I have a simple but yet intriguing question about rank tests in the martial arts: is it me, or does it seem impossible to fail one?
It seems that just about everyone that takes a rank test passes and receives their promotion with no worries whatsoever. I'm sure there's a few reasons that factor into that, such as running the risk that students will quit (and schools will lose revenue as a result) if they receive a failing grade, or running the risk of upsetting parents whose kids receive a failing grade while other students are being promoted.
On one hand, it basically reminds me of the "No Child Left Behind" ideal that promotes students even if their skill levels don't match up. On the other hand, there's the basic tenet that people don't like failure, and thus would be highly unmotivated if they go through months of preparation for their rank test and fall short when their instructors fails them (or gives them a retest option--politically correct for saying "you've failed"). After all, who would actually spend money every month to pay for classes and then take tests in which can possibly fail?
Just a thought...