Study Destinations
Upcoming Events

Do Backlogs Affect Your Study Abroad Plan?

Nov 18, 2022

Share :

If you have been sceptical about your dreams of studying abroad because of backlogs, then we have some good news for you. Top abroad educational experts say that most international education institutions in countries like Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the USA and the UK accept candidates with backlogs. However, you must clear your backlog before starting your international study program.

So, let's dive deep into the matter and get a comprehensive understanding.


What are backlogs?

A backlog is an exam in your study programme that you could not clear on your first attempt. It may happen due to various reasons – probably, you weren't prepared enough to clear the exam or couldn't be at the exam centre for some reason.

Now, a backlog may seem like a black spot on your academic portfolio, but that's not the end of the world. 

A student with a backlog gets a certificate from their academic institution, which enlists all the details regarding their backlog. You will not receive a backlog certificate from your institution if you have a clear academic profile. However, there are chances that your selected university abroad may ask for a backlog certificate with academic transcripts to validate your academic records even if you have a clear academic profile.

Note: Top EdTech companies in India suggest you check the score column against the exam subject. If you were absent, the institution should mark an 'absent' in the score column or 'zero' if you failed to clear the exam. 'Zero' in the score column designates backlog and not absenteeism.


How do universities count backlogs?

Study abroad consultants in India say that different institutions follow different protocols for counting backlogs. For example, some universities may count your number of attempts to clear your backlog, while others may consider the number of subjects with backlogs. To understand this better, have a look at the two categories as described below:

Case 1: When the number of failed subjects is the same as the number of backlogs

If you want to study abroad in countries like the USA and the UK, you should know that these countries consider several failed subjects as backlogs regardless of the number of attempts you took to clear them. 

For example, if you couldn't clear one subject but took three attempts during different semesters to score clearing marks in that subject, your backlog will be counted as one. The number of attempts which is, in this case, 3, will not matter.

Case 2: When the number of attempts to clear the failed subject is the same as the number of backlogs

In countries like Australia, the number of attempts a student takes to clear a failed subject is considered the same as the number of backlogs.

For example, if you fail in one subject but take three attempts during different semesters to score passing marks in that subject, your backlog will be counted as three, which is equal to the number of attempts. This is because these countries consider the number of attempts to evaluate your dedication towards that subject.

However, you can still apply for admission into your preferred university abroad with active backlogs. If your application is accepted, the university will provide you with a conditional offer letter with a premise that mentions that you will clear your backlogs before you start your study program.


Countries that accept applications with backlogs

You can accomplish your study abroad dreams with active backlogs. However, the criteria differ from country to country. Here is a quick update from a few popular study-abroad destinations:



Some Canadian universities accept applications with up to five backlogs, with at least 70% in bachelor’s. Some other universities even accept candidates with seven or eight backlogs with a minimum of 65% in bachelor’s.

Candidates with more than 10 or 12 backlogs are still eligible to apply for postgraduate diplomas in Canada. However, these students are granted admission on a case-to-case basis.



As discussed above, in the case of Australian universities, the attempts made to clear the backlogs also play an essential role. Also, Australian universities deal with students on a case-to-case basis. The admission policies vary significantly upon courses as well.

Some Australian universities might accept more backlogs, while some prefer applicants with fewer than four backlogs.


New Zealand

Typically, universities in New Zealand grant applications for students with less than five backlogs, but in some cases, it can go higher, depending on the university and course.

To study in New Zealand as a student with a backlog, you must have a good IELTS score. A student having a band of 6.5 in IELTS and having enough extracurricular activities listed in the SOP can back up their backlogs with these qualities.



Universities in Ireland accept candidates having a maximum of four or five backlogs. However, Irish universities are usually very strict, and in some universities, hardly two or three backlogs are accepted.


United Kingdom

For UK universities, the most crucial factor is the student's academic scores and their scores on English proficiency tests. Students with 15 backlogs can apply at different UK universities too. However, another essential factor to consider is that you need a good score on standardised tests like GRE. Having spectacular scores on this test can help you grab the best offers, even with the history of backlogs.


United States

Universities in the USA usually prefer students with no backlogs. However, some universities accept a maximum of five backlogs. An important thing to note for US universities is that even with a higher score on standardised tests, overall academic performance remains the most important.

Students having 10 or 12 backlogs need to consult the study abroad consultants in India before applying to American universities. Such students are granted admission solely at the discretion of the universities.

To sum up, there could be many reasons for your backlogs, and it does not signify your academic proficiency. So having a few backlogs does not mean you cannot accomplish your study abroad dreams. Usually, your backlog history will not affect the visa processing if your preferred university has granted confirmed admission. For more assistance on your study abroad plan, contact KC Overseas and get free counselling from study abroad experts.


Need guidance? Let us help you.

Contact Us

Related Blogs

No Related Blogs