Okta Certified Administrator Hands-On Configuration Exam Study Guide

To learn how to prepare for your Okta Certification Exam, watch our video here.

Introduction

Congratulations on beginning the process to prepare for your Okta Administrator certification.

This exam study guide is designed to help you prepare for the Okta Certified Administrator Hands-On Configuration Exam. It contains a detailed list of the topics covered on this exam, as well as a list of preparation resources. 

Passing this exam or the Okta Certified Administrator exam is a requirement for becoming an Okta Certified Administrator. It is also a prerequisite for anyone seeking to become an Okta Certified Consultant. The Okta Administrator Hands-On Configuration exam is based on the Okta Identity Engine and includes both Discrete Option Multiple Choice (DOMC) questions and hands-on configuration tasks. The Okta Certified Administrator exam is based on the Okta Classic Engine and is comprised exclusively of DOMC questions. 

How to use this study guide

At minimum, we highly recommend that you thoroughly review each topic listed in the Administrator Exam subject areas section of this study guide. Make sure you understand each topic. If you are not familiar with a topic, research it by either using one of the corresponding preparation resources or searching the Okta Help Center or Okta Product Documentation Library. Some topics are best learned through hands-on experience with the Okta service.

What does it mean to be an Okta Certified Administrator?

Okta Certified Administrators are technically proficient at managing the Okta service. They have extensive knowledge about how Okta enables advanced User Lifecycle Management scenarios involving mobile devices, security policy frameworks, supported SSO options, and advanced directory integration for cloud and on-premises access. Administrators use the Okta Policy framework to control user access, are able to map identity attributes and data transformations using Universal Directory, and troubleshoot issues. 

Who should take the Okta Administrator Exam?

Candidates for the Okta Certified Administrator certification must have taken and passed either the Okta Certified Professional Exam (Retired) or the Okta Professional Hands-On Configuration Exam. They should also meet the following requirements at minimum:

  • Two years of experience in a technical role, working in security and/or identity management
  • One year of on-the-job experience working with the Okta service
  • Successful completion of the Okta Essentials course or equivalent training 

Although roles within different organizations may vary, candidates for the Okta Certified Administrator certification are generally involved in administering IT strategy in support of an Okta solution. Candidates for this certification may be Okta Administrators, implementation consultants, identity leaders, system administrators, technical project managers, or technical project owners.

About the Okta Administrator Exam

Number and types of questions

This exam has two parts.

• Part I: 35 Discrete Option Multiple Choice (DOMC) Questions

• Part II: Four Performance-Based, Hands-on Use Cases

Time allotted

Part I: 45 minutes

Part II: 120 minutes

Each part is timed separately. Any time left over from one Part cannot be applied to the other Part.

Because this is a 2 hour and 45-minute exam, test takers should come fully prepared to sit through the entire exam. There is no break allowed during this exam.

Exam fee USD 250 (USD 100 for each subsequent retake)
Prerequisites 

An active, unexpired Okta Professional Certification

Successful completion of the recommended training or self-study using the preparation resources listed in the Administrator Exam subject areas table at the end of this page

 

Exam Scheduling

Okta certification exams are administered and proctored by Examity®, a secure online proctoring service. Okta has partnered with Examity to protect the integrity of our certification exams. Online proctoring means that you can take Okta exams from almost any location at a time that is convenient for you, without requiring that you travel to a test center. Your Okta certification exam must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance of the time you plan to sit for the test in order to avoid the additional fee associated with on-demand testing. You can schedule your exam through the Okta Certification Credential Manager.

Understanding the types of items included on this exam

Part I of this exam includes Discrete Option Multiple-Choice (DOMC) items. Part II contains performance-based, hands-on use cases.

Understanding the DOMC item type

Part I of this exam consists of 35 DOMC items. DOMC is a powerful measurement tool that produces reliable test scores. It does so by removing several “contaminants” that affect test outcomes but are unrelated to the knowledge and skills being tested. The DOMC item type levels the playing field, and more fairly measures your skills by improving:

  • Readability. Because you are required to read less text, the exam tends to take less time and places fewer demands on the slower reader or the non-native English speaker.
  • Fairness. When savvy test takers are unsure of an answer, they look for clues by comparing options or gleaning information from other items on an exam. DOMC removes this test-taking advantage and serves as a powerful method to assess your actual knowledge.
  • Security. Instead of displaying all options at the same time, options are randomly presented one at a time. For each option presented, you must make a YES or NO decision to indicate whether you think the option is correct. Answer options are presented in random order, and in most instances, you are NOT presented with all the available options associated with a DOMC item. Item exposure is limited by presenting only a subset of the available options to you. Limiting item exposure helps ensure the integrity of the exam.

