What is a Backlog Certificate?

What is a Backlog Certificate?

5 mins read44.8K Views 11 Comments
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Aug 31, 2023 13:47 IST

International universities ask foreign applicants to provide a backlog certificate. Students often get confused as to what a backlog certificate is, how to procure and use it, and what purpose it serves. A backlog can be defined as the record or number of subjects that the applicants could not pass or had difficulty passing the first time. In this article, we will discuss all the possible queries you have regarding a backlog certificate.

backlog certificate

The majority of the countries known for higher education consider only the subjects you've failed in as backlogs and not the number of attempts you took to clear those exams. But there are a few nations like Germany and Australia which take into consideration the number of attempts also in order to analyse your dedication level towards your studies. You can apply for admission at various universities with active backlogs but your admission will be conditional. So in order to fly abroad for your studies, you will have to clear your pending backlogs.

Students should also note that being absent for an exam cannot be considered for backlogs. Absenteeism will be recorded as ‘absent’ in the score column of the exam.

Let us establish all the common queries of Indian candidates who aspire to study abroad:

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What is a Backlog Certificate?

Just as an academic transcript proves that you have completed your educational programme in a particular institution, a backlog certificate serves as proof that you have had n number of backlogs, which you may or may not have cleared until the date of issue. This certificate will be provided to the students by their academic institutions where they have pending papers after they've completed their studies. It will contain the details related to the subjects for which you have backlogs.

What is the importance of a backlog certificate? What purpose does it serve?

Every country has its own way of counting backlogs. Some countries count the number of subjects, while some count the attempts made to clear a single subject. The admission committee of a university relies on the backlog certificate to count the number of backlogs. It is also required to prove that you have cleared all of them.

How to procure a backlog certificate?

The college authorities who create your academic transcripts/ degree/ mark sheet/ certificates/ diploma, etc. are the ones responsible for creating your backlog certificate as well. You need to procure your backlog certificate from the academic institution from where you completed your course/programme and received your academic transcript.

NOTE: No University grants admission to students with active backlogs.

How to use a backlog certificate?

A backlog certificate is attached as a document of proof along with the rest of the application material that your send to the university. The entire application material includes:

  • Financial Documents to prove that you are financially capable of funding your education and staying abroad
  • Academic Transcripts for every qualification that you have undergone to serve as proof of education
  • Standardised exams score: GRE/GMAT/SAT and IELTS/TOEFL/PTE as per the university requirements
  • Supporting Documents: SOP, LOR, Academic CV, Essay, etc. that are required by the university to evaluate your profile
  • Valid Passport

NOTE: If you have more than one backlog certificate, then you need to provide all of them to the admission committee. It is not necessary that the university would settle with the latest backlog certificate, unlike transcripts.

How does a backlog certificate differ from an academic transcript?

Academic transcripts consist of the score of all the subjects you have had in your course of study. A backlog certificate has scores of only the subjects you had a backlog in.

In most cases, you need to provide a combined transcript that contains marks of all the semesters/years. In general, when the final-year mark sheet has all the scores of your three/four years of academic degree, you do not need to provide a mark sheet for every semester/year. However, you need to provide as many backlog certificates as you have received throughout that course/degree.

Under what condition is a Backlog Certificate required?

The admission committee of any university across the globe may ask for a backlog certificate. It is irrespective of the fact whether you have a low or a higher number of backlogs. In some regions like Australia, these are required to serve as proof of the fact that you have zero backlogs. Refer to the sample backlog certificate here.

What to do if you have no backlogs?

A common question we come across is what needs to be done if a student has no/zero backlogs. In this case, you need to see which country you are applying to.

For instance, Canadian Universities do not ask for a backlog certificate if you had no backlogs. Your academic transcript in itself is proof that you had passed all your exams.

On the other hand, in countries like Australia and New Zealand, you need to reach out to your academic institute to procure a ‘zero backlog’  or no backlog certificate to prove a clearance of your academic records. This is mandatory in the universities of Australia and New Zealand.


Where do the backlogs matter and where they do not?

If you have a few backlogs, you may have the following doubts:

  • How backlogs are counted in every country?
  • Which countries are strict and which are lenient toward backlogs acceptance
  • How many backlogs are accepted in which country?

In order to clarify these doubts, check out a detailed article on Do Backlogs Matter.

Which international universities accept backlog?

If you are already certain about the country you want to apply to, you might be willing to find out which college is suitable for you. Kindly refer to the list of universities accepting backlogs in the popular study-abroad destinations:

Adding to it, our team of expert counsellors can assist you in being enrolled to any of these universities. Learn how Shiksha counsellors rate students' chances of getting into a college abroad. You may avail of our free-of-cost services by registering on our website.

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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Sapna Bhuju

a year ago

Hello ???? I didn't appear for my 4th year BBS exams in 2017 due to health issue and cleared it on 2018.But my transcript shows * which means backlog .I have applied for a uni I'm Australia and it has been asking me for backlogs certificate of 2017 .As I was absent ,the TU issues no certificates f


Reply to Sapna Bhuju

hi, Im now doing CMA FINAL. I have been studying B. Com at the same time, I have completed my 6th semester but I have backlogs still. Some of the backlogs are due to same time exams collision for CMA and Semester . So had to prioritise my cma exams. But I am now interested in doing masters in German


Reply to ataraxia shreshta

Hello team, I have submitted my application to Conestoga College. My transcript shows 6 Backlogs but according to my Marksheets it is 16. I just submitted my cleared Marksheets of all semester. I didn't attach those failed attempt certificate. Same things my friend did while applying for Canada stud



Does it creat problem while visa filling?

Will i face problem while applying for study visa?

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Karran Trader

2 years ago

Where to particularly procure no backlog certificate from ? Can we get it done from college only ? Will it be acceptable to university abroad ?

Reply to Karran Trader

The college/university will issue a backlog certificate.


Saurabh Gapat

2 years ago

Do German universities accept the backlogs?

Reply to Saurabh Gapat

German universities are quite strict about backlogs. Some of the lenient universities accept up to five backlogs. However, they count the number of attempts you had to make to clear a single backlog/subject and not the number of courses. For more details, read https://studyabroad.shiksha.com/do-bac