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Backlog Certificate: What is a Backlog Certificate?

Yocket Editorial Team

You must have heard about backlogs and retests while in school or college. So what is backlog and backlog certificate? Say you could not achieve the passing marks in a particular subject so your institution needs to keep a record of this and you will have to reappear for the exam to achieve the required results. Therefore, while you haven’t cleared the exam for a subject it is said that you have an active backlog. Even when you have passed the exam for the subject, you need proof showing the same through a backlog certificate. This is why a backlog summary certificate is required. As you read through this blog, you will get a better understanding of what is meant by backlogs, backlog certificate sample, no backlog certificate and more.

It is a general assumption that backlogs have a negative impact on your application to some extent and once a backlog is registered in your name, your choice of universities become limited. But it doesn’t stop you from getting a good quality of education abroad with the increasing number of universities opening their doors to students with backlogs. In this blog, we will discuss what is meant by backlogs, what is backlog certificate, backlog summary certificate, universities accepting backlogs, etc.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Backlog?
  2. Why is a Backlog Important to Study Abroad?
  3. What is a Backlog Certificate?
  4. What is a No Backlog Certificate?
  5. Who Needs a Backlog Certificate?
  6. How to Use a Backlog Certificate?
  7. What Purpose Does a Backlog Certificate Serve?
  8. Difference between Backlog Certificate and Transcript
  9. How Backlogs are Counted?
  10. What is the Procedure to Get a Backlog Certificate?
  11. List of International Universities Accepting Backlogs

What is Backlog?

In general words, backlogs are registered when a student is unable to clear the exam for a particular subject in the first attempt. The only way to clear the backlog is to reappear for the exam and pass it. Absenteeism is not usually counted towards a backlog. What you need to understand is that the number of backlogs is not always equal to the number of attempts or subjects. Depending on how backlogs are counted, universities only allow students with a limited number of backlogs.

We shall now discuss what is backlog certificate and no backlog certificate?

What is a Backlog Certificate?

So, what is backlog certificate

A backlog certificate is a proof of the number of cleared and uncleared backlogs that you have at the time of admission. It is the responsibility of your previous institution to issue a backlog certificate. You may have to submit an application for a backlog certificate requesting the institution to issue it. It is so because most of the institutions do not issue backlog certificates for all students but those who require it for further admission.

Suggested: Everything about the Backlog Certificate Format 

What is a No Backlog Certificate?

Now that we know what is backlog certificate, let us see how it is different from a no backlog certificate. Similar to a backlog certificate is the zero backlog or no backlog certificate.

A no backlog certificate is meant for students who have zero backlogs in their academic record. Some universities ask students to present a no backlog certificate as proof of clear records in all subjects before confirming admission.

Why is a Backlog Important to Study Abroad?

Backlog certificates and backlog summary are important to study abroad and one of the documents to be attached along with the application just like transcripts, LOR, SOP, CV, etc. Let us take a look at why is a backlog important to study abroad:

  • Universities do not accept students with an active backlog status.
  • Active backlog status impacts the visa acceptance process as well.
  • A backlog certificate is important in determining how the backlogs have been counted.
  • With the help of a backlog certificate, your future university will be aware of the subjects where backlogs were registered, number of attempts taken to clear it and the current status of the backlog.

Suggested: Do Backlogs Matter to Study Abroad?

Who Needs a Backlog Certificate?

Students often think about whether they need a backlog certificate or a backlog summary certificate. Let’s throw some light on who needs a backlog certificate?

  • Having understood the backlog certificate meaning, it is quite self-explanatory that backlog certificates are meant for students who have records of any backlogs. Universities accepting backlogs ask students for backlog certificate to see what subjects have backlogs, how many attempts were taken to clear the exam and how to calculate backlogs among other academic details.
  • Even when students have zero backlogs, a no backlog certificate is required to verify the same. Therefore, it can be said that all students require backlog certificates and when you are considering applying to multiple universities whose requirements may vary it is better to submit an application for backlog certificate

How to Use a Backlog Certificate?

The use of a backlog certificate has nothing to do with you but the admissions committee who is looking at your application. Your work is to submit an application for a backlog certificate and make sure it reaches the institution that you are applying to on time. Among various other documents required to complete an application, a backlog certificate is one of them. In a way, your backlog certificate complements the academic transcripts.

