The Examination Faction refers to the group of officials loyal to the current Emperor, Shi Ryuuki. The officials are mostly those who entered the Imperial Outer Court through the Imperial Examinations. This section contains spoilers for later volumes of the Saiunkoku light novels (starting from volume 12).
Kou Shuurei (紅 秀麗 Kō Shūrei) was the daughter of Kou Shouka and Shi Ryuuki's Consort. She originally became an official after Ryuuki allows women to take the imperial examinations, during which Shuurei obtains the Tanka spot for the third highest mark. As an official, her first assignment is to serve as the co-governor of Sa Province alongside To Eigetsu. After she is recalled, she becomes an official of the censorate under Ki Kouki.
Li Kouyuu (李 絳攸 Ri Kōyū) is the former Vice Minister of Civil Administration and Kou Reishin's adoptive son. Regarded as a genius for being the youngest person to obtain the Jougen spot for the highest marks in the imperial examinations at age 16, he is assigned to become a tutor to Ryuuki.
Ran Shuuei (藍 楸瑛 Ran Shūei) is a former General of the Left Habayashi Army (左羽林軍 Hidari Uringun) and the older brother of Ran Ryuuren and Ran Jyuusan. He is also Ryuuki's personal bodyguard. Though he is best known for his skills in swordsmanship, he is a very capable individual in terms of politics and obtained the Bougan title for the second highest marks in the imperial examinations, which he took the same year as Li Kouyuu.
Heki Hakumei (碧 珀明 Heki Hakumei) is an Imperial Court Official in the Ministry Of Civil Administration. He is a contemporary of Kou Shuurei, having obtained the fourth highest mark in the imperial examination during the same year as Shuurei. He is later assigned a position in the same Department as Kouyuu, which was his dream.
Ro Ensei (浪 燕青 Ro Ensei) is the former Governor of Sa Province and worked as Shuurei's assistant during her time in the Censorate. He obtained the rank through a special dispension of the province's government. However, because of the unusual circumstances behind his ascension; he eventually leaves the position to gain the position legitimately though the imperial examinations. Unable to pass the exams, he becomes an assistant to Kou Shuurei and To Eigetsu after they are appointed as co-governors of Sa Province.
Shin Suou (榛 蘇芳 Shin Suou) is a Censorate (御史台 Gyoshidai) Official. From the middle-high class, he obtained his position and rank through his father's connections. When the Joukan were about to be wiped out, he managed to obtain a rank in the Censorate (御史台 Gyoshidai) through his own efforts and Ki Kouki's influence.