I see. Well how about a student who trains harder and takes more classes? Such a student will most likely progress up the ranks quicker and get a black belt sooner than if the student were to train not as hard and not as often. Training harder and more often means faster progression. Makes sense doesn't it? The same way that a college student who studies harder and takes more classes per semester than the standard number of classes will get their degree sooner.
To a degree, yes. That's why I said it takes about 36 months. Some people will promote faster than others, but not much.
But at the same time, I don't rush students through the ranks. I've used the cake-baking analogy before, but it bears repeating. If you start baking a cake, you get all the ingredients ready and mix them up. But the directions say put it in the over for 2 hours at 250 degrees. I don't want to wait that long, so I put it in the oven for 1 hour at 500 degrees. What's the result? A cake that might look good on the outside, but is only half-baked on the inside.
There is a certain amount of mental training that is involved in the martial arts, and it can't be rushed. Yes, you might have someone who trains 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, and learns all the basics and forms and one-steps in, let's say, 6 months. Is that person ready to be a Black Belt? I don't think so. As I am fond of saying (perhaps too much so), we don't earn a Black Belt; a Black Belt earns us.