Recently, I had a parent question me about when their child would test, and was she keeping up with her peers, and why or why not?
It made me realize we have not been clear enough on relaying our methods and procedures for testing.
I did discuss our tip testing method- ologies in the Aug 2021 newsletter, but not how it fits in to the overall testing schedule. (NOTE: You can find all our newsletters, current and back, on our studio website at http://ettsd.com/newsletter/ )
As well as completing tip require-ments, students are required to attend class for a set number of hours to be eligible to test. The requirement for White belt (10th gup) to Orange/White belt (9th gup) is 16 hours. For ranks from 9th gup through Cho Dan Bo, level four it is 24 hours. The number is listed on Tip Sheets.
An average student attends class twice a week. With approximately four weeks per month, that is 45 minutes times 8 per month, or six hours per month. That makes four months between exams.
Some of our most dedicated students attend all available classes and can get the hours in a shorter amount of time. If a student attends all three available classes every week (9 hours), and at least three Saturday classes (3 hours), that is 12 hours per month.
Even with that, it is rare we allow students to test every two months, making them wait four months between every other exam or so.
Three Tips, Four Months
We run exams every two months. When our student population grows enough, we will start monthly exams. But until then, we have the idiosyncrasy of having three tips that students have four months to complete.
In general, this has worked out pretty well. Most students actually take four months to complete the three tips. Higher ranks have more difficult tips, and lower ranks sometimes have difficulty with their initial tasks.
It also allows students to take time off when needed and still keep up with the testing cycle.
If a student does complete all three tips in three months, we work on improving their techniques and/or work on filling more columns on the tip sheet. There is room for five signatures, but only three are required.
Talk To Us
This column was inspired by the parent who asked about his child testing. I would never have known there was an issue if he hadn’t asked.
I encourage all parents to talk to us if there is an issue or something you are not sure about.
We love parents to take an active interest in their child’s training.