Applying to universities abroad requires extensive documentation that supports your application. One of these documents is the transcript of records. Managing so many documents may lead you to think about academic transcripts and how it is different from marksheets, certificates, degree or diploma. Transcript of records are official documents that provide proof of education including students personal details, institutions details and course details. Often students confuse what is academic transcript with marksheet and other certificates. But do not worry as we have got you covered.
In this guide, we have answered some of the most common questions related to academic transcripts among international students: What is academic transcript? Why transcripts are needed? How to get a transcript certificate? How to send official transcripts to universities? and so on.
What is An Academic Transcript?
In your academic journey, you must have heard about marksheets, report cards, academic certificates, records of achievements, grade cards, etc. if not transcripts. This is what an academic transcript is similar to.
Academic transcripts are official academic records with details of subjects studied along with grades and marks received in each subject and remarks. Whatever the term to use, institutions are looking for the same information in your course transcript. Transcript of records also provide details of the student, institution, course, subjects and grading system that are very important for admission evaluation.
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Now that we have a brief idea of what is transcript certificate let us dive deeper into its importance and meaning in India:
What is an Academic Transcript in India?
Let us throw some light on what is academic transcript in India? There are different names associated with educational transcripts in India, some of which are:
- Academic Certificate
- Statement of Learning
- Cumulative Record File (CRF)
- Record of Achievement
- Transcript of Records (TOR)
- Grade Card
- Diploma Supplement
- Report Card
- Mark List
To have a better understanding of what is an academic transcript, let us see the features of a standard academic transcript:
Sample of An Academic Transcript
Now that we know what is an academic transcript, let us see what an academic transcript looks like and what information it consists of:
- Institution name
- Institution address, city, state and country
- Address of the institution
- Accreditation held by the institution
- Name of the student
- Unique student ID number
- Name of the student’s parent
- Date of birth of the student
- Name of degree earned
- List of subjects taken
- Duration of the course
- Date and year of graduation
- Marks or grades earned in each subject
- Consolidated marks or grades earned in the course
Suggested: Know more about Academic Transcript Sample!
Why A Transcript of Records is Needed?
Now that we understand the transcript certificate meaning, let us see why a transcript of records is needed before discussing how to get a transcript certificate:
- Transcripts provide legitimate information about the academic history of the student.
- Transcripts also contain details of the grading scale which vary a lot for different countries.
- Universities use transcripts to convert your results according to their education system and process them for admissions.
Which Transcripts are Needed for Different Courses?
If you know well what is a transcript, you need not stress about sending the right documents to universities for different courses. Because universities clearly specify what they require and it is usually transcripts from the most recent qualifications earned. Now that we have discussed why a transcript of records is needed, here’s which transcripts are needed for different courses:
- To apply for an undergraduate level program such as a bachelor’s degree, diploma, certificate, etc., you need to provide universities with high school transcripts showing academic records of secondary school education.
- If you are planning to apply for graduate degrees like master’s degree, graduate diploma among others, you will require what are transcripts from college or university attended.
How to Get A Transcript Certificate?
Educational transcripts are considered official only when it has the official signature, stamp or seal of the school, college or university issuing it. Therefore, you can get an academic transcript from the institution where you have completed your studies. Once the institution releases transcripts, students are informed about the same and asked to collect it from the institution.
If you are wondering how to send official transcripts to universities, there are different ways to do so depending on which country you are applying to. It can be sent to universities electronically that are sent through authorized channels, can be uploaded online through the university’s website or sent via mail.
Students often find themselves on crossroads in understanding the difference between transcript and marksheet. Discussed below is the difference between transcript and marksheet, certificate, diploma and degree:
How is a Transcript Different from Marksheet, Certificate, Diploma and Degree?
A very common question among students applying for admission to universities outside India is, are transcripts and marksheets same? Now that we know what is academic transcript in India, we can differentiate between a transcript and other documents of academic records such as marksheet, certificate, diploma and degree.
Difference Between Transcript and Marksheet
Marksheets is the most common term used for transcripts in India. The difference between transcript and consolidated marksheet is that you may have several marksheets for different years of education but all the information in these marksheets are represented in a transcript with information of the grading scale. To complete a transcript of records, you need marksheets as well as a final degree transcript.
