Prabu Rajasekaran

Updated on 01-04-2023


Backlog Certificate

Backlog Certificate

When you apply for higher studies abroad, your target academic institution asks you to submit a backlog certificate. The backlog certificate shows the number of papers (or subjects) you did not clear in your first attempt. Backlogs are also referred to as “reappears”. It is important to note that international universities do not accept applications of candidates who have active backlogs, that is, at least a paper that they have not cleared.

In this article, we will impart to you a clear understanding of backlog certificates, accepted format, how backlog certificates differ from academic transcripts, and top colleges and universities that accept students who have backlogs.

What is a backlog certificate?

what is a backlog certificate?

Backlog certificate is actually a statement of proof issued by an academic institution that shows the number of backlogs you may or may not have cleared to date. It contains the number of papers/subjects in your UG or PG you reappeared for (backlog) because you failed in your first attempt or did not attend the exam. 
Before proceeding to know how to get your backlog certificate, let’s see what a backlog is and how it is calculated.

What is a Backlog?

Backlog is mainly a term used for the number of papers or subjects that you could not clear in your first attempt. Even if you are absent from the exam – it results in a Backlog. To receive the qualifying degree, all the backlogs have to be cleared.

How are Backlogs Counted?

Backlogs are counted only based on the number of attempts you have taken to clear a subject or paper. For example: to clear Subject 1, you took 2 attempts, and, to clear Subject 2, you took 3 attempts, then the total number of backlogs would be counted as 5 (2+3=5). If you have cleared all subjects in the first attempt, then your backlog is zero.

No Backlog Certificate/Backlog Clearance Certificate

No Backlog Certificate or Backlog Clearance Certificate is a certificate that confirms that the student does not have any backlogs. Except for some universities in New Zealand and Australia, most universities do not ask for the No Backlog Certificate when the student’s academic record is clear of backlogs.
The most prestigious universities prefer admitting students with a clear academic record. 

What is the need for a backlog certificate?

The backlog certificate is an important document required – part of application documents – by educational institutions abroad from Indian students to verify their backlog records. Each country has its own policy regarding backlogs. Canadian universities, for example, accept applications even from students with up to 10 backlogs, whereas Australian universities are not so lenient.

Backlog Certificate Format

An ideal backlog certificate format must be simple, with information like the student's name, course and institution details, and an account of their backlog record. It could take a form like the one below:

Backlog Certificate Sample

This is to certify that (name of the student), son / daughter of (parent’s name) bearing roll no. (enrolment number) is bonafide student of (course, batch) at (institute name).

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

Name of exam | Expected passing year | Actual passing year | No. of reappearances | Subject(s) reappeared for | No. of attempts to clear re-appearances

This certificate has been issued at the request of the student and is verified.


Principal / Dean

image for backlog certificate format

Download Backlog certificate format PDF

Download Backlog certificate format word

How to Get Backlog Certificate

Your university might offer an application form for requesting backlog certificates. You could ask for it from your administration department or the college authorities who provide you with academic transcripts, mark sheets, degree certificates and so on. If you don’t like to hassle yourself with obtaining one, you could also draft one like the following:



The Principal / The Dean
(College/university name)

Subject: Requesting the issuance of Backlog Certificate

I, (name of the student), son / daughter of (parent’s name) bearing roll no. (enrolment number) is / was a student of (course, batch) at (institute name).

I request you to issue me a Backlog Certificate, which I require for admissions to the master's program.

For your convenience, here are the details of my backlogs:

Name of exam | Expected passing year | Actual passing year | No. of reappearances | Subject(s) reappeared for | No. of attempts to clear re-appearances

(put the details in a table format)

Yours thankfully,
(Student’s name)

How to Use a Backlog Certificate?

You would use your backlog certificate with the other parts of your application documents.
Your application file would include:

  • Academic transcripts: that includes each of your academic performance that you’ve achieved so far. You would attach your Backlog Certificate to this set. You should produce all the Backlog Certificates that you have.
  • Scores of exams to study abroad like IELTS, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo English Test and the like: to establish that you have the skills to succeed in competitive learning environments abroad.
  • Passport details: to validate that you have the authorization to travel abroad.
  • Financial documentation: to establish that you have adequate finances to fund your education and stay abroad.
  • Supporting documents: that include SOP, LOR (for masters), admission essays and other materials required by the institution you’re applying for. 

Difference between a Backlog Certificate and an Academic Transcript

The main difference between a backlog certificate and an academic transcript is that backlog certificates only mention the subjects in which there’s a backlog, whereas an academic transcript would list the scores of all the years in a qualifying degree.

Types of Backlog Certificates

Essentially, there are two types of Backlog Certificates - Backlog Certificate and Zero Backlog Certificate.

1. Backlog Certificate: 

It mentions the number of backlogs, the name of the subjects and the number of appearances for each.

2. Zero Backlog Certificate: 

It is required to be produced if you had no backlogs ever in your graduation. All Australian and New Zealand institutions and some European institutions ask for this.

Sample or template of backlog certificate (with backlogs)

sample or template of backlog certificate (with backlogs)

Sample or template for a Backlog Clearance Certificate or Zero Backlogs Record

sample or template for a backlog clearance certificate or zero backlogs record

When a backlog certificate is needed?

