What are Academic Transcripts and How to get it?

What are Academic Transcripts and How to get it?

9 mins read4.9L Views 92 Comments
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jul 8, 2024 18:24 IST

So many types of qualifications, so many names of certificates... It is quite natural to get confused as to what a transcript is and how it differs from a degree or diploma. What is the purpose of each document and why are these required? Academic transcripts are officially stamped documents that come from the applicant's institution stating the grades/scores applicant has scored in the subject-wise study.

academic transcripts

Let us understand everything in this article about academic transcripts along with covering the following questions with their answers:

  • Where to find or get a Transcript from?
  • When and why a Transcript is required?
  • How to use a Transcript?

We will discuss all these aspects of transcripts including the other common names of transcripts to avoid further confusion.

What is a Transcript?

Transcript meaning: A transcript is proof of education. The transcript has a detailed record of all the subjects you have studied with your scores in the form of marks or grades given by the institution of study.

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What is a Transcript of Records (ToR)?

A Transcript of Record (ToR) is merely another name for a Transcript or Academic Transcript. There is no difference between these two or any of the names given below.

Documents known as Transcripts / Common Names of Transcripts

Transcripts are commonly known as mark sheets in India. Given below is a list of documents known as Academic Transcripts or other names of Transcripts:

  • Consolidated mark sheet
  • Mark List
  • Academic Certificates
  • Report Card
  • Diploma Supplement
  • Statement of Learning
  • Record of Achievement
  • Academic Record
  • Cumulative Record File (CRF)
  • Permanent Record
  • Transcript of Records (ToR)

You don't have to possess all of the above. These are just the other names of your academic transcripts and you need to have some proof to certify the qualifications you have completed to prove your candidature.

What is a Consolidated Marksheet?

Once a student completes his or her course, the university provides a consolidated marksheet to him/her. This mark sheet is also essential while applying for higher education anywhere else. It contains all the academic scores/grades, of all years or semester exams, that a student has received. This is different from transcripts. 

Check: How To Plan Your Study Abroad Application Process

What is the difference between a Degree, Diploma, and Transcript?

Though all the documents — Transcript, Degree, Diploma, Certificate, and Mark Sheet — are proofs of completing an education qualification, a Transcript is different than a Diploma or a Degree.


The final certificate you receive upon completing your educational qualification is called a Degree or a Diploma or a Certificate depending upon the nature of the programme pursued.

Transcript of Records (ToR):

The mark sheet that covers all the academic records of a student is called a Transcript or ToR. It implies a sheet that contains the list of all the courses/subjects studied, grades received against each column, the awards and achievements of the student, and also the degrees granted to the student for the entire academic programme. There is no limit on the information that could be provided in a transcript.

What is a Transcript cover?

Transcript meaning: A transcript must cover a complete list or table of yearly modules/subjects and practical work that we have studied and conducted throughout the study period. It consists of our marks or grades or in some cases the subject-wise credit value mentioned in it, considering the grading system followed by an institution.

A transcript must have the following information:

information in a transcript

A transcript may or may not have the following information:

  • The overall grade received by the student for the entire academic course/year
  • The total number of students in the class (overall strength of the class to compare where a particular student ranks)
  • The average grade of the class specifies where a particular student stands

Note: A transcript should always be signed with a stamp by the registry of the institution so that it may serve as an official letter-headed paper.

Check: Credential Evaluation: Why is it necessary?

When do students need a Transcript of Records? When to request one?

To attend a college or university abroad, the applicants need to provide the admission committee with a set of documents to support their previous academic qualifications. These documents include Academic Transcripts or Transcripts of Records. As proof of completing your school, undergraduate, or post-graduation, these documents are mandatory to justify your suitability for the programme that you aspire to pursue.

When and Why a Transcript is required? How to use it?

Students need to produce the transcripts while making an application to an abroad university to attend the choice of their course. Students should keep their documents handy as soft copies to upload then and there to complete an application. Some abroad universities require their students to send out hard copies of their transcripts through couriers such as DHL services. It is recommended to read the university requirements thoroughly before sending out your documents.

Which transcript is needed for which course?

As per the general requirements, you need the transcripts of the latest course studies.

  • Those applying for a graduate degree abroad need the transcripts for their undergraduate education.
  • Those applying for an undergraduate degree abroad need the transcripts of their Secondary School Education (12th grade) or Pre-University Education (Undergraduate Diploma).

However, in rare cases, the universities may ask for proof of your last two or more qualifications. In any case, the universities always specify what they require. Most graduate schools do not need your school transcripts for master's or MBA courses.


Sample Academic Transcript

Here is how an actual transcript looks like:

academic transcript sample

What to do about the transcript if you are in your final year?

Those still pursuing their latest qualification or waiting for results may not have access to their current transcript. They will get it upon the completion of their respective courses after the annual exam results are declared by the board of conduct. Applicants planning to apply for higher studies while pursuing their last year of education would need some other proof of their academics. They should submit an interim/provisional transcript that can be applied from the institution of study with a detailed chart of scores or grades received so far.

