Within 6 months to a year--let's be generous--on the mat, I expect to see a new aikidoka start to move in a completely different way. I expect them to drop the (first level of) stick-man rigidity or limp-noodle nebulosity, depending on where they started from. I expect that to reveal itself, incidentally, in decent roll and back falls, but more importantly in connected attacks and reasonably connected movement as nage.
That's not nothing.
Fair enough. What I was really trying to say is we shouldn't expect too much from 4th kyu. Forms are sufficient. 1st kyu or 2nd is understandable...but I see a lot of starting blackbelts still who are just still starting to understand true and proper connection at their level which imo is one of the most important aspects of aikido before you start understanding the art, if that is the case, how can you expect 4th kyus to do the same? If you ask a 4th kyu if they understand connection and how to connect, most likely they'll say they have no clue.