There are seven core classes (Astronomy, Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts Herbology, History of Magic, Potions and Transfiguration) and five elective classes (Arithmancy, Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, Muggle Studies and Study of Ancient Runes) at Hogwarts.

Although it can be assumed that many students aren't interested in all electives, there are also extracurricular classes (Ancient Studies, Art, Ghoul Studies, Muggle Art, Muggle Music and Music) taught at Hogwarts. That makes me believe that there are many more students taking 12 classes than the books suggest. What do you think?

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    "there are also extracurricular classes (Ancient Studies, Art, Ghoul Studies, Muggle Art, Muggle Music and Music) taught at Hogwarts" Where did you get that idea from? None of those classes are ever mentioned in the books. Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 16:21
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    @Anthony Grist Apparently "Muggle Art" is visible in the illustrated edition of Prisoner of Azkaban. Ghoul Studies appears on the Marauders' Map filming prop; a couple other apparent electives are visible on course schedules in the Philosopher's Stone film. The rest, aside from Apparition and Flying Lessons, only appear in the Game Boy Color editions of the video games for Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets. The Wiki supports that these are all elective courses, but of course it's a wiki and so "canon" might be a bit... loose. Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 16:28
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    Note that "electives" aren't a thing in British schools, and Hogwarts was very much modelled on a British school. Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 18:21
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    @DanielRoseman OWLS are the equivalent of GCSEs, and we certainly do get to somewhat choose which ones we want to do in British schools. At my school, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English Literature, English Language and Religious Education (short course) were required, and then we had four slots we could choose how to fill (with the proviso at least one had to be a language), from such options as History, Geography, French, German, Spanish, Drama, Business Studies and so on.
    – Showsni
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 23:57

1 Answer 1


There is no clear estimate how many students a year get twelve O.W.Ls, but there are certain people who were known to have gotten twelve O.W.Ls.

Bill Weasley

“Ordinary Wizarding Levels,’ George explained, seeing Harry’s puzzled look. ‘Bill got twelve, too. ”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)

Percy Weasley

“They had asked Percy if he wanted to join them, but he had said he was busy. Harry had only seen Percy at meal-times so far; he stayed shut in his room the rest of the time.

‘Wish I knew what he was up to,’ said Fred, frowning. ‘He’s not himself. His exam results came the day before you did; twelve O.W.Ls and he hardly gloated at all.”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)

Barty Crouch Jr. (possibly)

Barty Crouch Jr. also may have received twelve O.W.Ls, since his father mentioned that he had. However, Crouch Sr. was not in his right mind at the time so this is not necessarily true.

“Crouch was now talking fluently to a tree again, and seemed completely unaware that Harry was there, which surprised Harry so much he didn’t notice that Crouch had released him. ‘Yes, my son has recently gained twelve O.W.Ls, most satisfactory, yes, thank you, yes, very proud indeed. ”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 28 (The Madness of Mr. Crouch)

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    So, it's a notably exceptional thing. That would suggest to me that probably only a few (or one) student per year manages it.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 7:18
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    Wonder how they did it if Hermionie required a Time Turner to get to all of the lessons. Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 19:24

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