Disclaimer: I never read past the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, so it is possible that my question may be answered if I had read further. However, I do believe that the Chunin Exam arc, which is what my question is about, is far enough from the Sasuke Retrieval Arc that my question would have already been answered by the time the story arrives at the Sasuke Retrieval Arc.

I will be referencing the part of the Chunin Exam Arc where the characters take the written portion of the exam. This is in volume 5 of the Naruto tankoban (which covers chapters 37 - 45).

During my trip down memory lane with my re-reading of what I have read of Naruto, this question occurred to me: how did so many characters get away with, at least to me, seemingly obvious, cheats during the written portion of the Chunin exam?

Here is a list of cheats in particular that went unnoticed that I would like to know how they managed to do so:

  • Akamaru was barking the answers to Kiba. We know that dogs are used a fair amount by skilled ninja, including Kakashi himself, so would it not be logical for the proctors to assume that a dog could be used to cheat? I can believe Shino's insect trick because ninja-insect interaction is much rarer than ninja-dog interaction since it is an ability exclusive to Shino's clan and also a fly buzzing is much more inaudible than a dog barking.

  • Naruto and Hinata were having a full-blown conversation, it was whispering, but still a conversation nonetheless. How did none of the proctors notice?

  • Also going along the lines of communication with other ninja in the room, how did Tenten manage to communicate to Rock Lee to raise his head band to notify her that he was able to see her mirrors in the ceiling/how did she communicate to him that the mirrors were even there without getting caught?

  • How did Tenten get those mirrors up in the ceiling undetected in the first place? I cannot imagine that it was done before the exam started, unless she was planning to cheat from the very start, without knowing what the exam was going to be like. I can believe Kankuro and his Crow cheat because it is much easier to set-up Crow as a proctor undetected in the masses of ninja in the room than it is to set-up a mirror system in the ceiling.

  • Ino's Mind Body Switch Technique requires hand seals. How did she get away with using it on Sakura without being seen? I would imagine that hand seals would be the very first thing that the proctors would look out for considering it is an exam for ninja.

  • Proctor Ibiki himself actually SEES Gaara making a hand gesture that could pass as a hand seal if the next panel had not revealed that he was just using that hand gesture to cover his eye so he could create the sand eye. But even so, Ibiki did claim to count "anything out of the ordinary" as cheating, and a suspicious hand gesture resembling a hand seal, I would say, qualifies as "out of the ordinary", so why did he not call Gaara out?

  • I realize that this last point is a bit too hypothetical and assumes too much, but we do know that there are ninja who can sense chakra usage. I do not recall this directly from the manga, but taking a look at Ino's Wiki page here, it says that she is one of such ninja (eventually, but that is not the point; I am just linking to show that there does exist chakra sensing ninja). Surely [I know, this is a large assumption here], there must be some proctor in the room who would have such an ability since it is a ninja exam, so why did no one detect the chakra expenditure that was going on in the room?

  • 1
    remember that people would be called out after they are caught cheating twice which is what caught Sakura's attention (as normally in an exam being caught cheating even once will get you disqualified). also a team member could distract examiners on purpose by doing something suspicious (ie. Akamaru whisper barks to Kiba, a couple of examiners notice but don't realize Akamaru is saying "yummy yummy monkey butts dancing dongo dogbites" giving Shino and/or Hinata for freedom to act)
    – Memor-X
    Aug 31, 2015 at 6:58
  • 2
    it is not that you are free to cheat but you can cheat using your power without getting caught, whole chunnin exam is to select chunnin, pass fail are just there for deception, main is how good you are at using your power, as Shikamaru was chosen chunnin though he forfeited.same is with writing exam, use your power and of course brain Aug 31, 2015 at 7:08

1 Answer 1


I watched this in the anime recently and this is what I recall. Most of this is actually explained throughout the exam or at the end.

First, the exam was set up that each person started off with a full 10/10 score one the test. For each answer they got wrong they lost 1 point. For each time they were caught cheating they lost 2 points. Anyone caught cheating 5 times failed and he and his team were disqualified.

As Sasuke realized early on, the questions were so hard that no one would know all the answers and that cheating was actually encouraged (this is also confirmed by the fact that there were "students" planted in the room who had all the answers to cheat off of). The test really wasn't one of knowing the answers (as the end of the exam proves), but rather one of how well they could gather information. I don't believe it was expected that they would never get caught, but rather that if they were doing this on a real mission that they wouldn't be so sloppy as to get themselves killed.

So is it possible that someone noticed Gara or Tenten cheating? Certainly. Did they get caught enough to get thrown out? No. And that's the key.

  • 1
    not being about "knowing answers" is further confirm by naruto passing without filling a single answer xD
    – Fuseteam
    Jul 2, 2020 at 16:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .