Re: The way others see you
There comes a time when you realize that although you may have the hours and technically it is approaching time to test, that you are not ready to test. I actually came to that time myself just in the last few months. I hit hours for my next test quite a while back and have almost doubled them by now. But I knew I was not ready and I said as much to my sensei who thankfully agreed.
Don't hold yourself to a set time period. Its about the quality of your own training. Its not a race. Talk to your sensei and see what he thinks about where you are in your own training and don't worry about keeping up with the others. I don't know about you but I don't ever want to be tested or promoted based on numbers and time. I want it on merit. If I truly am ready and deserve the grade then it has more meaning, even if it does take a little longer to get there.