|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) 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.
A genin does not need to win the Chūnin Exams to be promoted. If they show themselves capable, they can still be promoted regardless. One example was Shikamaru Nara, who forfeited his first round against Temari but was nevertheless promoted to chūnin since he proved himself to be capable.
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.
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
- Team of Ibiki Morino, Hayate Gekkō, and Tokara defeated Team Orochimaru.
- Team Minato fought Team Genma.
The finals consisted of one-on-one tournament battles.
- Known fights
- Might Guy defeated Obito Uchiha.
- Kakashi Hatake defeated Might Guy. Kakashi was successfully promoted to chūnin.
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)||Participants (anime)|
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.
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||Participating Team||Village||Starting Scroll||Outcome|
|8||Team Shigure||Amegakure||Heaven||Killed by Gaara|
|15||Shiore's Team||Kusagakure||Earth||Killed by Orochimaru|
|29||Team Oboro||Amegakure||Heaven||Failed; defeated by Team 7|
|??||Team Shibire||Konohagakure||Earth||Failed; opened scroll early|
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.
|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). Although the tournament is 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 tournament. For this reason it is possible for as many as all of the finalists to pass, or even for none of them to. Therefore, the important point of this exam is for the examinees to show their aptitude in the field, and would have more opportunity if they advance to the next round.
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.
Due to Sunagakure joining forces with Otogakure to attack Konohagakure during the midst of the match between Gaara and Sasuke, the remainder of the matches were cancelled. The original idea was for Gaara to awaken Shukaku in the middle of the battlefield, wrecking havoc upon Konoha, but Sasuke's Chidori circumvented the transformation and caused the attack to occur without Gaara's help. Only Shikamaru, who proved himself worthy for his strategic demonstration, was promoted.
|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|
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.
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.
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. Communication between team-mates is allowed.
|Participating Team||Room 1||Room 2||Room 3||Village||Outcome|
|Team Asuma||Chōji Akimichi||Ino Yamanaka||Sakura Haruno||Konohagakure||Passed|
|Team Guy||Neji Hyūga||Rock Lee||Tenten||Konohagakure||Passed|
|Team Kurenai||Hinata Hyūga||Shino Aburame||Kiba Inuzuka||Konohagakure||Passed|
Because too many genin passed the first stage, a preliminary round was issued. It involved a race to Sunagakure, where only the first 30 teams to reach Demon Desert within three days were allowed to qualify for the 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.
After the second phase of the exams ended, it was announced by the Fifth Kazekage that there will be no third phase due to unfortunate matters. However, he revealed that the evaluation of each genin would be looked over by their respective village leaders, and they would ultimately decide if they are promoted to chūnin.
Although only three 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.
- In Find the Four-Leaf Red Clover!, Kakashi says that genin who went to and returned from Akagahara were accepted as chūnin.
- In Chūnin Exam on Fire! Naruto vs. Konohamaru!, use of senjutsu is against the rules as it would give Naruto Uzumaki an unfair advantage. Indeed, Naruto, who was not listening when this was explained, was immediately disqualified when he used senjutsu.
- ↑ Naruto episode 60
- ↑ Chapter 39, page 10
- ↑ Naruto episode 23
- ↑ Chapter 39, page 18
- ↑ Chapter 43, page 19
- ↑ Naruto Anime Profiles, Vol. 1, page 159
- ↑ Naruto Shippūden episode 395
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Naruto Shippūden episode 397
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 396
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 398
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 413
- ↑ Naruto episode 105