What are backlogs?

Cardinally, a backlog is an exam that you were not able to clear in your first attempt (this could be because you weren’t prepared enough or were unable to attend due to some reasons.) To successfully enrol in any international program, it is important to have cleared all past backlogs.

What is to be done when you have backlogs?

If you’ve been holding on to your international education dreams because of a backlog or two, don’t. Most international institutions in popular countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, and the US accept applications with backlogs, provided you clear them before the start of your study program.

What is a backlog certificate .

It’s a certificate issued by your academic institution enlisting details about your backlogs. If you have no backlogs, you’ll not receive the same from your institution. However, international institution ask for one with academic transcripts to certify your academic records even if you have no backlogs.

How are backlogs counted?

Institutions count backlogs by considering the number of subject backlogs.

Countries like the UK consider failed subjects as backlogs irrespective of the number of attempts you took to pass them.
For instance, if you fail in one subject but attempt it thrice during different semesters to clear that subject, then the number of backlogs will be counted as one and the number of attempts i.e., three will not matter.

Countries that accept backlogs

Relax, you study abroad dreams can still be accomplished with backlogs. Just make sure to find out the number of backlogs accepted and the criteria towards its acceptance in the country of your choice. The criteria differ from country to country like:


  1. Canada
  2. Canadian universities accept a maximum of five backlogs with a minimum average of 70% during previous study qualification
    Note: The Canadian institutions may also accept seven or eight backlogs for PG degree programmes with a minimum average of 65% in bachelors. If you have 10 or 12 backlogs, then you can apply for PG diplomas while students with higher backlogs are evaluated on a case-to-case basis.

  3. The UK
  4. UK institutions easily accept students with 15 backlogs; however, a good score in English-language proficiency test is essential like in IELTS an overall band of 6 is mandatory. While there might not be specific requirements for backlog acceptance, but a good IELTS score is necessary for admission.

  5. The US
  6. Most American universities prefer students with no backlogs but in some exceptional cases, they might accept a maximum of five backlogs provided you have a good GRE score between 315-325. Also, in cases where there are 10 to 12 backlogs, the admission is based on the discretion of the university.