- Hermione Granger: "So top grade's O for ‘Outstanding,’ and then there's A —"
- George Weasley: "No, E. E for ‘Exceeds Expectations.’ And I've always thought Fred and I should've got E in everything, because we exceeded expectations just by turning up for the exams."
- — Discussion over O.W.L. marks[src]
Exceeds Expectations is 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 is the second highest mark, immediately below 'Outstanding' and immediately above 'Acceptable'.
Advancing to N.E.W.T.
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. Severus Snape however, required an 'Outstanding' from his Potions students. He did, however, lower the standard to 'Exceeds Expectations' when he taught Defence Against the Dark Arts.
Known recipients of an E