Andhra Pradesh (AP) usually has the most number of candidates applying for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the test for admission to postgraduate courses in the US. States like Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra follow AP with around the same number of candidates appearing for GRE. But this year there has been a spike in the number of candidates appearing from Tamil Nadu, alongside a 70% increase in the Indian students taking up GRE. Coaching institutes estimate that one-tenth of the aspirants are from Chennai.
A dip in the hiring of engineering graduates in the state last year may have acted as a catalyst. Several BE and BTech students were offered jobs during campus placements but only a few of them culminated into jobs at the end of the academic year. Consequently, many students are sitting at home and are keen to take competitive test to try their luck for post graduate studies abroad. The number of candidates appearing for GRE from Tamil Nadu is likely to increase further in the coming years as apart from the existing 500 engineering colleges in the state, in addition to IIT Madras, which produce more graduates who head to US for higher studies than most other institutions.