In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Colin is in hist first year.

Unfortunately he gets petrified for half of the year - he saw the Basilisk through his camera after the first Quidditch training, and got un-petrified with the Mandrakes in March/May.

How was he able to pass his exams?

Did he repeat classes or receive any compensatory classes?

  • 4
    In the end of CoS McGanagall announces that all the school exams were cancelled. Colin probably did remedial classes the following year. And i think the basilisk didnt pertify anyone in his OWL/NEWT year
    – user68762
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 23:57
  • @Neeshka - should be an answer Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 2:54
  • 1
    Ron passed. How hard could they be?
    – JohnP
    Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


The exams had been cancelled

At the end of the 1992-1993 school year, when the Chamber of Secrets was reopened, no exams were held at the end of the year:

"Harry didn’t know whether the best bit was Hermione running toward him, screaming “You solved it! You solved it!” or Justin hurrying over from the Hufflepuff table to wring his hand and apologize endlessly for suspecting him, or Hagrid turning up at half past three, cuffing Harry and Ron so hard on the shoulders that they were knocked into their plates of trifle, or his and Ron’s four hundred points for Gryffindor securing the House Cup for the second year running, or Professor McGonagall standing up to tell them all that the exams had been cancelled as a school treat (“Oh, no!” said Hermione)..."
- Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. exams were probably still held (see the accepted answer of this question on the subject of exams held by the Wizarding Examinations Authority) but none of the four pertified students were in their O.W.L./N.E.W.T. years. Colin Creevey was in his first year, Justin Finch-Fletchley and Hermione were both in their second year and Penelope Cleanwater was in her sixth year.

I couldnt find any information on how Colin, who was pertified in November and practically missed his entire first year, and Justin, who was pertified in the middle of December, caught up with the material they had missed.

There are a few options:

Remedial Lessons

We know there are remedial Potions lessons, arranged by Snape:

“I will expect you at six o’clock on Monday evening, Potter. If anybody asks, you are taking Remedial Potions. Nobody who has seen you in my classes could deny you need them.” - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Colin and Justin probably took remedial Potions (pure joy for all concerned, I am sure) and the Heads of the other houses, Professors McGonagall, Sprout and Flitwick surely also made arrangements to tutor the students in their subjects. Prefects and other fellow students may have also helped.

Grade Retention

It's also possible they were advised to repeat their missed year, but there's no specific information about it in the books.

Summer Homework

Maybe they also got more summer homework. They couldn't use magic outside of school, but no reason they couldn't study the theory of the material they missed.

  • In the UK, students who miss parts of their courses due to illness are generally given a bump in their grades to reflect that.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 8:26
  • 2
    See also scifi.stackexchange.com/q/45793/4918 "Does anyone actually get remedial studies at Hogwarts?"
    – b_jonas
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 9:00

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