I've seen tests in a number of dojo over the years and I have rarely been very impressed with them. At times I hear rave reviews about the tests I have not been very impressed with. Is it me, are people being too nice. not sure.
So what makes a test a good or great one in your eyes?
For me I want to see clean sharp technique and a high enough fitness level that they dont look ready to fall over before the end.
But most importantly I want to see a high level of energy and 100% effort. I want atemi that threaten to smack uke in between the eyes, and throws that make uke bounce off the mats. What bothers me most about tests is that people hold back and take it safe doing normal level techniques. I find people are so afraid of screwing up, they dont extend themselves. I would much rather see a spectacular screw up done strongly then a properly executed lame technique.
Actually, the tests one tends to remember ten years later were the ones during which the fellow testing got in deep trouble and then pulled it together again. That is one of the hardest things to do and it speaks to the focus and will power of the person testing that he doesn't give up. I remember tests like that longer than I remember the test in which the person testing was in control the whole time, no matter how competent he was...