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Naruto wasn't able to complete the Genin exam for some time. Either he was just a young starter and Sakura & Sasuke started after he failed, or a result that he was quite older. They say he was the same age, but never really told us to which day he started.

Doesn't that mean Naruto is older than Sasuke and Sakura?

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    Are you talking about the Academy exam? They all failed their Chunin exams the first time. – kuwaly Apr 7 '18 at 17:44
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As per this question and the Naruto wikia, Naruto was 12 at the start of the show. The Naruto wikia also lists Sasuke and Sakura as being 12 at the start, which indicates that they're the same age. It's also corroborated by this, which says it got it from the Official Character Stats Book.

As you point out, it's not really clear how that works out, given that he's stated to have failed the exam to become a genin more than once (I'm assuming that's what you're asking about, rather than the Chunin exam, given context). Possibilities for that include either that he started younger or that it's just a timeline mess that they never bothered to deal with. I'm guessing the latter.

  • I'd side more on the former as Naruto's been alone the entire time but his dream was to become Hokage so he could have started early without any parental interference. Also if I recall another answer here Kakashi was younger than Naruto getting into the Anbu Black Ops and you'd think he'd need to pass at the Genin exam first – Memor-X Apr 7 '18 at 23:25
  • That's possible. I was trying to find if the Academy had some sort of minimum age, but I couldn't find it in my admittedly cursory look. – kuwaly Apr 8 '18 at 10:11
  • It's also possible that Naruto entered the exam while the others didn't because they understood they weren't ready yet but Naruto, impatient as he is, couldn't wait and took the exam every chance he got. – Gravinco Jun 7 '18 at 12:40
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If you remember, Kakashi finished in a year, so I would guess that you could take the exams at least twice a year and Naruto failed 6 times. It never said how long they were at the academy. So it would make sense that they could be the same age.

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