Re: Knowing you have already passed
One good thing about belonging to an independant style of Aikido is that we don't have things like set test times and applying for tests. The theory our style uses for testing is that you are constantly testing for the next rank. (Example: a student tests for 4th kyu. The next he gets on the mat, he starts testing for 3rd kyu.) The actual tests are more of a demonstration instead of a pass/fail event. Our Sempai and Sensei do not put us up for the different ranks unless we are ready for that rank.