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An 'Exceeds Expectations'-graded W.O.M.B.A.T.

"Well done — a most creditable performance! We are impressed by the breadth of your magical knowledge and your level of insight into the wizarding world."
— 'Exceeds Expectations'-graded W.O.M.B.A.T.[src]

Exceeds Expectations was one of the three passing grades, and one of six grades overall, in the Ordinary Wizarding Levels, Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests, and Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Tests. It was the second highest mark, immediately below 'Outstanding' and immediately above 'Acceptable'.[1]


Most professors at Hogwarts set their N.E.W.T. classes entrance standards at 'Exceeds Expectations', meaning that the students must acquire such a grade in their O.W.L. in order to continue.[2] Severus Snape however, required an 'Outstanding' from his Potions students.[3] Professor Horace Slughorn, later however, accepted students with 'Exceeds Expectations' when Snape went on to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts.[2]

In 1995, Fred and George Weasley joked that they should have earned "E's" in all of their O.W.L.s, since they exceeded expectations just by showing up for the exams.[1]

Recipients of an E

Known students Subject Date
Harry Potter
"He ran his finger down his grades... he had passed well in Transfiguration and Herbology, he had even exceeded expectations at Potions!"
— Harry Potter reviewing his O.W.L. results[src]
Hermione Granger
"Oh, come off it. Yep — nine ‘Outstandings’ and one ‘Exceeds Expectations’ at Defence Against the Dark Arts. You're actually disappointed, aren't you?"
— Hermione's O.W.L. results[src]
Ron Weasley
Neville Longbottom
"And you qualify for Defence Against the Dark Arts with 'Exceeds Expectations'... I see that you have an 'Exceeds Expectations' in Charms, however — why not try for a N.E.W.T. in Charms?"
— Minerva McGonagall regarding Neville's O.W.L. result[src]

W.O.M.B.A.T. certificates

Other grades

Exam grades
Passing grades Fail grades


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 15 (The Hogwarts High Inquisitor)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 9 (The Half-Blood Prince)
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 12 (Professor Umbridge)
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 5 (An Excess of Phlegm)