Scoring

You can be assured that the DOMC item type is scored fairly and with precision.

  • If you are presented with a correct option and respond YES, then that response is scored as “correct". A DOMC item can be programmed to require one or more correct responses in order to be complete and to be considered answered correctly. Typically, however, only one correct response is required.
  • If you are presented with a correct option and respond NO, then that item is scored as “incorrect”.
  • If you are presented with an incorrect option and respond YES, then that item is scored as “incorrect”.
  • If you are presented with an incorrect option, and respond NO (technically, a correct response), the item is not scored until additional options are presented and responded to.

Note: Even after you respond correctly or incorrectly to an item, additional correct or incorrect options might be presented but your responses to those options will not be scored at all. This is done to prevent you from guessing the correctness or incorrectness of a response.

The DOMC item format might require that you make some adjustments to your usual test-taking approaches. The reward of such effort is confidence that those test takers who become certified are truly competent in the areas tested on the exam and will represent excellence in the field.

To learn more about DOMC items, visit https://domc.caveon.com/home. In addition, the Okta Administrator Practice and Premier Practice Examswill help you become accustomed to the new test format. We highly recommend that you become familiar with the format of this item type before taking any Okta certification exams.

Understanding the performance-based use cases on this exam

Part II of the exam contains information about Part II, the credentials needed to access the Okta orgs that are assigned at the beginning of the exam, and four use cases. The information, org credentials, and four use cases are accessible through tabs on the exam screen. Each use case consists of configuration tasks that test takers are asked to complete in their assigned Okta Identity Engine Preview Orgs. This exam allows test takers to demonstrate their skill with the Okta service in a natural way that mimics how administrators use Okta on the job. 

We recommend that test takers complete the use cases and tasks in order because completing some tasks depend on the successful completion of previous tasks. 

Scoring of Performance-Based Use Cases

Uses cases are graded upon the submission of the exam or immediately at the end of the 120-minute time clock allotted for this part of the exam. A scoring rubric is used to grade this exam. The grading process is automated using scripts to query the logs of the Okta tenants, as well as APIs to validate specific configurations. As it is a program policy, we provide a final Pass or Fail decision only. We do not provide grades, nor do we make public the minimum amount of points an exam taker needs to pass our exams.

Submitting the Exam

At the bottom of the page is a blue button labeled "Save & Submit Exam". After you have completed all of the use cases and you are ready to submit your exam, click the SAVE & SUBMIT EXAM BUTTON. When you do, you will be presented with a confirmation popup. Clicking the YES, SUBMIT NOW button will end your exam and submit it for grading.

Submitting the Exam

Preparing for the Okta Administrator Hands-On Configuration Exam

A combination of instructor-led training courses, self-paced learning, self-study, and on-the-job experience will prepare you to take this exam.

Training

Okta Education Services offers a range of classes and training materials to help you prepare for this certification exam. Although attending a training class does not guarantee success on an Okta certification exam, we strongly recommend that you attend Okta Essentials (an instructor-led training course with labs) in preparation for this exam

You can access Okta Essentials here: https://www.okta.com/services/training/

In Okta Essentials, you will learn how to:

  • Integrate Okta into your organization for easy user access to applications and data.
  • Identify the features and functions of Okta to maximize the value of your Okta investment.
  • Create and configure user accounts within Okta for data access and administration.
  • Integrate external directories to provide secure application access for all employees.
  • Create and manage groups for efficient user and application association and provisioning.
  • Configure applications for secure employee access to corporate data.
  • Configure controls, such as password policies and multi-factor authentication, for increased data security.
  • Customize Okta to match your company brand.
  • Work through various errors to learn troubleshooting techniques.
  • Monitor application usage and analyze authentication errors to quickly resolve employee or access issues.

Visit https://www.okta.com/services/training/ for the complete course catalog.

Other resources

  • The Okta Help Center contains a knowledge library of articles and videos, some of which are pertinent to topics covered on this exam.
  • The Okta Content Library offers searchable white papers with a rich body of information to explore before your exam.
  • Join the Okta Community to review questions, discussions, ideas, and blogs for additional exam preparation.

Administrator Exam subject areas

Part I subject areas

The following table lists the topics that are covered in Part I of this exam. These topics are grouped into topic areas, and topic areas roll up into domains/exam sections. Use this list as an outline to guide your study and validate your readiness for Part I of this exam. 

