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What are Backlogs: Managing Backlogs & Countries that Accept Them

Updated on 07 November, 2023

Akansha Semwal

Akansha Semwal

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

What are Backlogs? – a question that often looms large in the minds of aspiring students looking to study abroad. The journey to international education is undoubtedly exciting, but it can be peppered with uncertainties, especially when it comes to understanding and addressing backlogs. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the backlogs, shedding light on their impact on your dreams of studying abroad.

What are Backlogs

Backlogs are registered whenever any student cannot clear any paper in the first attempt during an undergraduate/postgraduate degree. It is not synonymous with failing since institutions allow learners to clear backlogs by reappearing for these examinations. 

These scenarios may impact candidature while aspirants apply to universities worldwide. However, it is not negative at all times. Universities may not perceive backlogs in a favorable light, although they look at the overall academic profile for admissions. 

Note: Most Tier 1 colleges abroad will not look at backlogs favourably as they meticulously screen the students' profiles.

Can I Study Abroad with Backlogs

Many students often have a question – can I study abroad with backlogs? The answer is yes, you can study abroad with backlogs. Private universities in Australia may take a maximum of 7–8 backlogs, while universities in New Zealand, Canada, and the United States (US) take 5 backlogs at the most. Institutions in the United Kingdom (UK) may take students with 10–15 backlogs in some cases, while Germany has a more lenient policy related to admissions for students with backlogs. While you apply, you will have to provide your backlog certificate that lists the backlogs and the marks scored for each.

How Do Universities Count Backlogs

Backlog counting is done in a couple of ways, namely, the number of attempts and the subject count. Educational institutions in the US and UK usually take failed subjects as backlogs, irrespective of the number of attempts to clear the subject. Hence, if you fail in a subject but clear it in three attempts, the backlog count will be three, i.e., equivalent to the number of attempts. This must have made it clear to you how backlogs get counted.

Note: With active backlogs, you can still apply for admission to the university of your choice. The institution will provide a conditional offer letter if accepted, assuming you’ll clear all your backlogs before commencing your study program.

What is a Backlog Certificate

A Backlog Certificate is a document issued by your institution that mentions the backlogs and the marks scored for each. It is a certificate that you will have to provide while applying to any university. Its importance varies depending on the country you desire to study.

Do Backlogs Affect Your Visa 

When applying for a student visa, some nations may require you to provide academic records, including backlog certificates, if any. The visa authorities may use these details to make sure that you are genuinely pursuing education in the country and have a good overall academic profile.

In case you have backlogs, the visa procedure may take more time since the authorities may evaluate your academic performance minutely. Hence, you should apply in advance to take any potential lags into account.

Top Countries that Accept Backlogs

Some of the top countries that accept backlogs include Australia (may accept 2–8 backlogs), the UK (up to 15 backlogs), the US (up to 5 backlogs) and Canada (up to 5 backlogs). Other countries, such as Ireland (may take 4–5 backlogs) and New Zealand (may accept up to 15 backlogs).

5 Tips to Manage Backlogs

Here are some tips for managing backlogs that you should take into account: 

  1. Backlogs may be balanced out through better performance in other subjects. 
  2. You should participate in research initiatives, projects, and internships to showcase your practical abilities and skills in any discipline. 
  3. If you have a good GMAT score, it may help you enhance your candidature. 
  4. If you receive a conditional offer even after having active backlogs, ensure you pass the exam.
  5. Also, consider applying to Tier-2 and Tier-3 institutions in case you have higher backlogs and cannot make it to a Tier-1 institution.

Navigate Backlogs Challenge Effectively & Study Abroad 

You can always manage your backlogs correctly while applying to universities abroad. Take a closer look at the tips mentioned above while making sure that you build a well-rounded academic profile that can help you enhance your candidature significantly. You can also connect with our counselor and experience a seamless study abroad journey.


Will my visa get rejected if I have backlogs?

Active backlogs may sometimes lead to visas being rejected. However, backlogs that are cleared may not impact the visa procedure. Visa authorities will examine the overall academic profile of the student. 

How do I clear my backlog?

Make sure that you register for re-evaluation or re-testing as early as possible. Balance your regular academic routine and studies with additional preparation for the subject you must clear. You should gather suitable study materials and revise thoroughly to clear the backlog successfully.

Does the United Kingdom accept up to 30 backlogs?

Most universities in the United Kingdom accept up to 15 backlogs. Anything more than this figure may only be accepted at the institution's discretion. 

Akansha Semwal

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Akansha Semwal is a content marketer at upGrad and has also worked as a social media marketer & sub-editor. Experienced in creating impressive Statement of Purpose, Essays, and LOR, she knows how to captivate the attention of Admissions Committee. Her research-driven;study-abroad articles helps aspirants to make the prudent decision. She holds a bachelor's & master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi.

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