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In Naruto series, there are what we called ninja ranks: genin, chuunin, and jounin. To be promoted to a higher ninja rank, you need to passed at least an exam, like in the academy, if you were able to graduate from the academy, you'll be promoted to genin, to be a chuunin ninja, you need to pass the chuunin exam. How about being promoted to Jounin, is there a Jounin exam too? :)

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    You don't have to pass an exam to be Chunnin, there are other ways of doing it. Kishimoto once said in a interview that Naruto can become a Chunnin anytime he wants to, but he just wants to do it through the exam. For that matter, Naruto became a genin despite failing the test, because Iruka pretty much appointed him. :) – Masked Man Mar 14 '13 at 13:58
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I think this link might help naruto wiki.
Here it is said that it is yet unclear if there is an exam.
There is a mention of a Jounin Exam in Kurama Clan Arc (episodes 203 to 207),
and that they are apointed. This info only counts for Naruto anime btw.

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It's not clear yet. Maybe there are exams or maybe they are promoted because of their abilities. Sometimes, there are "special-Jounins", which have some special abilities like Anko, Ibiki or Ebisu.

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