 

Identity and Access Management

37%

Active Directory Integration

 

Enable and manage delegated authentication with AD and LDAP using Okta agents

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate understanding of Okta AD and LDAP agent architecture and best practices

Preparation resources:

Manage Okta agent service account and permissions need for agents and in directories for password reset

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of the requirements for Okta/AD password policies

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of user activation options when using AD as a source

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between AD groups and Okta groups

Preparation resources:

Single Sign-On (SSO) Federation

 

Demonstrate knowledge of how to configure Okta as a service provider

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate understanding of the SAML assertion

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of the configuration of OIN apps

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of Org2Org use cases

Preparation resources:

Desktop SSO deployment Federation
 

Demonstrate knowledge of how to deploy Agentless Desktop SSO

Preparation resources:

Architecture
 

Demonstrate knowledge of how to configure RADIUS applications

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of high availability requirements on advanced agents (e.g., RADIUS, MFA, OPP)

Preparation resources:

User Lifecycle Management

29%

Profile sourcing and write-back concepts

 

Demonstrate knowledge of HR as a source including the benefits of groups and group rules when using an external source

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of when profile sourcing is used

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of the value of writing data back to directories and apps from Okta

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate ability to work with multiple profile sources

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of the requirements of Okta lifecycle management and the ability to write to applications

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate understanding of Okta Workflows for advanced lifecycle management use cases

Preparation resources:

Provisioning

 

Demonstrate knowledge of the different ways that Okta can perform lifecycle management against Apps (e.g., APIs, SCIM, SAML JIT, password sync, Org2Org)

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of the typical flow of user registration/onboarding, updates, and deprovisioning.

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of how users and groups are processes during full and incremental imports

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of how Group Push can push Okta groups to provisioning-enabled third-party apps

Preparation resources:

Security

20%

Okta Security Policy and Enforcement Framework

 

Manage authenticators and profiles

Preparation resources:

Configure global session policies

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of authenticators, authentication methods, AAL (authentication assurance level), and end-user context to configure app-level policies

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of device concepts including device context, device binding, registered vs. managed devices, and EDR signals

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate understanding of adaptive MFA policies

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate knowledge of authorization servers

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate understanding of network zones, dynamic zones, IP zones, and blocklist zones

Preparation resources:

Monitoring and Troubleshooting

9%

Logging and Reporting

 

Demonstrate understanding of Okta logging

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate ability to filter the Okta syslog for events

Preparation resources:

Demonstrate ability to interpret Okta log files

Preparation resources:

API Functions

6%

Token Management

 

Demonstrate knowledge of how to create API tokens with the correct permissions

Preparation resources:

API Extended Functions

 

Demonstrate knowledge of the importance of API rate limiting

Preparation resources:

 

Part II subject areas

The following table lists the use cases and tasks that are assessed in this exam. Information about each task in the exam is provided in the reference links.

Use Case
Percentage of Part II Related to Use Case

User Management

26%

Configuration tasks:
  • Import users from a csv file
  • Activate users
  • Create a custom user type and assign users to it
  • Add a custom attribute to a user type 
  • Assign users to a group by rule
Preparation resources:

Application Setup

31%

Configuration tasks:
  • Add a SAML 2.0 app integration
  • Map Okta attributes to application attributes
  • Create and map a custom attribute 
Preparation resources:

Administrator Roles

20%

Configuration tasks:
  • Create a custom admin role
  • Assign users to the admin role
  • Activate users with correct admin role
  • Create an API token
Preparation resources:

Security Enforcement

23%

Configuration tasks:
  • Set up an authenticator
  • Set up an MFA enrollment policy
  • Modify the default global sessions policy
  • Create an authentication policy for multifactor authentication
  • Test the authentication policy 
Preparation resources:

 

Okta Certified Administrator Practice Exams

Know what to expect on the day of the exam. Take the Okta Administrator Hands-On Configuration Practice Exam to familiarize yourself with the format of the DOMC item type.  Click the button below to check it out. 

Okta Administrator Hands-On Configuration Standard Practice Exam

Free Instructor-Led Exam Prep Webinar

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Subject matter experts for the Okta Certified Administrator Hands-On Configuration Exam

Okta certification exams are designed and built by subject matter experts who have extensive real world-experiences implementing and administering the Okta service.

Here is the list of subject matter experts who made significant contributions in designing and building this exam:

Pratik Bhatt

Jordan Bowman

Andrew Candella

Chul Choi

Michael DiFilippo

Jim Doherty

Mohammad Ghaffar

Brandon Hunt

Jonathan Jackson

Iris Li

Bill MacAusland

Alka Maurya

Justin Moore

Arvindkumar Thakor

John Alexander Vasquez

Christian Wimpelmann

Simon Wu