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How to prepare for the Red Hat Certified System Administrator® (RHCSA®) Examination?


Red Hat is world’s leading provider of enterprise open source solutions using a community-powered approach to deliver high-performing Linux, cloud, container and Kubernetes technologies. Red Hat helps standardize environments, develop cloud-native applications and integrate, automate, secure and manage complex environments. Red Hat also offers globally recognized certifications for professionals, validating their skills and expertise in their respective domains.

One such hugely popular Red Hat certification is the Red Hat Certified System Administrator®.  An IT professional who has earned the Red Hat Certified System Administrator® (RHCSA®) is considered to be able to perform the core administration skills required in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments. In order to earn these credentials, one needs to clear the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) exam (EX200). The RHCSA certification is a mandatory prerequisite for the Red Hat Certified Engineer® (RHCE®) certification. The RHCSA certification is also the core of all Red Hat system administration credentials.

A Red Hat® Certified System Administrator would have the skills and knowledge required to perform the following tasks:

  • Understand and use essential tools for handling files, directories, command-line environments and documentation
  • Operate running systems – booting into different run levels, identifying the processes, starting and stopping virtual machines as well as controlling services
  • Configure the local storage using partitions and logical volumes
  • Create and configure file system attributes, like – permissions, encryptions, access control lists, network file systems, etc.
  • Configure, deploy and maintain systems – installing software, updating and perform core services
  • Manage users and groups, including usage of a centralized directory for authentication
  • Manage the security – basic firewall and configure SELinux

Red Hat Certified System Administrator

Who is the Red Hat certification for?

The RHCSA certification is intended for:

  • Experienced Red Hat Enterprise Linux system administrators seeking to validate their skills as a System Administrator or similar roles
  • Students who are on the path to earn the RHCSA certification and have attended the Red Hat System Administration I and II
  • Experienced Linux system administrators who need to have a valid certification credential, either as a requirement laid out by their organization or as a mandate, such as the DOD 8570 directive
  • IT professionals who want to earn the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certification in the future
  • Red Hat Certified Engineers who are non-current or are going to become non-current soon, and need to re-certify as RHCEs

How difficult is the Red Hat certification examination?

The Red Hat exam for the RHCSA certification is generally considered to be not very difficult, though individual experiences can vary. The exam is graded using automated script, which typically checks for specific things in the responses entered by the candidate. Speed is the key in this exam. A considerable amount of work needs to be done in a limited span of time, with accuracy in order to ace the exam. The exam is comparatively easier if you have a good background in Linux. The RHCSA exam is essentially performance-based, and not an objective multiple-choice based. Cognixia’s Red Hat trainings have the most experienced instructors for the training courses who are not only fully accustomed to the RHCSA outlines, but are also well-versed with the RHCSA exam environment and patterns, and will help all participants of the training the concepts thoroughly with practical demonstrations to ensure participants are capably equipped to ace the certification exam.

How long does the RHCSA certification remain valid? Do I need to re-certify and keep my RHCSA credentials current?


Red Hat® certified professionals are undoubtedly skilled and are able to take on the toughest IT challenges. Their skills are validated through rigorous, performance-based examinations, only upon clearing which they earn their respective certifications. Red Hat certifications are, as a thumb-rule, current for a span of three years. Red Hat certifications do not ‘expire’ or ‘get terminated’ or ‘become invalid’. Instead, they just become ‘non-current’. The technology world keeps moving at a fast pace, and keeping up with that skills need to be updated from time to time as well. This is why Red Hat certifications become non-current after three years.

Here are three ways to keep the RHCSA credentials current:

  • Appear for and clear the Red Hat Certified System Administrator Examination (EX200) again
  • Earn the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certification by clearing the Red Hat Certified Engineer exam (EX300) while your RHCSA credentials are still current (You need to be a current RHCSA to appear for the RHCE exam)
  • Pass any of the exams an RHCE can apply towards earning Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) while still a current RHCE. 

Is the Red Hat certification worth the effort and money?

Definitely yes.

Especially if you are truly interested in working on the Linux domain in system administration. The RHCSA not only helps you earn more advanced certifications like the RHCE, RHCA, etc. but it also improves your potential to earn more and give your career a better shape & direction. It helps one exhibit their potential to their employers and potential employers, and showcase how they can add value to the IT teams of the respective organizations.

RHCSA is akin to being the halfway point to the RHCE certification, which also holds immense value in the IT world. Both certifications are well-respected and have global recognition.

How to prepare for the Red Hat Certified System Administrator certification examination?

Cognixia is an authorized training partner for Red Hat and offers thorough Red Hat trainings to help individuals and teams prepare for the Red Hat certification exams. These trainings are available in online as well as classroom modes in public and private schedules. Good training is extremely crucial when preparing for RedHat certifications. Our training involves multiple practical assignments and projects that will help one prepare thoroughly for the practical performance based RHCSA certification exam. Our Red Hat online training courses are convenient to access from anywhere in the world. Our trainings will help participants evaluate their performance thoroughly in different practical tasks while also providing them with access to insights related to important concepts from the exam point-of-view.

Some of the most important areas one needs to learn when preparing for the RHCSA certification exam, are:

  • Changing lost root password as it can render the machine unbootable
  • Configuration of a yum repository to install different external packages for solving certain questions
  • Configuration of a network connection to a machine so it can help with tasks that require the connection with other machines like LDAP, NFS, CIFS, IPA and yum repository
  • Configuration of local storage for creating or resizing partitions and LVM

When training with Cognixia, participants would also get an idea of the exam objectives for the certification exam for RHCSA. These objectives are constantly updated and Cognixia keeps abreast of all these changes, which is incorporated in the trainings.

The Red Hat prescribed course for preparing for the EX200 is the RHCSA Rapid Track Course. Cognixia provides this course in line with the Red Hat prescribed outlines and guidelines, and ensures all participants get a thorough understanding of the concepts and skills required to clear the RHCSA EX200. The current exam and training are based on Linux 8.

Prerequisites for the RHCSA

To appear for the RHCSA certification exam, participants need to have a fundamental understanding of Linux computing concepts and should be well-versed in practicing the Red Hat Enterprise Linux methods for performing system administration tasks. It is highly recommended for participants to have significant field experience working with Linux as a system administrator.

Alternatively, attending the Red Hat System Administration I & II courses is also suitable.

Why choose Cognixia?

Cognixia – world’s leading digital talent transformation company is committed to delivering outstanding training and certifications in digital technologies that are shaping the future. We bring the best learning experience for both individuals and organizations through our interactive, customized courses. We are ranked among the top five emerging technologies training companies by various prestigious bodies. Our instructors are highly experienced in their respective domains and fields, and have received significant positive feedback from their previous training deliveries. We constantly update the outlines and deliveries of our trainings, to stay relevant, in line with the changing environments and developing technologies. We are immensely passionate about training minds to help shape the future, and we leave no stone unturned to ensure that every learner has a great learning experience with us.

To know more about us, write to us at To explore our range of Red Hat courses, visit here.

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