You’d need a Backlog Certificate when you’re applying for a study program in an international educational institution to establish that you do not have any active backlogs as of the date of your application. It is as important as a SOP for Canada, the USA, the UK, etc.

How do backlogs affect your study abroad visa prospects in countries like Canada, the USA, the UK, Ireland and Australia?

YouThere’s no need to worry if you have backlogs; you can still apply to your favourite universities in your preferred countries and enjoy all the advantages of studying abroad. You’ll, however, have to know that each country has its own criteria for the number of accepted backlogs. 

I have Zero backlogs. Do I need a backlog certificate?

All universities in Australia and New Zealand require you to submit a Zero Backlog Certificate if you never had a single backlog during your entire graduation. Many universities in Europe also mandate such a certificate. Please check with your college requirements for a well-informed answer.

Foreign education with backlogs? Will backlog affect education abroad?

Not really. There are many colleges that accept candidates with backlogs. Just check the number of backlogs permitted and other eligibility criteria in different countries and choose your college and program targets accordingly. If you have many backlogs, you should consider strengthening your profile with eligibility tests, extracurricular activities and volunteering activities. 

Top Canadian universities accepting backlogs

top canadian universities accepting backlogs

Canada tops our list of the best countries to study abroad.

It has many lenient universities when it comes to backlogs. Canadian institutions will accept applications from students who have up to five backlogs, provided they have scored at least 70% in their undergraduate program.
For students who have more backlogs, their applications will be considered on a case by case basis for PG diploma qualifications and not PG degrees.
Please check Canada visa study requirements of the institutions you’re applying to.

S.No. University Name Number of backlogs accepted
1 Royal Roads University Up to 5 backlogs
2 Wilfrid Laurier University Up to 10 backlogs
3 Cape Breton University Up to 5 backlogs
4 Conestoga College, Ontario Up to 5 backlogs
5 Concordia University of Edmonton Up to 5 backlogs
6 Royal Roads University Up to 5 backlogs
7 George Brown College Up to 8 backlogs
8 Lambton College Up to 8 backlogs
9 Thompson Rivers University Up to 10 backlogs
10 Yorkville University Up to 10 backlogs

Above all, there are more top Canadian universities and colleges available.

Top US universities accepting backlogs 
S.No. University Name Number of backlogs accepted
1 Kent State University, Ohio Up to 5 backlogs
2 Wichita State University, Kansas Up to 5 backlogs
3 Marist College Up to 5 backlogs
4 Gannon University Up to 5 backlogs
5 Clarkson University Up to 5 backlogs
6 Wright State University, Ohio Up to 5 backlogs
7 Pace University Up to 10 backlogs
8 Clark University Up to 10 backlogs
9 Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Up to 10 backlogs
10 New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) Up to 10 backlogs

There are more US universities and colleges that accept backlogs in our database.

Top UK universities accepting backlogs
S.No. University Name Number of backlogs accepted
1 Queen’s University Belfast Flexible
2 University of Hull Flexible
3 Brunel University Flexible
4 University of East London Flexible
5 Coventry University Flexible
6 Middlesex University Flexible
7 Swansea University Flexible
8 University of Lincoln Flexible
9 Bangor University Flexible
10 Cranfield University Flexible

There are more UK universities and colleges that accept backlogs in our database.

Top Australian universities accepting backlogs
S. No University Name Number of backlogs accepted
1 University of Sydney Up to 5 backlogs
2 Monash University Up to 5 backlogs
3 Queensland University Up to 5 backlogs
4 University of Melbourne Up to 5 backlogs
5 Curtin University Up to 10 backlogs
6 Flinders University Up to 10 backlogs
7 La Trobe University Up to 15 backlogs
8 Edith Cowan University Up to 15 backlogs
9 James Cook University 15+ backlogs
10 Murdoch University 15+ backlogs

There are more Australian universities and colleges that accept backlogs in our database.

Backlog Certificate - Summary & Conclusion

In conclusion, I hope this article has been useful to you. Backlog certificates are very important when applying to study abroad programs. They show that you have cleared all the subjects in your undergraduate program and that you have the capability to succeed in your PG program. Depending on the number of backlogs you have, you should carefully choose your college and university targets. Regardless of the number of backlogs you have, there’s always a door open, welcoming you to study abroad.

Other Types of Certificate

Apart from the backlog certificate, we need the following certificates for study abroad.

  • Bonafide Certificate
  • Internship Certificates
  • School Leaving Certificate
  • Consolidated Mark sheets (Official transcripts)
  • Gap Certificate (to explain gap between starting college) Study gap in Canada
  • Provisional Degree Certificate
  • Conduct Certificate
  • Preliminary Examination Certificate
  • Bachelor’s thesis (when applying for qualifications like MS in Canada requirements)
  • Master’s thesis (when applying for Ph.D programs)

About Author Prabu Rajasekaran

Prabu is a highly experienced content writer with expertise in English proficiency tests such as IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and PTE. He develops a range of materials, including practice tests, mock exams, guides, and checklists to help students enhance their performance. Prabu is a meticulous researcher who collaborates with domain experts and counsellors to provide accurate guidance on study abroad consultancy, education loans, SOP, and admission processes in top colleges in Canada, USA, Ireland, Australia, and the UK.

More Articles Post by Prabu Rajasekaran

Kanan International is an IRCC-certified study abroad consultancy that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.

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