For instance, if you are pursuing your final year of a bachelor's and you intend to join a master’s degree abroad, you should be able to provide the university with your second-year transcript (mark sheet) to establish your current status. Similarly, if you are pursuing your twelfth grade and you aspire to pursue a bachelor's abroad, you should have your tenth or, in some cases, eleventh-grade mark sheet handy for the application.

What documents are required to support a transcript for applying abroad?

The academic transcript covers the final scores of all your subjects. To show your backlog history, you need your institution to provide you with a backlog certificate. Some universities need this certificate as proof of whether or not you have had any backlogs. In some countries, backlogs have a huge impact on the chances of your admission. You may read about this in detail at - Do backlogs matter

The experience of studying abroad differs from studying in India and hence it is quite certain that the application process of studying abroad is also different than that of studying in India. It is always better to take external help from industry professionals to make an effective application that would help your dream come true.

Related reads:

Academic Transcripts FAQs

Q. How do I get my transcript? OR Where to procure a transcript from?

A. Transcripts are generated by the education board of conduct, which can be received from the academic institute where you have pursued your education. These may either be procured by visiting the institution physically or by contacting the authorities and requesting them to send them via post. The official transcript is always received in a sealed envelope stamped and signed by the issuing authority and the student can get multiple copies of the same.

Q. What to do if I misplace my transcript?

A. For the first time, a transcript is issued by either an academic institution or board of its affiliation. In some cases, these are difficult to re-issue and hence should be kept carefully. For those who have lost their transcripts, directly contacting the board of education will help. Students need to connect with the authorities explain to them the loss of their transcript and ask for a duplicate transcript.

Q. What to do if my transcript is not in the English language?

A. Some institutes do not provide transcripts in English but in their native language. In such cases, students need to get their transcripts developed in English. An important point to remember here is that you need to provide both, the original and the translated version, as proof while applying for admission. Both the original and translated copies would need to be signed and stamped by the educational institute and the official translator respectively.

Q. Is there a difference between a transcript and marksheet?

A. Marksheets are usually available to students after each semester or annual exam at college, however, transcripts are a consolidated documented exam names along with the scores of the student. Though marksheets are though official yet for temporary and even for office use like for collecting your degrees. But transcripts are officially stamped and sealed in an envelope with the institution's stamp too.

Q. What is required for study abroad admissions - transcripts or marksheets?

A. If students are applying to foreign universities for admission, then in maximum cases transcripts would be needed. In case students apply in their final year of study or their final results are yet to be announced then they can submit their marksheets with a promise that they would send their transcripts as soon as they are available to the universities they are applying to. Thus, though both are accepted, but each of them have their own significance. 

Q. Are transcripts and provisional certificate same?

A. No, provisional cerificate is just a confirmation that the applicants have passed the degree course and are eligible to apply for further studies or jobs or whatever suits the situation. The provisional certificate is more similar to how a degree works and looks like, thus no marks are involved here just the division. Whereas, transcripts are more of a marks list based on each of the subject studied at the UG or PG levels. Hence, they are both different and solve different purposes as well. 

Q. Can marksheets be submitted in place of transcripts at universities for studying abroad?

A. No, marksheets are informal and they can be downloaded from the results portal of the university in question. For applying to universities abroad, applicants will have to submit a more formal document which is stamped and is recognised formally. Thus, marksheets cannot be submitted in place of a transcript for admissions abroad. 

About the Author
Written by
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Aishwarya is a professional Writer currently working as a Study Abroad Expert in the Editorial Team at Shiksha. She has over 5 years of experience and is skilled at creating Online Content with leveraged knowledge i... Read Full Bio

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er Absheer

12 months ago

*/Further Requirement - Academic transcripts statement of completion/* When applying to melbourne university, after uploading marklist, the site is asking document as above? what will be the document required here?

Reply to er Absheer


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

10 months ago

Hello! You will have to get your transcripts from your university / Provisional Degree, that's what it means.


er Absheer

12 months ago

*/Further Requirement - Academic transcripts statement of completion/* When applying to melbourne university, after uploading marklist, the site is asking document as above? what will be the document required here?

Reply to er Absheer


er Absheer

12 months ago

/Further Requirement - Academic transcripts statement of completion/ When applying to melbourne university, after uploading marklist, the site is asking document as above? what will be the document required here?

Reply to er Absheer


Samyuktha Ravi

a year ago

I am planning to apply for my Psychology Masters in Canada. Do I have to apply for a WES evaluation since my degree is a 3-year degree? Or are marksheets sufficient enough?

Reply to Samyuktha Ravi


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

a year ago

Hello! The university you are applying to will give you these details on the course page and you can check whether or not a WES evaluation is needed. In case it is needed, you can apply for it. Good luck!


Beena Pardeshi

a year ago

Hello, my wife, she wanted to do someDiplomain the USA and they are asking for transcripts but the problem is she did master in commerce (MCOM) and BCOM and but university sent provides only mark-sheet for each year and also in native language. So what shouldIdo? canItranslate these mark-sheet into


Reply to Beena Pardeshi


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

a year ago

Hello Been! For US admissions your wife will require transcripts and not mark sheet. The university your wife has passed out from will have to apply to get transcripts that too in English, which you'll have to specify in your application to the Examination Controller. Once your transcripts are avail