Chūnin Exams

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This is the article on the kind of exams. If you are looking for the article on the story arc, head to Chūnin Exams.

The Chūnin Selection Exams (中忍選抜試験, Chūnin Senbatsu Shiken)[1] are an opportunity for genin to be promoted to chūnin. The exam structure and evaluation processes differ from one exam to the next so that genin cannot come prepared. Villages originally held their own individual exams. Following the Third Shinobi World War, exams that are open to all villages started being held bi-annually, with villages taking turns for hosting responsibilities. These shared exams improve relations between the villages, present up-and-coming ninja to clients, and create an opportunity for gambling.

Although the exams, specifically the final round matches, are designed for there to be an ultimate "winner", success does not guarantee promotion nor does failure preclude it; if the observing ninja and daimyō feel a genin displays the necessary qualities for a chūnin, that genin will be promoted regardless of how they place in the exams. For this reason it is possible for as many as all of the finalists to pass, or even for none of them to.

Having too many participants to advance to the next stages seems to be an undesired result, as the examiners tend to run additional preliminaries to reduce the number of finalists.

Known Exams


Konohagakure held one of its own Chūnin Exams around the time of the Third Shinobi World War. Genin had to enter as part of a three-man team. The three stages were not held consecutively, allowing participants to recuperate between stages.

Second Stage

Held in the Forest of Death, the second stage consisted of tournament battles between three-man teams. The Third Hokage and the team's leader monitored the fights remotely. Loss of a match did not necessarily prevent a genin from continuing to the finals.

Known fights


The finals consisted of one-on-one tournament battles.

Known fights


At the start of Part I, Konohagakure hosts one of the year's Chūnin Exams. Genin must enter as part of a three-man team. Prior to the first stage, Izumo Kamizuki and Kotetsu Hagane (disguised as genin) try to discourage others from participating.

Village Participants (manga)[2] Participants (anime)[3]
Konohagakure 87 72
Sunagakure 30 30
Amegakure 21 21
Kusagakure 6 15
Takigakure 6 12
Otogakure 3 3
Total 153 153

First Stage

Proctored by Ibiki Morino, the first stage is, at a glance, an hour-long written test of ten questions. However, the first nine questions are too difficult for an average genin to be able to answer. The real objective, therefore, is to cheat: either copy from one of the few genin that can answer the questions or from one of the chūnin embedded with the examinees. If a genin is caught cheating five times, they and the rest of their team are disqualified. Getting the correct answer to these nine questions is not ultimately important, as it is possible to pass without answering any of them at all.

Forty-five minutes in to the first stage, genin are given the opportunity to answer the tenth question. They are first warned that, if they answer the question incorrectly, they will not be allowed to take the exams ever again; if they forfeit - which also disqualifies the rest of their team - before hearing the question, they will be allowed to retake the exams another time. This option is, itself, the tenth question; if a genin is willing to face the unknown of the tenth question, they are ready to be a chūnin. Naruto Uzumaki's open determination to face this unknown inspires all of the remaining genin, causing a higher than average number to pass to the second stage.

Participating Team Village Outcome
Team 7 Konohagakure Passed
Team 8 Konohagakure Passed
Team 10 Konohagakure Passed
Team Guy Konohagakure Passed
Team Baki Sunagakure Passed
Team Dosu Otogakure Passed
Team Kabuto Konohagakure Passed
Team Oboro Amegakure Passed
Team Shigure Amegakure Passed
Hōki Takigakure Passed
Manabu Akado Konohagakure Passed
Sukima's team Konohagakure Disqualified
Komaza's team Sunagakure Disqualified
Suiu's team Amegakure Disqualified
Samidare's team Amegakure Disqualified
Jimei's team Konohagakure Disqualified
Team Komugi Konohagakure Forfeited
Hōsei's team Konohagakure Forfeited
Nejiri Sunagakure unknown

Second Stage

Proctored by Anko Mitarashi, the second stage takes place in the Forest of Death. Three-man teams are given either a Heaven Scroll (天の書, Ten no Sho) or an Earth Scroll (地の書, Chi no Sho) before entering the forest. They then have five days for the entire team to reach the building in the centre of the forest with one of each scroll in their possession; how they acquire the other scroll is up to them, by force or by trade being the most common options. Because of the natural hazards of the forest, the absence of services or outside assistance, and the likely conflict with other teams, genin must sign liability waivers before entering to release Konoha from responsibility for any injuries or deaths.

