In the "Goblet of Fire" from the Harry Potter series, the Triwizard champions from Hogwarts are exempt from taking exams. However, what if the student was a 7th year (or what if Harry was in his 5th year)? How would they be able to miss out on NEWT (OWL) exams? Would special accommodations have been made?

It seems convenient that a 4th year student (Harry) and a 6th year student (Cedric) were chosen, sidestepping this issue altogether in the plot.

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    The fact that the Goblet of Fire considers them worthy to be a Hogwarts champion is good enough for them to be given Outstandings in all their OWLs or NEWTs I guess! Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 18:18
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    @ʀᴇᴅ_ᴅᴇᴠɪʟ226 but being chosen for the tournament can only mean, that you are good at practical stuff, but what about subjects that aren't so practically oriented, like muggle studies or the one with the numbers (forgot the name)
    – Armin
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 18:47
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    We have to remember that students under the age of 17 were prohibited from entering the tournament, thus limiting the potential candidates to those in the 7th year and select students in their 6th year. This means that all fifth year students would still have to take OWLs as they are not eligible to enter (Harry is only selected and forced to compete due to Moody/Crouch's tampering with the Goblet of Fire). If I remember correctly, NEWTs are not required in the wizarding world, but are highly recommended.
    – bz032002
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 18:47
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    Wasn't the age restriction only added to the one in GofF by Dumbledore? Trying to be responsible with the insane death tournament? Also, I think Triwizard Tournament Champion would carry a lot of weight for any job. It's fairly cerebral as well as courageous.
    – ThruGog
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 19:43
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    @ThruGog The most recent previous Tournament was centuries ago, though—who's to say they even had OWLs and NEWTs back then? Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 12:58

1 Answer 1


NEWTs and OWLs aren't necessarily requirements to work or survive in the future. Having them just proves you are certified and capable of doing x type of magic at a certain level like any other job in the real world, however experience is always key.

In addition to the Fred and George comment above (leaving and starting up their own joke shop), think of Harry and Ron (who forewent going to Hogwarts for their NEWT year)

"Harry and Ron utterly revolutionized the Auror Department," Rowling said. "They are now the experts. It doesn't matter how old they are or what else they've done." - Interview with JK

The Triwizard tournament is also a HUGE deal in the wizarding world. The Champions aren't chosen at random, there is a magic about them being chosen, being worthy enough (not to mention a thousand galleons, that could be invested in the future if they win). The challenges they have to go through are simply extraordinary for wizards, normal older qualified wizards wouldn't stand a chance without preparation. That's got to be worth a NEWT or two...right?

"Why should 'e complain?" burst out Fleur Delacour, stamping her foot. "E 'as ze chance to compete, 'asn't 'e? We 'ave all been 'oping to be chosen for weeks and weeks! Ze honor for our schools! A thousand Galleons in prize money ­ zis is a chance many would die for!" -GoF

Being a Champion also meant that you were gifted in one way or another (or at least seen in that way by other wizards), gifted enough that those credentials that you were a champion would be with you forever and hold some weight in the eyes of other wizards.

Using the most recent Triwizard champions as examples, at least for Cedric, people started treating him like Krum, who was already internationally famous. Note he was already a good student already too.

"Diggory," said Harry. "He must be entering the tournament."

"That idiot, Hogwarts champion?" said Ron as they pushed their way through the chattering crowd toward the staircase.

"He's not an idiot. You just don't like him because he beat Gryffindor at Quidditch," said Hermione. "I've heard he's a really good student ­ and he's a prefect." - GoF


Harry actually saw the same sixth­year girls who had been so keen to get Krum's autograph begging Cedric to sign their school bags one lunchtime. -GoF

Fleur herself was not dim, she was intelligent and gifted, proven by the fact she got a job at Gringotts not 2 years later, backed up by Harry who knew she was intelligent. Gringotts, being the only wizarding bank, would also be extremely hard to get into. Just look at the real world and see how hard it is to work in a bank!

"Fleur's not stupid, she was good enough to enter the Triwizard Tournament," said Harry. - HBP

and Krum was an International Quidditch player, one of the best in the world. His life should be set, especially being just 18 years old.

What about Harry? Well, he's only the main character, the only person to have survived the killing curse...twice, taken down the darkest of all dark lords, and capable of a corporeal patronus at the age of 13.

Also, who would you hire? The 17 year old graduate who has a OUTSTANDING in Defence Against the Dark Arts, or the kid who just took down the don of all evil wizards?

Being seen as a champion put them on a different level to normal wizards. These credentials alone would have been able to get them a job and decent opportunities in their future careers if they didn't have any already.

  • Your answer says why the end results are OK, but something I think the querent is missing that could be stated more explicitly: being as they are an analogy to UK A-level exams, the NEWTs, and indeed years 6-7 where one prepares for them, are not compulsory. The characters you mention skipping them might have done so regardless, but the fact is anyone could decline relatively freely. (I'm not certain, but my impression is that in the UK you have to make a little bit of an affirmative decision to sit for A-levels, whereas in the US it's an elaborate process to drop out of high school.) Commented Aug 2, 2020 at 23:15

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