How many backlogs are acceptable?

Pragya Sharma ✅

Pragya Sharma ✅

Co-Founder @ Ace My Prep & Study Abroad Expert


Are backlogs acceptable in the first place? The answer to this question depends entirely on the choice of the country, region, university, course, etc.. The good news here is that many international students get admitted into prestigious universities in educationally favoured countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, provided you have documents to prove the clearing of those backlogs.

What are backlogs and how are they counted

A backlog is an exam that could not be cleared, this might be due to lack of preparation or absenteeism. 

The backlogs are counted in two ways –

 i) The number of subjects failed are counted as the number of backlogs, which is the case usually in the United States of America or United Kingdom; e.g. if one fails in one subject but the attempt to clear it is made twice during the given time to clear the backlog, then the number of backlogs will be counted as one and the number of attempts will be two. 

ii) The number of attempts made to pass the final subjects are counted as the number of backlogs, which is the case usually in Australia or Germany; e.g. if one fails in one subject but the attempt to clear it was made thrice, the number of backlog counted is equal to three.

TOP Countries – average acceptance of number of backlogs

i) The United States of America – The top universities prefer to choose the candidates who prove their academic excellence with brilliant GPA and no backlogs but the choice of an ideal candidate is based on the entire profile evaluation. If the backlog numbers are small, the university might ignore it if the profile has a good GRE/GMAT score but students with a high number of backlogs can get admission only if the university is willing to give it. 

ii) United Kingdom – The case is similar to that of the USA, the only change is that a good IELTS score can make a difference instead of a good GRE score.

iii) Canada – The universities will accept 6-8 backlogs on an average for post graduation degree programs. Students with 10+ backlogs can go for PG diplomas. The profile is evaluated on other factors as well and the decision of acceptance is in the hands of the university eventually. 

iv) Australia – The private and public universities are not that difficult to crack with a high number of backlogs, i.e. 6-8 backlogs; but the Go8, the best institutions of Australia, will not accept backlogs more than two or three.

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