After reading the thread about standards for testing I felt compelled to start this thread.
It seems that most dojos work off the idea that testing schedules are held and students can apply to test. After they have done the test they must wait for a decision as to whether they passed or not. (I could be totally wrong on this)
At my club testing works a little differently. We have scheduled grading times, but the sensei tells the students who will be going for the grading and generally this means that sensei thinks those students are ready to advance. So basically the decision has already been made. What the grading is used for is to see how the student performs under pressure and to see where the students needs to improve in technique.
Now, of course some students refuse the offer, but to do this is a great insult to the sensei as he obviously sees the skill in the student so to turn him down is like saying "you don't know what you are talking about, I'm not that good yet".
Sensei obvioulsy thinks you are.
So some students may not grade for a while because sensei doesn't think they are ready so won't ask them to grade.
What I like about this method is that I can go to training and not worry about cramming for a test. I just forget about ranks and train as well as I can, when sensei thinks I'm ready to advance he will tell me. Of course, I start to get nervous when I'm told that I'll be participating in the next grading, but hey, I"m only human.
Is my club alone in this method or am I reading things wrong?