Difference Between Transcript and Certificate
University transcript are not different from certificates. Certificates are a part of the transcript as it contains compiled information of your previous degree. In India, a certificate is awarded to a student who completes a degree program. There is a difference between transcript and certificate and a degree certificate is not equivalent to a transcript.
Difference Between Transcript and Diploma
While discussing what is an academic transcript, it was made clear that a transcript is an official document with complete academic information regarding the courses completed by a student. Compared to this, a diploma in itself is an educational qualification and is included as a part of the transcript with details of the subjects studied, grades obtained, course duration, etc. This is the difference between transcript and diploma.
Difference Between Transcript and Degree
The difference between transcript and degree is that a degree certifies completion of an academic program while a transcript is a proof of education that provides complete information regarding the degree including subjects studied, exams taken, grades, institution, etc.
How Can Final Year Students Get Transcripts of Records?
As mentioned earlier, transcripts consist of complete information on your education including marks or grades received in your final exams. Therefore, it is among the last documents issued by institutions. Let us take a look at how final year students can get their degree transcript.
- You can ask your professor for transcripts only after the final exams are over.
- Since the admission timelines across different countries vary, sometimes it may not be possible to present the result transcript in time for admission because only a short time has passed after the exam. In such cases, universities accept interim transcripts with results from your most recent exams.
- Students in the final year can apply for provisional transcripts while waiting for the final transcripts. The provisional transcripts will be accepted by universities as proof of degree completion until the final degrees are awarded.
Before concluding the discussion on what are transcripts from college, let us explore documents required for admission along with the result transcript:
Documents Required Along with Academic Transcripts
Another important document required to support academic transcripts is a backlog certificate. You will need one to show records of subjects with backlogs both cleared and uncleared. There is a long list of documents that you must keep handy while applying to different universities and a transcript is only one of them. Students who have cleared the exam for all subjects will not receive a backlog certificate. However, some institutions may ask you to get a zero backlog certificate.
Having learned about what is an academic transcript and how to get transcript certificate, let us take a look at other documents required in the application process:
- Completed application form and application fee
- Transcript of records
- Backlog certificate
- English language proficiency test scores
- Entrance test scores such as SAT/ ACT/ GRE/ GMAT
- Statement of purpose
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal essay
- Copy of passport
- Financial documents
We hope this blog helped you understand what is an academic transcript, how it is different from other academic documents, how to get transcript certificate and a lot more. The education system abroad varies a lot from India which is why it may seem burdensome to apply to universities abroad. Universities across the world are looking for the same information and the only thing you need to be bothered about is sending accurate information to the university in a timely manner. One of the best ways to meet university deadlines is to organize all your documents beforehand and be aware of any missing information so that you can make necessary arrangements.
Frequently Asked Questions About Academic Transcript
Ques. How do I get my academic transcripts?
Ans. You can get your academic transcripts only from the institution where you have completed the program. You will be informed when the transcripts are ready following which you will have to make arrangements to collect it either physically or by requesting it through mail.
Ques. Are transcripts and marksheets same in India?
Ans. Transcripts and marksheets are more or less similar. A consolidated mark sheet in India containing details of the subjects studied, grades obtained, course duration, etc. is similar to a transcript.
Ques. How to send official transcripts to universities?
Ans. There is no particular way to send official transcripts since universities across the world follow different processes. You can either submit the transcripts online through the university’s application portal or by using a centralized document sending process such as UCAS for sending transcripts to the UK, Parchment or Common Application for USA, Uni-assist for Germany and so on.
Ques. What other documents are required to support the academic transcript?
Ans. You need to have a backlog certificate to support your academic transcripts if you had backlogs in any subjects whether cleared or uncleared. If you did not have any backlogs, usually there is no requirement of a backlog certificate but some universities ask for a zero backlog certificate.
Ques. How can I differentiate between official and unofficial transcripts?
Ans. You need to check for a few basic details to differentiate between official and unofficial transcripts. Official transcripts have the signature of the administration officer, institution’s stamp and sent in a sealed envelope from the issuing institution. Unofficial transcripts are basically photocopies of the original transcript and contain all details except the official stamp and signature.