I recently conducted our bi annual testing for the students. Typically I use the “B” pass or full pass method to measure my students progress. Rank is awarded not on athleticism or physical prowess, but upon an assessment of (1) time spent training at the dojo, and more importantly, (2) whether the student has pushed himself or herself to the limits of their personal potential.
I often tell my students, the actual test is just like the period at the end of the sentence…the sentence itself, the crux of matter, is all the time and effort, and attention to detail you spent in the dojo honing your skills (physical and otherwise) for the previous 6 months.
In fact, testing is as much a testing of me as sensei, as it is of my students, and as my students will vouch, I am an ornery, nervous wreck for the month preceding testing! A student can have a one off and perform poorly on an examination, but knowing that he or she has diligently plied his craft and trade to maximum potential, he knows exactly where he stands. For me however; the test is a deadline for assessing if I was able to tap into whatever it takes to motivate my student to reach their potential.
For me, the test is a moment of truth…did I convey the message I was tasked to convey….or did I fail my student?