If a team loses their starting scroll they are not automatically disqualified, as they may use the remaining time to acquire another copy of the scroll they've lost. By the same extension, acquiring both scrolls does not guarantee completion of the second stage, as they still must reach the centre building in time. As the second stage goes on, team that have lost their scroll will tend to gather around the building, hoping to prey on on those with both. Alternately, teams that already have both scrolls can linger outside the building, taking scrolls from others to reduce the competition of later stages.

Genin are forbidden from opening either scroll until they have reached the central building. If they follow this instruction, the scroll will summon a higher-ranked ninja to grant them advancement to the next stage. If they do not follow this instruction, the ninja will render them and everyone else in the area unconscious for the duration of the second stage.

The Three Sand Siblings, in particular, have broken the previous record by making to the tower with both scrolls in 97 minutes.

Gate[6] Participating Team Village Starting Scroll Outcome
3 Toitsu's Team Konohagakure Heaven Failed
4 Kawaki's Team Sunagakure Heaven Failed
6 Team Baki Sunagakure Earth Passed
8 Team Shigure Amegakure Heaven Killed by Gaara
10 Kyube's Team Konohagakure Heaven Failed
12 Team 7 Konohagakure Heaven Passed
15 Team Shiore Kusagakure Earth Killed by Orochimaru
16 Team 8 Konohagakure Heaven Passed
17 Masao's Team Konohagakure Earth Failed
19 Jyari's Team Sunagakure Earth Failed
20 Team Dosu Otogakure Earth Passed
21 Mekabu's Team Konohagakure Heaven Failed
23 Kegon's Team Takigakure Earth Failed
24 Tonbi's Team Konohagakure Earth Failed
25 Shigeri's Team Kusagakure Earth Failed
26 Mebachi's Team Konohagakure Heaven Failed
27 Team 10 Konohagakure Heaven Passed
29 Team Oboro Amegakure Heaven Failed; defeated by Team 7
30 Kawazu's Team Amegakure Heaven Failed
32 Genta's Team Otogakure Earth Failed
34 Kugiri's Team Konohagakure Earth Failed
35 Masago's Team Sunagakure Heaven Failed
37 Yudachi's Team Amegakure Earth Failed
38 Team Kabuto Konohagakure Earth Passed
41 Team Guy Konohagakure Earth Passed
44 Nezumi's Team Amegakure Heaven Failed
 ?? Team Shibire Konohagakure Earth Failed; opened scroll early


Chunin Examination Arena

The arena for the preliminaries.

Because too many genin end up passing the second stage, a single round of randomly selected one-on-one matches is held where only the victor will get to continue on. Participants' advancement to the finals is no longer contingent upon the success of their teammates; it is for this excuse that Kabuto Yakushi forfeits before the preliminaries start. Matches are refereed by Hayate Gekkō while others are free to observe. Genin are encouraged to watch each others' fights carefully to help them prepare for fighting each other in the finals; indeed, after the preliminaries are finished the finalists are told who they will fight in the first round so they can plan accordingly.

Match Combatants Outcome
1 Sasuke Uchiha vs. Yoroi Akadō Sasuke wins
2 Zaku Abumi vs. Shino Aburame Shino wins
3 Misumi Tsurugi vs. Kankurō Kankurō wins
4 Sakura Haruno vs. Ino Yamanaka double knockout
5 Tenten vs. Temari Temari wins
6 Shikamaru Nara vs. Kin Tsuchi Shikamaru wins
7 Naruto Uzumaki vs. Kiba Inuzuka Naruto wins
8 Hinata Hyūga vs. Neji Hyūga Neji wins
9 Gaara vs. Rock Lee Gaara wins
10 Dosu Kinuta vs. Chōji Akimichi Dosu wins


The finals are held a month after the completion of the preliminaries so that finalists have a chance to recuperate and prepare. This also allows news of the matchups to get around and attract greater publicity for the event. The finals consist of one-on-one tournament battles refereed by Genma Shiranui (originally planned to be reffed by Hayate Gekkō before his death).

Shikamaru Nara was originally scheduled to fight Dosu Kinuta in the first round of the finals, and the victor of that match would then fight Temari. However, Dosu is killed before the finals take place, so Shikamaru and Temari are matched from the beginning. The finals themselves are interrupted by and cancelled because of the Konoha Crush. Shikamaru, though he forfeits his match, is ultimately the only participant to be promoted to chūnin.

