A little background-
I've been training in my dojo for five years now, tested for 3rd kyu last year. One of the teachers likes to chide me when she thinks its time for me to test. She's been bugging me about testing 2nd kyu.
I asked Sensei if he thought I was ready to test. He basically said he'd like to see me wait until the next test, so I can better prepare (come to open mat and maybe one more class a week). This hit me hard. I have only been coming twice a week for the past couple years.
After thinking about it for awhile, I realized that even though I had told myself that testing wasn't important, it must have been. I've been doing other things and time with family, that took away from being able to prepare better for testing. For me, I realized the fact that it hit me hard was an ego problem. I won't say that competing with yourself is not good, but if that is what its all about, it should at least be understood.
I also realized that the possible tension of worrying about testing was not helping my training.
I told my Sensei all of this, and he seemed to agree.
You will progress whether testing or not. If you are there to learn and/or have fun, remember that.