Re: Test Grading, Curriculum, & Frustration
You mention that you are coming up for 2nd kyu and so I assume that you have taken previous kyu grading tests. How were these conducted? Did the candidates know what was expected beforehand and were they prepared in a way that you consider to be adequate?
In my own experience (exclusively Aikikai), the basic grading syllabus set out a bare minimum, which was expanded and supplemented, and in my own dojo I have graded every single student, from 5th kyu, which is where we begin, to 3rd dan, which is the present grade of the most senior student (who began 12 years ago). The grading syllabus is the basic Aikikai grading syllabus, but I have never trained in an Aikikai dojo where this bare minimum has not been supplemented with additional material.
Since we started, there are a number of dan ranked students who still train at the dojo (where they started as beginners: they have not left because of work etc) and we also attract a number of yudansha from other dojos. So I think our beginner students are left in no doubt about what they have to do in order to acquit themselves adequately in a grading test. In any case, on an average day half of those training are yudansha.
So, given your circumstances and the information you have provided, I wonder at the quality of the support you are receiving from your organization.