First Round Second Round Final Round
Naruto Uzumaki vs. Neji Hyūga Naruto vs. interrupted interrupted
Gaara vs. Sasuke Uchiha
Kankurō vs. Shino Aburame Shino vs. Temari
Temari vs. Shikamaru Nara

Konoha–Suna Joint

In the anime, Konohagakure and Sunagakure hold a joint Chūnin Exam during the gap in time between Part I and Part II. Although they invite all the other respective villages to participate, only Takigakure, Kusagakure and Amegakure accept. The participating genin must enter as part of a three-man team. Although publicly meant to symbolise the growing alliance between Konoha and Suna, the exams are actually held to help restore Konohagakure's reputation after the events of the last exams being interrupted. A second hidden goal for these exams was to draw out Akatsuki, with the Fifth Kazekage (a jinchūriki) being the bait.

Village Participants[7]
Konohagakure 72
Sunagakure 27
Amegakure 15
Kusagakure 6
Takigakure 3
Total 123
  • An Otogakure genin is briefly seen during the first stage.[8]

First Stage

Proctored by Shikamaru Nara, the first stage is a written test that takes place in Konoha. Members from each team are split into in one of three rooms while taking the test. The goal for this test is to see how well the team-mates know each other, as each member of a team must answer one of three questions and depending on the question picked will decide whether the team passes or fails. Ultimately, the team members have to achieve a combined score of 100 points.[9]

Along with the three question choice test, there is a bonus question that must be answered unanimously by each team which asks what member of their respective team would be chosen to be a decoy and the one picked will be disqualified. This happens to be a trick question as all members of a team must be present in order to be qualified for the second round.[8] Communication between team-mates is allowed.

Participating Team Room 1 Room 2 Room 3 Village Outcome
Team Ajisai Suiren Fuyō Ajisai Amegakure Passed
Team Ameno Shishio Kōji Ameno Sunagakure Passed
Team Asuma Chōji Akimichi Ino Yamanaka Sakura Haruno Konohagakure Passed
Team Fū Kegon Yōrō Takigakure Passed
Team Guy Neji Hyūga Rock Lee Tenten Konohagakure Passed
Team Kazami Muyami Burami Kazami Kusagakure Passed
Team Komugi Komugi Gennai Inaho Konohagakure Passed
Team Kurenai Hinata Hyūga Shino Aburame Kiba Inuzuka Konohagakure Passed
Team Matsuri Mikoshi Matsuri Yukata Sunagakure Passed
Team Sajin Sajin Mujin Mijin Sunagakure Failed
Team Saya  ??  ??  ?? Sunagakure Passed
Team Shibire Shibire Minoji Tanzō Konohagakure Passed
Team Shira Shira Sen Yome Sunagakure Passed


Because too many genin pass the first stage, a preliminary round is held: the first 30 teams to reach the Demon Desert within three days are allowed to participate in the second stage.

Participating Team Village Outcome
Team Ajisai Amegakure Passed
Team Ameno Sunagakure Passed
Team Asuma Konohagakure Passed
Team Fū Takigakure Passed
Team Goji Sunagakure Passed
Team Guy Konohagakure Passed
Team Kazami Kusagakure Passed
Team Komugi Konohagakure Passed
Team Kurenai Konohagakure Passed
Team Matsuri Sunagakure Passed
Team Saya Sunagakure Passed
Team Shibire Konohagakure Failed
Team Shira Sunagakure Passed

Second Stage

Proctored by Temari, the second stage takes place in Suna's Demon Desert. Teams are given either a Heaven Scroll or an Earth Scroll before entering the desert. They then have three days for the entire team to reach the building in the centre of the desert with one of each scroll in their possession. Because of the risks involved with this second stage, genin must sign liability waivers before entering.[10]

Because of attacks on the Kazekage and one of the exam's participants, the exams are cancelled at the end of the second stage. Performance reports on all participants, including those who did not acquire the necessary scrolls, are instead sent back to their respective village, with the choice to promote them left up to their village's leader.[11] Known promotions are:

Five Village Co-Sponsorship

In Boruto: Naruto the Movie, set around fifteen years after the end of the Fourth Shinobi World War, the villages of the Five Great Shinobi Countries for the first time co-sponsor the year's Chūnin Exams, to be held in Konohagakure. In addition to genin of the five sponsoring villages, genin from Amegakure and Kusagakure are also seen. The participating genin must enter as part of a three-man team.

