Assessing your own aikido
So, I agree that it's best not to focus on tests and probably when you are 5th kyu it is wiser to try to be open minded and willing to learn about what a test is about, rather than being closed minded and sure what it should be about.
Still, I think that there is more interest in this post than this initial, knee-jerk, aiki gives it credit for. I guess I find myself wanting to tell Dave that his situation (where he sees people around him that may or may not seem to have earned their rank) is one which is part of life in AiKiDo. It is a real, and honest, frustration that one deals with year after year even, in my experience, in the best dojos. Similarly, the feeling that I would like my AiKiDo to be perfect now is a common feeling not only among beginners but for aikidoka at all levels.
It's true what other people said: these feelings are not so important and training is the only important thing. On the other hand, I would also add that part of training is facing these feelings, wondering about them, examining how they help you and how they get in your way. They are important because they are there, part of the training.