in the association my dojo belongs to, all those things are the same for all affiliated dojos. It seems unusual from reading the other answers, but we start with 7th kyu. Then, also unusual, we do not have to attend a certain number of hours before the next test and through all the kyu gradings, the person can choose when to have his or her next grading.
I don't know whether those things vary from dojo to dojo in other associations.
BTW, I like your user name, 'cause I'm a fan of Usagi.