Although most ninja tools are permitted, the Seventh Hokage forbids the usage of the Kote, a recent invention that enables anyone to use any ninjutsu without training or chakra. As the Hokage explains, the Kote defeats the exams' purpose of nurturing the shinobi arts.

First Stage

Proctored by Sai Yamanaka and designed by Shikamaru Nara, the first stage is initially presented as a simple true or false question. All teams are given the same question regarding the fifth volume of a book on shinobi strategies and, as a team, are instructed to stand next to a flag representing what they believe the correct answer to be. Once all teams gather at their selected answer, they are dropped into a pit because, in truth, there is no fifth volume of that book and therefore no correct answer. Shortly before being dropped, the genin are warned that anyone who "turns black" will fail.

The actual objective of the exam is for genin, once dropped into the pit, to not get any of the ink that pools at the bottom of each pit on themselves. By not falling in the ink, genin demonstrate quick thinking and a willingness to persevere despite apparent failure, thus allowing them to continue to the second stage.

Participating Team Village Outcome
Team Konohamaru Konohagakure Passed
Team Shikadai Konohagakure Passed
Team Shinki Sunagakure Passed
Team Yurui Kumogakure Passed
Metal Lee's team Konohagakure Passed

Second Stage

Proctored by Tenten with assistance from Shino Aburame, the second stage is held three days after the first. Teams are paired against each other in a game of capture the flag. Teams must simultaneously defend their own flag and capture the opposing team's flag in order to pass to the final rounds. The movie's novelisation adds that teams are not allowed to kill opponents, partly for humane reasons, but also in order to test genin's ability to keep and benefit from prisoners.

Combatants Winner
Team Shikadai vs. a Kusa team Team Shikadai
Team Yurui vs. an unspecified team Team Yurui
Team Shinki vs. Metal Lee's team Team Shinki
Team Konohamaru vs. a Kiri team[12] Team Konohamaru


The finals are tournament matches held in a stadium, observed by the five Kage and any other interested parties. Refereed by Rock Lee, the first two rounds are one-on-one matches and the third round is a three-way match between the remaining finalists.

Boruto Uzumaki is caught using the Kote during his second match and for that reason he is disqualified by the Hokage. The Hokage is immediately afterwards attacked by Kinshiki and Momoshiki Ōtsutsuki and the stadium is destroyed in the ensuing battle, thus forcing the tournament's cancellation.

First Round Second Round Final Round
Yurui vs. Boruto Uzumaki Boruto vs. Shikadai Shikadai vs. interrupted
Shikadai Nara vs. Yodo
Sarada Uchiha vs. Tarui Sarada vs. Mitsuki
Toroi vs. Mitsuki
Inojin Yamanaka vs. Araya Araya vs. Shinki
Chōchō Akimichi vs. Shinki

Referenced Exams

Although only four Chūnin Exams have been depicted in the series, many others have been referenced:

  • Manabu Akado has taken and failed the exams on seventeen prior occasions.
  • The Third Hokage remembers Kabuto Yakushi dropping out before the finals during a previous exam. Kabuto's records state he has failed five other times as well.
  • In the anime, Ibiki Morino proctored the first stage of the exams before. Each time he changed the tenth question, such as giving the choice of either quitting and having the whole squad fail or continuing and having the lowest scoring member of the squad be forced to remain a genin forever (solution is to quit, rather than sacrifice squad members for personal gain).
  • In the anime, during an escort mission, Idate Morino was failed during the first exam by Ibiki for risking the future of his squad, and in fact was forbidden from ever taking the exams again.[13]
  • Shikamaru Nara is in the planning stages for another Chūnin Exam at the start of Part II, the obligations of which prevent him from participating in the Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission.



  1. Naruto episode 60
  2. Chapter 39, page 10
  3. Naruto episode 23
  4. Chapter 39, page 18
  5. Chapter 43, page 19
  6. Naruto Anime Profiles, Vol. 1, page 159
  7. Naruto Shippūden episode 395
  8. 8.0 8.1 Naruto Shippūden episode 397
  9. Naruto: Shippūden episode 396
  10. Naruto: Shippūden episode 398
  11. Naruto: Shippūden episode 413
  12. In the novelisation, this is a Suna team.
  13. Naruto episode 105

Start a Discussion Discussions about Chūnin Exams

  • Kakashi and Guy's Chunin Exam

    9 messages
    • Well, according to the source of the databook's names, there should still be two left to be release. I could imagine a back-to-back release, si...
    • Hmm so only certain things in DB4 can be used in reality anyways.
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