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Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


22 Mar 2017 60.9K Book icon 4 mins Share

Backlogs – Will they affect your study abroad dream?

Indian students with backlogs: Where can you study if you have a backlog history? Which universities abroad accept backlogs? Will your backlogs affect your visa? Know the reality!

22 Mar 2017 60.9K Book icon 4 mins Share
Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


Share this article
Is it possible to study abroad with backlogs?

A backlog sounds like a black mark on your academic profile, but against this bleak picture, there is a ray of hope. Although universities abroad prefer clear academic profiles, they do accept applications from students with a history of backlogs.

If you want to know which universities abroad accept backlogs, the best information sources are our expert advisors who have dealt, and have been dealing, with many students having a history of backlogs; our advisors have successfully placed such students at several universities abroad.

Another good source of information is a university prospectus

We receive a lot of queries pertaining to backlogs from students on our forum; some of them are as follows:

Sir, I have completed my B.Tech 4th year, but I have 3 backlogs. I want to study Interior Design. Am I eligible to study interior design without clearing my backlogs?"

I had one backlog in my 2nd year, and I have an average GPA 7.5 in all the three semesters. Will this affect my chances of applying at the top universities around the world? I’m really worried now!"

Another one:

"I’m studying Mechanical Engineering and I’m in my 3rd year. I have got about 17 backlogs, which I’ll be clearing by the end of this year. Meanwhile, I’m preparing hard for GRE. Will I be able to get into any US University for my MS in Engineering Management or Industrial Engineering, if I get a good GRE score? What else should I concentrate on to build a strong resume?"

What’s the story of your backlog?

Students with backlogs do get admissions at universities abroad, which is based on the discretion of different universities in different countries. Let me narrow it down for you:

1. Canada 

Some universities in Canada accept maximum 5 backlogs, with a minimum 70 per cent in bachelors whereas some universities accept applications from students who have maximum 7 or 8 backlogs but only for PG degree programmes, provided they have minimum 65 per cent and above in bachelors.

Students who have more than 10 or 12 backlogs are eligible to apply for PG diplomas in Canada. And students with higher number of backlogs are granted admissions on case-to-case basis.

Articles: Want to study and settle in Canada?

2. Australia 

Private universities in Australia accept applications from students who have not more than 7 or 8 backlogs, but to be honest almost all high-profile private universities accept applications from students who have ≤4 backlogs. The Group of Eight or Go8 universities accept maximum 2 or 3 backlogs.

If you want to opt outside the private ones, you are welcome to apply, provided you have ≤8 backlogs.

Please note that the number of re-attempts in the exams will also be counted when you apply with a backlog history to a university in Australia.

3. Germany 

German varsities accept applications from students who have ≤5 backlogs. The repetition of backlogs is also counted when you submit your applications to German varsities. At the same time, there are places where admissions are granted only to those students who have no history of backlogs.

4. New Zealand 

Universities in New Zealand consider applications from students who have ≤5 backlogs, and institutions accept applications from students who have maximum 12 to 15 backlogs.

A good IELTS score plays a crucial role for students who have backlogs and would want to study in New Zealand. If you have an IELTS band of 6.5 and have enough research projects or extra-curricular activities listed in your essay, chances are you can back up your backlogs with these academic qualities.

When you apply with backlogs at universities in New Zealand, make sure you are aware of all the norms of each university; our advisors can guide you through the process. 

5. Ireland 

Irish institutions normally accept applications from students who have maximum 4 or 5 backlogs whereas some accept hardly 2 or 3 backlogs.

Do you know about the two-year stay-back option for postgraduates in Ireland?

6. United Kingdom 

Students with 15 backlogs or so can definitely apply at several UK universities, but other important factors to be taken into account when you apply are your standardised test scores such as IELTS/GRE. A good IELTS band of 6.0 and above can bag you the best offer even if you have a backlog history. 

Some UK universities have no specific requirements for backlog acceptance, and a good IELTS score has no stand in granting admissions to students.

7. United States  

Most US universities prefer students with no backlogs, but in certain instances they accept maximum 5 backlogs. If you have a GRE score between 315 and 325 but, by any chance, you have 7 or 8 backlogs, chances are you can still get admissions at any prestigious US institutions.

Students having more than 10 or 12 backlogs need to do a thorough research before applying at US universities. Such students will be granted admissions based on the discretion of universities.

We understand there could be many reasons for your backlogs. You might have been a good student all your life, but suddenly, for whatever reasons, you failed to pass or appear any exams and ended up with backlogs. There is nothing to worry about now.

I’ll say it again – please speak to our counsellors (advisors) to know more about the backlog exemption strategy of universities abroad. One rule of thumb that you should follow is universities abroad that accept more than 15 backlogs will demand a higher tuition fees than what domestic students usually pay them. The choice is yours if you are willing to pay higher tuition fees and go to those universities.

To be on the safer side, it is always advisable to check with the university faculty abroad about their universities’ backlog norms. In most instances, out-of-classroom activities like research projects or internships or extra-curricular activities add on to your academic skills and compensate for your backlogs. 

Let us know if you still have more questions. Our counsellors will assist you with every query you may have. 

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