Re: Paying for testing?
The testing fee is usually set by the parent organization.
The USAF fee is $30 per test for the five kyu ranks. There is also a $30 annual membership fee. Most dojos have you join the USAF when you take your first test, so the 5th kyu test would be $60. After that, the USAF dues are once a year. Your rank is registered with the USAF, you get a certificate and they send you a Yukyusha book for you to keep track of your ranks and seminars attended. You don't even have to buy a new belt.
I might add that all of that money goes to the USAF and not the local dojo.
If the dojo is not affiliated with any organization, then I think $30 is a bit too high. If the teacher is printing his/her own certificates, the actual cost of testing is virtually nil.
Aikido of Norfolk