11 Feb 20242 min read

How Does Backlogs Affect My Abroad Study Plan? How Much Is Too Much?


While most countries accept backlogs as long as you have cleared them off, there are also strict rules regarding the maximum number of backlogs allowed for international students.

Additionally, backlogs show poor performance in your studies hence, you should have a convincing application with language tests and SOP.

What Are Backlogs & How Does It Work?

In simple terms, backlogs are the exams that you were unable to clear in your first attempt. It can occur either due to your ill preparation or absenteeism.

Generally, the number of backlogs you have depends upon the number of subjects that you have failed in. Additionally, it is also counted with the number of failed attempts during the process.

So, if you are applying to either the US or Canada, you must clear your backlogs. Here, some universities in the US and Canada do ask for a backlog certificate alongside your academic transcript.

What is a Backlog Certificate & How Can You Get It?

Backlog certificate is given to you by the institute you are involved with. It includes all your academic details such as scores, subjects, failed subjects, and even the number of failed attempts.

For those students who do not have backlogs can also get a document from the institution stating that you have no backlog in your studies. Altogether, the institution you are studying in provides you the certificate and you do have to pay a certain fee for it.

Likewise, when you request for this certificate, you will have to give your student details such as roll number, year you are studying in, and so on.

Backlog Rule in the US and Canada

As a simple rule, the backlogs do not have that big of an impact until and unless you have cleared them off.

While both the US and Canada have strict opposition towards backlogs and favour students with clean academic records. However, they may tolerate up to 5 backlogs if you have a strong application.

Furthermore, the acceptance of the backlogs also hugely depends on the course you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for an engineering program but have a backlog history in Maths (which is a major that is directly relevant to the course you are applying for) then, the rejection rate gets high.

Create a Strong Application If You Have Backlogs

Indeed, having a backlog does diminish your seriousness in the study; however, you can still get your visa accepted if you are able to strengthen your profile.

Some of the tips to create a strong application are mentioned below.

  • Clear all your backlogs as soon as you get the results.
  • Try to score more during backlog tests to improve your overall marks.
  • Work to exceed the English Language requirements of the university you are applying for.
  • Personalise your SOP and explain your backlogs honestly.
  • Highlight any volunteering works, extra-curricular activities, and internships that you have done.
  • Let your professors and employers (if any) vouch for your skill sets and works in the Letter of Recommendation (LOR).
  • Choose the right fit course.

If you either need a last-minute preparation or assisting hand in your application, reach out to us.

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