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Do Backlogs Affect your Study Abroad plan?

Do not be concerned if you are a study abroad aspirant concerned about your study abroad plans due to backlogs. Whether or not backlogs affect your study abroad plans depends entirely on your study abroad destination. A backlog certificate is a document that verifies the number of backlogs, subjects with backlogs, the number of attempts to clear the backlog, and backlog status. As a result, when you apply for a backlog certificate, the institution where you completed your previous course issues you a backlog certificate. 

Did You Know?

Most international institutions in popular countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States accept applications with backlogs if they are cleared before the start of your study program

Do backlogs matter? It's one of the most frequently asked questions among students. If so, how far are backlogs accepted? Here is a blog that will answer all your questions about whether you can study abroad with backlogs and how many backlogs you can have.

Can I Study Abroad with Backlogs?

Can I study abroad with backlogs? This is one of the most dreadful questions among students with a record of backlogs. Yes, with a backlog, you can continue your dream of studying abroad. Universities worldwide are aware that there are various reasons why a student may have a backlog at their previous institution. The admissions committee considers all aspects of an application, including overall academic records, test scores, extracurricular participation, social work, and so on.

What Are Backlogs?

A backlog is an exam you could not pass on your first attempt (this could be due to a lack of preparation or being unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances). All previous backlogs must be cleared to enrol in any international program successfully.


If you were absent, check with your institution to see if they marked an 'Absent' or a 'Zero' in the score column against the exam subject in which you failed to appear because a 'Zero' in the score column indicates a backlog rather than absenteeism.

How do Backlogs Get Counted?

If you have no backlogs, you will receive a no-backlog certificate. Some countries consider the number of subjects to be the number of backlogs, while others take the number of attempts to clear those backlogs.


  • In Australia and Germany, Number of Attempts = Number of Backlogs!
  • In most of the other countries, Number of Attempts ≠ Number of Backlogs!
  • These are the following points you should consider

    • Based on number of attempts

    As the phrase implies, the number of backlogs equals the number of attempts to pass the exam. It is a standard method used at universities in Germany, Australia, and by some Canadian institutions. Consider that you passed the exam for one subject in two attempts, so your backlog will be two even though you took the exam only once.

    • Based on subject count

    When the subject count is considered, the number of backlogs equals the number of subjects with backlogs, regardless of the number of attempts made to pass the exam. This method of counting backlogs is widely used in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. If you have a backlog in one subject and have taken the exam twice or thrice, your backlog count remains one.

    What is a Backlog Certificate?

    A backlog certificate is issued by your academic institution that contains information about your backlogs. Whether you have backlogs or not, institutions abroad may require you to submit a backlog certificate and academic transcripts to certify your academic records. If you apply to Australian universities, you must request a 'zero backlog' certificate from your educational institution.

    Even if you have no backlogs, your international institution may request one with academic transcripts to certify your academic records.

    Top Countries that accept backlogs


    All private universities in Australia accept up to seven or eight backlogs, while Go8 universities accept up to two to three backlogs. If you choose public institutions over private ones, you should have at most eight backlogs. Australian institutions consider backlogs to be the number of attempts.


    Canadian universities will accept up to five backlogs with a minimum grade point average of 70% during previous study qualifications. Canadian institutions may also accept seven or eight backlogs for PG degree programs with a minimum Bachelor's average of 65%. Students with 10 or 12 backlogs can apply for PG Diplomas, while students with more backlogs are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


    UK institutions readily accept students with 15 backlogs; however, a good score in an English-language proficiency test, such as IELTS, is required. While there are no specific requirements for backlog acceptance, admission requires a good IELTS score.


    Most American universities prefer students with no backlogs, but in rare cases, they may accept up to five backlogs if you have a good GRE score between 315 and 325. Furthermore, in cases where there are 10 to 12 backlogs, admission is at the university's discretion.

    New Zealand

    Most New Zealand universities accept students with a maximum of five backlogs, while some selective institutions may accept 12 to 15 backlogs. Furthermore, a good IELTS score, as well as any tangible research project or extra-curricular activities to back up backlogs, is a significant factor in admission.


    Irish institutions typically accept applications with a maximum of four to five backlogs, with some accepting only two to three.

    If you have any backlogs, discuss your case with AECC Educational experts with a FREE appointment.

    Do Universities Accept Students with Active Backlogs?

    In most cases, convincing universities to admit students with active backlog status is complicated. As a result, make sure you clear any backlogs before applying to universities and that you reapply as few times as possible. However, some institutions may accept you with active backlogs if you have a strong academic record. You will be given a conditional offer letter, and your admission will be confirmed only if you clear the backlog before the program begins.

    Country Maximum Backlogs Accepted Admission Criteria Popular Universities Accepting Backlogs
    Canada 5 (maximum 10 allowed at the discretion of the university) 60-70% in last 2 semesters with no backlogs required for admission Conestoga College
    Centennial College
    George Brown College
    Lambton College
    Fanshawe College
    UK 5 to 15 Good GRE/ GMAT scores and proof of English language proficiency Bangor University
    Brunel University
    Cardiff Metropolitan University
    Coventry University
    Kingston University London
    US 5 (maximum 10 allowed at the discretion of the university) Average GRE score of 320 or above or equivalent GMAT score and participation in extracurricular activities Kent State University
    Marist College
    Illinois Institute of Technology
    University of South Dakota
    Missouri State University
    Australia 8 (should be less if applying to public universities) Overall academic performance University of Sydney
    Monash University
    University of Melbourne
    Flinders University
    University of Technology Sydney
    New Zealand 5 (maximum 15 allowed at the discretion of the university) IELTS/ TOEFL scores and participation in extracurricular activities University of Auckland
    Victoria University of Wellington
    Massey University
    Unitech New Zealand
    Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology

    Tips to Manage Backlogs

    It will be helpful for you to get a few tips on managing the backlogs so that you can make a wise decision while applying to universities abroad. The steps for managing your backlog record are as follows.

    • Prepare thoroughly for your exams: The best way to deal with backlogs is to avoid them in the first place by adequately preparing for exams and passing them on the first try.
    • Make notes while studying: This will help you remember the essential topics when revising.
    • Create a plan of action: Make a to-do list of your tasks, so you are not burdened by exam pressure.
    • Subject matter should be prioritised: Prioritise and concentrate on your weekly topics.
    • Contact your teacher or professor: You can request extra credits or projects to help you balance your grades.

    We hope to have included all information related to backlogs and whether it can affect your study abroad plan. You can read our blogs to get further information on the topic. You can also contact AECC's expert counsellors to get one-to-one assistance for free.

    Backlogs generally affect visa processing if your international institutions accepts your application and grants confirmed admission. So, please don't be concerned. Fill out your application and contact us at AECC. Our knowledgeable international education specialists will gladly walk you through the entire process.


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