One-stop shop for Indian students interested in overseas education Enroll at one of our trusted Uni partners from Australia, US, UK and other countries Call us free on
1 800 103 2581
How do I justify my backlogs in the Statement Of Purpose
Gayathri Gopakumar

Meet Gayathri - a Content Editor at Hotcourses India- an IDP company. A once-international student herself- she loves to research & give insights into the world of global education through her writing. When she isn’t working, you'll find her playing, travelling or binge-watching just about anything.


01 Feb 2019 5.6K Book icon 3 mins Share

How do I justify my backlogs in my Statement Of Purpose while applying to universities abroad?

A Statement of Purpose with backlogs will NOT get you rejected – provided you do it right. Here’s how!

01 Feb 2019 5.6K Book icon 3 mins Share
How do I justify my backlogs in the Statement Of Purpose

Got backlogs? Don’t worry- we’ve got your back. ( that’s got a nice ring to it huh?)

Here’s how to go about your Statement of Purpose… 

And psst- stay with us till the end- we have *a sample SOP for you to have a peek into. 

Where to go:

Let’s get started with a glance at some of the top universities that accept students with backlogs:


  • Victoria University
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Melbourne
  • Monash University
  • Swinburne University
  • Deakin University


  • Middlesex University
  • Coventry University
  • De Montfort University
  • University of Northumbria 
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Nottingham Trent University


  • Northeastern University

Universities in Australia accept up to 18 backlogs in the first two years of your bachelors degree, while UK universities accept anywhere between 30-40 backlogs. However, universities in Canada have become stricter now allowing no more than 6 backlogs. 

Here’s all you need to know about university applications with backlogs.

Did we get your hopes up? Good. So how do such highly reputed universities accept students with backlogs? 

It all boils down to how you convincingly justify your backlogs in your SOP. And we’ll tell you just how. This is how to make your Statement of Purpose open doors to scholarships even.

What to Say

To start with, if you have backlogs, be honest and upfront about it. Let the university know that you’ve taken efforts to overcome your challenges and have clear professional goals now. Of course, this has to be substantiated with initiatives taken towards it.

What Makes You Stand Apart

When you don’t have a very impressive academic track record, emphasise on your performance in subjects that interest you. You can also talk about efforts you put in to learn new skillsets or software pertaining to your subject of interest. 

For example, let us assume you’d like to pursue Masters in Information Technology. You have several backlogs in your bachelor’s programme, but you’ve performed well in certain topics like Java programming. You must highlight Java programming as your strength and area of interest. Substantiate this by completing Java programming certifications or gaining work experience in Java programming. This should help steal the spotlight away from your backlogs.  Phew.

Project Work Works!

Additionally, if you’ve undertaken any research projects in your mentioned area of interest, make sure to add that. 

How to Say It

Introduce the topic of backlog in either one of the two ways depending on your situation:

A. If you have a very genuine reason that led to the backlogs – such as serious illness or any sudden unfortunate circumstance, start the topic with the reason and highlight how you managed with it. For example:

“An unfortunate car crash/flu in the year XXXX disturbed my academic performance resulting in XX backlogs. I bounced back with all my grit and performed to the best of my capacity in the following years. I hope you value the ability in me and not the backlogs caused by unfortunate circumstances in my life.”  

B. On the other hand if you simply failed to perform well, state just that and highlight on what you realised from it. For example:  

“I was truly disheartened when I came to know that I had backlogs despite the hard work and consistent efforts I put in. However, the incident helped me identify the topics that I am strong in and developed in me the fervour to excel in those areas.”   

Why This University

The university wants to know if you’re someone who’s clear about what you want to do. As a thumb rule, always make sure to explain in the SOP, why you chose this particular university. It could be the overall university ranking, ranking for specific subjects or the choices of modules to choose from. Whatever it is, illustrate that factor elaborately in your Statement of Purpose. All this requires through research- so get cracking and find out which university you want to get into and why.

Here are a few SOP how - to basics to get you started if you haven’t a clue how to write one.  

What They Have

Universities want innovative thinkers and new-age researchers in their classrooms. So if you are one, talk about your innovative ideas and projects. Your backlogs will take a back seat in the picture.

More importantly, explain that the university’s research facilities and cutting-edge labs will help boost your career prospects in innovation and research. 

The Light at The End of the Tunnel

Finally, don’t get bogged down. Backlogs aren’t the end of the world. And, it’s very important to maintain this tone of positivity and confidence throughout your Statement of Purpose.  Yeah, education abroad is hard to adapt to. But, as long as you wisely choose the university and the programme, there’s nothing stopping you from acing your grades there!

And finally….the sample that we promised you!

Here is the sample *SOP to help you get an idea of how to go about this.

*Disclaimer: Universities will not be happy with SOPs that are duplicated. So use this sample SOP JUST for reference and take help from us to produce something truly original. Drop us a line in our chat below for any assistance if needed. We are happy to help make your study-abroad dream come true! 

Looking to study abroad?

Harjeet Kaur Harjeet Kaur,
IDP Expert
We can help you. Request a call from us and get FREE advice to study abroad.