Re: Poll: Do you prefer your aikido rank tests announced (planned) or unannounced (surprise)?
I like unannounced. I think if I'm told when I'm due to be graded, I'll try harder, but be more stressed. While trying harder is a good thing, I should be doing my best at all times. So I think if it's unannounced, I have to do my best in case it's due, and then if I pass, it's worth the work and I know it's paid off. It's also more fun not worrying about when it's due. In aikijutsu I was recently graded, I knew it was coming up, and I was worried because I missed a month, that I wouldn't pass. Was an anxious time.
Conclusion: I prefer the surprise of "ok, you've been upgraded." over "your grading is in 4 weeks." or whatever.