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Thread: N.E.W.T.s

  1. #1
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    N.E.W.T.s

    I searched, didn't find anything, and I just hope I'm not stupid for not finding a topic on this...


    So, how does the thing about the N.E.W.T.s work?

    You get your O.W.L. marks after fifth year. I imagine the letter including a list of available NEWT subjects and which mark the teacher wants to see from their students. (For example, it reads: Charms, Professor Flitwick: E). But then again I thought: If it worked like this, Harry would have known about Slughorn teaching potions, wouldn't he? So maybe a list is distributed at the end of fifth year.
    But they do have to know about what marks they need to continue a subject, else they can't buy books in time, and apparently people did so, because Harry and Ron are the only ones who have to send an owl for a book in sixth year, and I doubt that students only continue subjects in which they achieve O's.

    Now, as for subjects they continue. Are there any restrictions, like there are earlier [I guess you have to take 2 of the electory (?? I mean, the subjects they choose in third year, Divination, CoMC, Arithmancy, Runes, Muggle Studies) and can't drop any core subjects] - you have to continue at least.. whatever, 3 subjects to NEWT level? Or do you think that if someone wanted to stay just for Herbology, they'd be allowed to?

    Is there any evidence in the books?

    And if you realize an NEWT subject is too hard, can you just drop out?

    Is every subject continued to NEWT level?

    Are the NEWT exams like the OWL exams, or do you think there are differences?


    It would be great if anyone had answers or opinions or whatever...

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  2. #2
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    Or do you think that if someone wanted to stay just for Herbology, they'd be allowed to?
    In real colleges, etc, there are a minimum amount of courses - so three minimum subjects seems realistic. And, besides which, just having a Herbology Newt probably won't get you very far.

    And if you realize an NEWT subject is too hard, can you just drop out?
    I should think so, if you do it early enough. If you do it for like half a year and then decide to, then I'd say bad idea. Just a month or so would be plausible, though. You would probably have to switch to a different subject though, I think.

    Is every subject continued to NEWT level?
    There's no proof, I don't think, but I'm pretty sure you have the option of continuing all of them.

    Are the NEWT exams like the OWL exams, or do you think there are differences?
    I think it would be a similar format. I don't know why.

    I imagine the letter including a list of available NEWT subjects and which mark the teacher wants to see from their students.
    No, I don't think so purely because the kids discuss careers in fifth year, and this is where they find out minimum grades required in the subjects they're interested in. And when they get to school their head of house goes through what they could have on their time-table with them, and if they haven't got the book they send off for it. Remember how Neville wanted to take Charms but his gran didn't want him to? Well, after a bit of prompting from McGonagall he did. As for getting an O, no, you're right, because not everybody's going to get an O. Take Ron, for instance. In the earlier books you had to take exams to gain entry into the next year, so as long as you got a pass it's probably fine. But I'd say E was the recommended grade to continue some subjects with. E must be something like the equivilant to a B-grade. /rambling.

    Anyway, to help you here I'd recommend looking at some british exam information - if you pump something like that into a search engine it shouldn't be too hard to find. For instance, OWLs are basically the equivilant of GCSEs, which are exams you take when you're about sixteen. NEWTs are equivilant to A levels, which you take when you're about 18. /yeah. I always got the impression JK shaped the wizarding school system around the British school system.

    Hope this helps xx

  3. #3
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    I too always get the feeling that the Wizarding system is very much like the British Muggle system, so I'll explain a little about that and what exactly happens when and I how I think this relates to the wizarding world.

    In Britain, you sit your GCSEs (OWLs) at the end of Year 11 (fifth year) In around January of that year, you make a choice for which subjects you would like to do at A Level (NEWTs). Most people will do 4 or 5 subjects (though there are exceptions) and once they have applied to do these subjects they will be accepted usually on the provision of getting certain grades. So they basically assume that these are the subjects they are taking. However when results day comes around in August, they may have to rethink what they want to do and at this point they would discuss with the school and come to a decision as to which subjects they could do with their grades.

    I think the wizarding world would be very similar - we see in CS how they have to make options during the year (this is actually a year earlier than the Muggle system) for their OWLs and I think that students would have to make their NEWT options sometime during fifth year based on what they liked and what they were expecting to get in their exams. When they receive their results via owl, if they do not get the required grades then they could discuss their options with the school before September and then buy the appropriate books for their subjects. The reason Ron, Harry and Neville don't talk to McGonagall until they get there is that they assume they don't have options to discuss - they simply can't take the subject they wanted - however they still had enough NEWT classes to not need a replacement.

    That's just my interpretation of how it works. I hope it makes sense. I do sometimes get the feeling it's one of those things JK didn't fully think about which is why there are certain inconsistencies

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by inspirations
    Or do you think that if someone wanted to stay just for Herbology, they'd be allowed to?
    In real colleges, etc, there are a minimum amount of courses - so three minimum subjects seems realistic. And, besides which, just having a Herbology Newt probably won't get you very far.
    Well, I do think you could get certain jobs - I was thinking that eg for becoming something like a magical gardener/magibotanicist, the requirements would be an OWL in CoMC and Potions, and an NEWT in Herbology before you start training with some older magibotanist. Because there definitely are such jobs in the wizarding world - and what NEWT besides CoMC would one have to take to become a magizoologist?
    There are people that drop out after their OWLs, so OWL standard can be assumed to be a valid education. And NEWTs are said to be awfully hard with a lot of studying, so assuming someone just wants to spend the rest of their life taking care of plants (herbology teacher, magibotanist, herbologist, gardener, potions supplies provider, ...) they wouldn't be able to, because they'd have to take other NEWTs too, and maybe didn't quite have the marks for that...
    I do agree with you though, that 3 subjects minimum seem to be realistic. I just recalled that episode from OOTP when someone (Umbridge? McGonnagall?) says that Auror Training requires 5 NEWTs, and it sounded like that was a lot.

    Can you imagine there being exceptions to the rule? Like - someone wants to work in an apothecary as a potioneer, and already has some sort of mini-job there during the holidays, they want to continue during school (working in Hogsmeade seems to be realistic, time-wise), so they only take Potions and Herbology, and their job supplies as the third subject?
    I don't have any specific ideas on the matter (concerning a story or anything) so maybe that's why this all sounds so weird..

    Anyway, thanks a lot for your explanation on how you choose subjects in Britain, that's a huge help!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karaley Dargen
    Can you imagine there being exceptions to the rule? Like - someone wants to work in an apothecary as a potioneer, and already has some sort of mini-job there during the holidays, they want to continue during school (working in Hogsmeade seems to be realistic, time-wise), so they only take Potions and Herbology, and their job supplies as the third subject?
    I don't have any specific ideas on the matter (concerning a story or anything) so maybe that's why this all sounds so weird..
    Have you considered an apprenticeship? Because that way they'll get the experience, and if they're training to be a potioneer, it would make sense... *shrugs* xx

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