What is a Backlog Certificate?

While applying for education abroad, a candidate deals with several applications and exams that makes him/her eligible for universities abroad. A backlog certificate is one such document that is part of the application procedure. This document is to be provided when you have existing backlogs while applying to the university. Even though universities usually prefer selecting candidates who have cleared all their backlogs, some universities make this exception. The reason for this exception will depend on the discretion of the university. Before we dive into the crux of the matter, let’s start by understanding what a backlog is.

What is a backlog?

A backlog is an exam that a student could not clear in their first attempt during their graduation or post-graduation. It is also a collective term referring to the total number of exams that haven’t been cleared by a student due to some reason. Usually, students get a certain number of chances to clear their backlogs. There are many cases where a backlog may arise due to absenteeism that could be due to some personal reasons or sickness. In such a case, the student should approach the university to find out whether the score is marked as zero or absent in their final report card. This difference between zero and absent does create a small impact on your backlog certificate as both eventually are perceived differently. The backlog must be cleared by sitting for the exam again and only then you can receive your degree from the university. Backlogs are not counted based on how many attempts to clear a paper but instead the number of subjects you haven’t cleared. So, if you haven’t cleared your paper in three subjects you will have three backlogs regardless of how many attempts you make to clear the three papers.

What is a Backlog Certificate?

A backlog certificate is a document that is issued from the applicant’s university which acknowledges and provides details of the applicant’s backlogs. While applying for overseas studies, many institutions may ask the applicant to submit a backlog certificate along with other academic transcripts to get a clear understanding of your academic performance. Your backlog certificate is generated by the same college authority that created your academic transcripts, degree, mark sheet, certificates, diploma, and so on. Your backlog certificate must be obtained from the academic institution where you finished your course/program and  received your academic transcript. A backlog certificate is attached and sent to the university along with the rest of your application documents like your academic transcripts, SOP, LOR, Academic CV, standardized exam scores, and your financial documents.

What is a no backlog certificate?

A no backlog certificate is a document that shows that the applicant does not have any backlogs in their academic report. Usually, universities do not ask for this document when the applicant’s academic record does not show any backlogs. In certain cases where some universities ask for this document, the applicant must approach their previous institution and ask them to provide the certificate.

What is the need for a backlog certificate?

While applying for education from foreign universities, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria to get admission. In case an applicant has backlogs or previously had backlogs, the university will ask for a backlog certificate to verify and analyze the applicant’s academic performance. Universities abroad usually prefer selecting candidates who hold a good academic record, but this is not always the case. A student’s potential cannot solely be determined by their academic performance. Hence, many universities select students based on their Statement of Purpose (SOP) and their scores on standardized exams like GRE, GMAT, SAT, IELTS, TOEFL, etc. These exams can prove to be equally vital in the admission process. Many universities encourage and hold social work and extracurricular activities at a high pedestal when it comes to admissions. In such cases, students are often selected based on their standardized exam score or their extracurricular achievements. If such students have any backlog in their academics, they will have to provide a backlog certificate to the university. That way, further examination of their academic performance can be carried out.

Backlogs and VISA:

Backlogs are usually accepted by all countries. It is important to note that even though universities accept students who have backlogs, they usually have a cap on the number of backlogs. This cap depends on which university you are applying to. Usually, 2 to 3 backlogs are acceptable. But in such cases, a backlog certificate will be required to prove that you have cleared those exams. If the applicant has more backlogs than the acceptable, their application might be rejected. 

As a student, it is advisable to highlight your strengths in your profile as universities do select candidates if they feel they are right for the course. But ensure that you clear all your backlogs before applying to the university. It is usually seen that universities tend to ask for a no backlog certificate as a part of your application. Mentioned below are some countries and their take on backlogs while accepting students:

  • The UK:

Here, the academic profile is not of immense preference or importance. There are  universities that accept students who have backlogs every academic year. What the aspirant needs to establish is sincerity, provide a strong SOP (statement of purpose), a good IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score, etc. The universities in the UK are also lenient enough not to count how many attempts are needed to clear a backlog. Some universities go on to accept as many as 15 backlogs. 

