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Are you planning to study abroad but worried about your backlogs? Lots of students face the similar challenge and wonder if their backlogs will affect their study abroad plans. Then we have some good news for you. Higher education abroad experts say that most international educational institutions in countries like Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, USA and UK accept candidates with backlog. However, you should clear your backlog before starting your international study program.

This article will provide you with valuable information to help you navigate the process. Before diving in, it’s important to understand what backlogs in studies are:

What are Backlogs?

A backlog is an exam you could not go on your first attempt. This might be due to a lack of preparation or being unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances.

Backlog Certificate

Backlog is like black spot on your academic portfolio. But it is not the end of world. A student with backlog can get certificate provided by a college or university confirms that a student has cleared all their pending subjects. If a student has not failed any subjects, they will not receive a backlog certificate, although they can request a certificate that verifies their academic record without any backlogs. The certificate is issued once the student has successfully passed all the required subjects or courses and cleared backlogs. This certificate is proof that the student has completed the degree and all the requirements to graduate. 

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 defines backlog and not absenteeism.

How do universities count backlogs?

Various institutions count backlogs differently. While some may assess the number of failed topic attempts, others may consider the number of subject backlogs. To clarify, let us split them into two categories:

Method of Counting Backlogs

Number of Failed Subjects

Number of Attempts

In this case, the number of unsuccessful subjects represents the number of backlogs.

For example, failing two subjects would result in a total of two backlogs, regardless of how many attempts you made to pass them

Here, the number of attempts to pass even a single failing subject represents the number of backlogs.

For example, if you fail one course and have to retake it five times before passing, your backlog would be five

Commonly Used By

The USA, Canada, The UK, New Zealand, Ireland

Commonly Used By

Australia, Germany

Countries that Accept Applications with Backlogs:

The UK as well as USA, Canada Australia all have separate policies when it comes to allowing student applications with prior academic backlogs earned.


In Australia, private and public universities have a more lenient policy when it comes to accepting students with backlogs, with most allowing up to seven or eight. With the Group of Eight however, which is a group of leading universities in the country, they only accept a maximum of 2-3 backlogs.


The Canadian institutions will allow up to 5 backlogs in your undergraduate studies if you have a minimum GPA of 70%. The acceptance level is strict and maximum 5 backlogs are accepted. 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.


Universities in the UK accept 15 backlogs but they require a good IELTS score to check your English language proficiency. It is essential to score an overall band of 6 on your IELTS exam for admission to UK universities


In Germany Top institutions do not accept backlog histories. Still, a limited number of universities may consider applicants with backlogs. They accept 5 backlogs. With strict acceptance levels.


Nearly all universities in the USA prefer students with no backlog records. However, it can be compromised with a good GRE score between 315-325 and they might allow students with a maximum of 5 backlogs.       


In Ireland, a strong SOP and an overall good profile may boost your chances of acceptance. They accept 4-5 backlogs.

New Zealand

Most New Zealand universities accept students with a limit of five backlogs. Certain selective institutions may take students with 12 to 15 backlogs. If you have a good IELTS score, credible research work, or extra-curricular activities to back up your backlogs, you have a good chance of getting in.

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

Well, we expect that we have offered you with the appropriate knowledge on backlog and do they impact your study overseas plan or not. Whether you have a backlog or not, working hard can still get you into the university of your dreams. While your academic record may indicate your backlogs, your SOP, extracurricular activities, and test scores will demonstrate the type of student you will be in the future. If you have a backlog, don’t give up hope, feel free to connect with Minay Overseas for total assistance and free counseling

Author: Mr Manish Sharma

Study Abroad Consultant

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