Re: Announced Vs. Unannounced Testing
Our test days are about every 3 months, on Saturdays, and announced well in advance so as many people as possible can be there. We you are being tested, you find a mentor to work with, which is a great opportunity to really work out the finer points of techniques, and to get all your questions answered. For most is it a period of more-intensive-than-usual training, which is fun. And on the flip side, as a mentor you get to do the same intensive training, and refine your own understanding by helping your kohai prepare for their exams.
Of course with unannounced testing people could still do the same thing (train harder and help each other, just whenever), but I find the structure, deadlines, and goals useful, personally.