  • The USA:

There are certain requirement factors to ensure your enrolment to a good university in the USA. Overall academic performance plays a pivotal role. If there are backlogs, they assess the reasons behind them, along with how many attempts were taken to clear such backlog. An aspirant’s GPA (Grade Point Average)/CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) also plays a significant role. However, even with a good GPA/CGPA, it is difficult to merit a seat if there are too many backlogs. 

  • Germany:

Germany adheres to strict guidelines when it comes to accepting students who have backlogs. The renowned ones do not accept any backlog. Some lenient ones make room for up to 5 backlogs – but even then, they count how many attempts were taken to clear such backlogs. 

  • Ireland:

In Ireland, the discretion of the university runs supreme. Some universities may give a nod of approval to students with five backlogs, while some may reject ones with even two.

  • Canada:

In terms of backlogs, Canada is a little stringent. In Canada, not all colleges are picky about backlog certificates. However, to be on the safe side, the fewer the backlogs, the easier it will be to acquire admission and a visa.

  • Australia:

Australia has a very high education standard. The top-tier universities may accept a maximum of 7 to 8 backlogs. It can go a little higher for middle-ranking universities. Reasons for your backlog and how you coped with it can be mentioned in your SOP or GTE interview. 

  • New Zealand:

The Backlog certificate isn’t a big deal in New Zealand. You’re good to proceed as long as you meet the requirements set forth by New Zealand universities. Backlogs are handled differently in New Zealand, and the focus is on the student’s overall growth. 

Backlog Certificate Format: 

The backlog certificate format is simple to understand. It begins with you stating your name, father’s name or guardian’s name, university roll number, course name, and name of the university, after which a tabular format shows your backlogs which will be mentioned semester-wise. Mentioned below is a clear description of the backlog certificate format: 

This is to certify that _______ (Name) s/o or d/o ______ bearing Roll No. _______ is a bona-fide student of _________ (Course name and batch) at ________ University.

The student has passed the bachelor’s course. His/ Her backlog record is as follows:

Semester 

Expected Passing Year

Passing Year

Number of Backlogs

Number of Reappears

Reappear Subject

Semester I

Semester II

Semester III

Semester IV

Semester V

Semester VI

This certificate is being issued at the request of the student and is verified as such.

_____________

(Principal/Dean Signature)

Application for Backlog Certificate:

Most colleges give students a backlog certificate application form, which they can fill out and submit to receive their certificate. Mentioned below is an application for Backlog Certificate:

The Principal/The Dean

___________ [University Name]Address

Subject: Application for Backlog Certificate

Respected Sir/Ma’am, 

I, _____ (Name), s/o or d/o of ______ (Father’s name), Roll No. ________ is/was a student of ______ (course name with batch) at your prestigious institution. This application is a request to issue my Backlog Certificate as I require it to apply for my Master’s Program. The details of my backlogs are mentioned below:

Semester 

Expected Passing Year

Passing Year

Number of Backlogs

Number of Reappears

Reappear Subject

Semester I

Semester II

Semester III

Semester IV

Semester V

Semester VI

I request you to issue my backlog certificate at the earliest.

Yours Sincerely,

_____ (Name)

In conclusion, not all universities ask for a backlog certificate. Usually, the most prestigious universities look to select candidates with a clear academic record. Universities that have high consideration for standardized test scores may select students who have backlogs. For that, the applicant’s test score will have to be above the university standards. In case you have backlogs make sure you conduct thorough research on universities that accept students who have backlogs. Universities asking for a backlog certificate may also cap for the number of backlogs. You must pay attention to these details while applying. Most universities do not ask for a no backlog certificate because your academic transcripts will provide proof of no backlogs. The no backlog certificate is usually prevalent in universities in Australia and New Zealand. In such cases, your previous university is bound to provide you with this certificate. When you have backlogs, it is best to focus on eligibility tests, extracurricular activities, and social work, as it will aid in your admission process. 

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