What Purpose Does a Backlog Certificate Serve?

Among the extensive paperwork required to study abroad, students often question what purpose does a backlog certificate serve? Firstly, students need to understand that the admission committees at universities also have to handle a bulk of applications and properly evaluate each one of them. The admissions committee cannot contact each applicant personally to get answers related to their academics. Therefore, a document such as a backlog certificate serves the purpose and is considered a reliable source of information as it is issued by the previous institution itself.

Let us see what are the different questions that a backlog certificate can provide answers to:

  • How are backlogs counted?
  • How many backlogs does a student have?
  • What subjects have backlogs?
  • How many attempts were taken to clear the backlog?
  • What is the current status of backlogs?

Suggested: List of German Universities Accepting Backlogs 

Difference between Backlog Certificate and Transcript

Take a look at the table below to learn about the basic difference between backlog certificate and transcript:

Backlog Certificate


Backlog certificate is a document that acknowledges the number of backlogs means that have been registered when a student did not clear the exam in the first attempt.

  • Transcripts are documents showing proof of academic records including student’s personal details, institution details, course details and grades or marks received.

A backlog certificate meaning only provides information related to subjects in which backlogs have been registered and the status of the backlog at the time of admission.

  • This is a mandatory document for admission that shows proof of degree completion as well as scores received in each subject throughout the course.

How Backlogs are Counted?

It is important to know how backlogs are counted while applying to universities abroad. There are 2 ways that are used by universities to count the number of backlogs:

  1. Based on the number of subjects
  2. Based on the number of attempts

Let us understand how to calculate backlogs using each of these methods:

Based on the number of subjects

Here, the number of backlogs means the number of subjects with backlogs and the number of attempts does not affect the backlog count. You will come across this method while applying to universities in USA, UK and Canada. Say you have a backlog in 1 subject and cleared it in 2 attempts so when the backlogs are based on the number of subjects your backlog count will be 1.

2. Based on the number of attempts

When the number of backlogs are calculated based on the number of attempts, the backlogs are equal to the reattempts taken to clear the exam. You will find this way of counting backlogs is common in Australia, Germany and some Canadian universities. In such cases, say you took 2 attempts to clear the exam for 1 subject, your backlog count will be 2 even though you reappeared for the exam in 1 subject only.

What is the Procedure to Get a Backlog Certificate?

An application for backlog certificate is to be submitted to your previous institution for issuing the backlog certificate. Make sure you apply well in advance to get your certificates on time and be careful while filling the application as backlog certificates are only issued after verification of your academic records so any discrepancy will delay the process. Here there are 2 points that you need to know:

  • Universities in India are acquainted with the process of issuing backlog certificates and guide students with the process to apply for the same. You will be asked to submit a written application along with the completed form to request a backlog or no backlog certificate.
  • Sometimes universities are not aware of such requirements and may find it difficult to issue the backlog certificate. In such cases, students can ask their future universities to write to their institution and request the certificate. You may face this issue while getting a zero backlog certificate.

Suggested: List of UK and Ireland Universities Accepting Backlogs 

List of International Universities Accepting Backlogs

There are many students who end up with backlogs in college but that does not put an end to your academic career. You will find universities accepting backlogs in different countries such as the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

Take a look at the list of international universities accepting backlogs:


Popular Universities Accepting Backlogs





New Zealand

A backlog alone does not define a student’s academic journey. Keeping this in mind, universities in various countries are quite flexible towards students with backlogs. There are some countries which are quite stringent with their admission standards and do not prefer students with backlogs such as Germany and Ireland. If you have backlogs and universities from these countries in your list then it is better to keep your options open since if you are not accepted by the university, it is very obvious that your visa will be rejected. Know about universities accepting backlogs and also work on aspects of your application that demonstrate you as a worthy candidate such as entrance test scores, extracurricular participation, social work, honors and awards, etc.


Frequently Asked Questions about Backlog Certificate

What is backlog exam meaning?

How many backlogs are accepted by universities abroad?

Which country has the most flexible rule regarding accepting backlogs?

Do backlogs affect visa acceptance?

What to do if I have zero backlogs?

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