Do Backlogs affect your Study Abroad plan?


Pushpinder Bhatia
Alumni Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK

Do Backlogs affect your Study Abroad plan?

We understand that students think a backlog is the worst thing that can happen to them. However we have some good news, most foreign institutions in well-known nations, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, and the US, will accept applications with backlogs.

What are Backlogs?

A backlog is a circumstance when you must retake an exam since you could not pass it on your first try or due to unavoidable situation you could not take the specific subject exam. To be accepted into any overseas programme, you must try and complete all of your backlogs satisfactorily.
A backlog may seem to create a negative mark on your academic record, but it's not the end of the world as many Universities now accept students with backlogs.
A backlogged student receives a certificate from their academic institution that contains all the information about their backlog. If your academic profile is clear, your university won't issue you a backlog certificate. However, even though you have a clear academic profile, it is possible that your chosen university overseas would want a backlog certificate with academic transcripts to authenticate your academic credentials. And now in many cases students are asked to explain / provide justified reason for having backlogs 

2 Ways in which backlogs are calculated:

All the institutions count the backlogs differently, such as:
Failed Subjects


Backlogs are equivalent to the number of failed subjects. If you haven't aced three subjects, you have three backlogs.
The number of backlogs is equal to the attempts to pass. So you have two backlogs if you've made two attempts to finish the subject.

 Do Backlogs affect Visa Processing?

To address the issue, we recognise that even if overseas colleges & Universities accept backlogs, most of you would still be concerned about the visa situation.
As long as the country's institutions tolerate those backlogs, backlog circumstances don't generally impede visa processing. Give them a sincere response outlining your circumstances if the backlogs are brought up during the visa interview or SOP.
In other cases, if your backlogs are still active, there is a chance of your visa getting rejected because:

No enrolment letter:

It is essential to understand that most colleges give conditional admission to students who have active backlogs when discussing active backlogs and their impact on the student visa process. This is because admissions are conditional in certain situations and are pending backlog clearance. But if you don't, your admittance can be revoked, affecting your visa situation. 

Rejection of Application of Admission:

The institution may reject your admission application for various reasons, even though it accepts students with backlogs. When you have backlogs in the subject that is directly relevant to your programme, that is one of the main reasons your application will be rejected. For instance, having a backlog in mathematics when applying for a degree in engineering may severely affect your application and even result in rejection. However, approving a student visa only partially depends on backlogs. You must also meet several other requirements to be granted a visa.

Countries that accept Backlogs

You can still fulfil your aspirations of studying abroad even if you have backlogs. Just be sure to learn how many backlogs are accepted as well as the requirements for admission in the nation of your choosing. The standards vary by nation, including:


1. Canada

With at least 70% in a bachelor's degree, several Canadian universities will accept applications with up to five backlogs. However, even individuals with seven or eight backlogs and a minimum GPA of 65% are accepted by several other universities.
Candidates may still apply for Canadian postgraduate diplomas even if they have more than 10 or 12 backlogs. However, admission is given to these students on a case-by-case basis.

2. UK 

Although UK universities are willing to accept students with 15 backlogs, a strong performance on the English language proficiency test is necessary, as in the IELTS, where an overall band of 6.5 is required. Although there may not be explicit prerequisites for backlog acceptance, admittance requires a strong IELTS score.

3. Australia 

Australian universities provide a variety of degrees and study programmes that accept applications with a maximum of 7-8 backlogs, making it one of the most attractive study locations for overseas students. The maximum backlog will be at most two or three if the university is one of the Group of Eight universities.
You should be aware that Australian Institutes view the number of tries as a backlog. Therefore, if you've tried three times to finish a certain subject, those three times will be counted as three backlogs.

4. US

The majority of American institutions favour students who have no backlogs. Still, they may tolerate up to five backlogs in extreme circumstances if you have a strong GRE score between 315 and 325. Additionally, the university's judgement governs admission in situations with 10–12 backlogs.

5. Ireland

Universities in Ireland will take on applicants with up to four or five backlogs. However, Irish universities are usually rigorous, and in some universities, hardly two or three backlogs are accepted.

6. New Zealand

Universities in New Zealand typically allow applications for students with less than five backlogs; however, depending on the university and subject, it may increase in some instances.
You need to get a decent IELTS score to enrol in school in New Zealand as a student with a backlog. For example, a student with a band of 6.5 on the IELTS and a sufficient number of extracurricular activities stated in the SOP might use these traits to make up for their backlogs.
In conclusion, there could be a variety of causes for your backlogs, and they do not necessarily reflect your academic ability. Therefore, having a few backlogs does not preclude you from living your dream of studying abroad.
Hope this article was helpful in understanding backlogs and the opportunities which are available even with backlogs, for any help regarding your studying abroad application, Book Appointment at

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