Most Indian aspirants, who are preparing for GRE study for one to four hours a week, compare their Chinese aspirants put in over 20 hours. While Indians prefer studying late at night, students in China choose weekday evenings. Such trends were revealed by a study conducted by the Education Testing Services, which surveyed nearly 20,000 GRE applicants across the world.
While Indian aspirants and their other countries counterparts as in the US, China and other regions in the world share certain routines, there are some significant differences as well. Most Indian students, 44.1% of them, seem to prepare for the test for one to three months, but the world average of such students is much lower at 37.8%. Chinese folks, around 36% of them, study over 20 hours a week, while around 30% Indians, those putting in the longest hours, put in only one to four hours a week.
Dean of MISB Bocconi Himanshu Rai points out several Indians already have a job while they sit for GRE. "Since the corporate world is demanding, candidates might be unable to give enough time for preparations," said Rai, also a professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan. But he is not convinced by the survey's report on study hours. "I feel candidates here put in almost similar time as the Chinese. But GRE preparations are usually done by using flash cards, quiz, task, etc and so, these may not depend on the part of the actual study hours," he said, adding Indians are capable of cracking tougher exams such as CAT, so are well versed with the process.
According to Association of Indian Management Association (AIMA) president Apoorva Palkar, in any competitive exam, aspirants are evaluated on their potential to respond on the spot. "It is also driven by the basic education system in the country. Chinese candidates have to invest more time and efforts in learning the language, while Indians have an advantage there," said Palkar. One cannot decide a student's competence level based on the time spent in studying, one just need to learn the right math and logic at school to be good, she added.