exam questions are covered there. If you have time, you can also watch the 201 course, which is about 1 hour at increased speed. Topics like transaction control, parameter configuration, ONLINE DDL, cache tables, and Placement Policy are all covered. In total, it takes about 15 hours, which can be done in two days.

Exam Process:

The exam consists of 50 questions: about 30 single-choice, 18 multiple-choice, and 2 true/false questions. The time limit is 80 minutes, which is ample. You can finish in about half an hour and mark uncertain questions to review later. You can use the process of elimination for uncertain answers. Some questions may have related content. I took almost an hour to submit and scored 88.


If you have time, it’s best to practice with the documentation, either on a virtual machine or a company’s test machine:

The official documentation is quite clear, much better than other domestic community documentation. Here, I openly criticize opengauss, haha.

DBA colleagues should review the release notes of each version:

You can also check out other experts’ study summaries:

Finally, I wish everyone happy studying, happy working, and success in passing the exam.