I think you are on the right track with not forcing the student to test. I've noticed similar instances in the past where students that were quite capable of passing all the test requirements would not want to formally test for fear of failure or embarassment. Some could perform everything very well but would "freeze up" when they needed to demonstrate the techniques for the testing committee. I've found that by not holding a formal test but observing the student over a period of several class sessions I'm able to accurately determine their abilities and make a decision for promotion. By doing this, the student comes to class and trains hard each day, not really knowing that all the while I'm watching closely to see if they are ready for promotion. Honestly, most students are not going to test until they are completely ready; and even then, all they are showing is that they know how to do the techniques / exercises. All of that can be determined by watching the student(s) over the course of several classes. I've visited several dojo that promote without the use of formal tests(the dojo I received the majority of my training in had formal tests). I use this method with the children's classes. I've found that when they know I'm watching closely all the time and that they need to train well each and every day; the children put more effort into learning and paying attention during class. Just my thoughts on the matter. Have a good day!