Frequently Asked Questions about Promotional Testing
1 - What is a Promotional Test?
A promotional testing is the means by which a student earns a new belt and advances to the next level.
2 - Who is eligible to test?
A student who has successfully demonstrated the ability to fulfill the requirements outlined in the "Student Requirement" is eligible to test for his/her next belt.
3- What do I need to know?
Students are required to know and understand the information outlined in the "Student Requirement" form. These forms are intended to be provide the general information that the student is responsible for. All students are encouraged to learn and expand their understanding beyond these general requirements.
4- When can I test?
It usually takes three to four months to learn and become proficient in performing a new form. A student is also required to learn a form’s related terminology and definitions. However, Tae Kwon Do is an art. Being able to perform series of movements does not necessarily mean the practitioner has a deep understanding of them. Usually, the student does not have the experience an insight to determine when he or she is ready. Therefore, it is up to the instructor to make that determination for them.
5- Is there a testing fee?
Yes. There is a fee associated with a promotional testing. This can vary depending on the grade the student is testing for. As a general rule, it is between $40 to $55 for all belts with the exception of the black belt.
6- When do I get my results?
Testing results are made available in one week or less.
7- What is the purpose of a test?
The primary objective of a promotional testing is to provide an opportunity for the students and instructors to learn and grow. Students are encouraged to listen and learn from more senior students. Often times, testing provides the opportunity for a student to experience something different and challenging. This experience helps the individual to learn self-control and discipline. Instructors are provided with an opportunity to ask questions and participate in conducting a test. They in turn learn valuable leadership skills.
8- How do I prepare for the test?
Pay attention in every class. Ask questions. Never assume anything. If you don't understand something ask the instructor to explain, even if takes a 1,000 times. Our primary goal at the Panthers Den is to TEACH. Practice with perfection in mind. Our instructors are willing and able to point out strengths and weaknesses in students. They will teach the correct way, however you to work hard also. Remember, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”.
9- How long does a testing session usually last?
Most promotional testing last about two hours, sometimes longer. It is all dependent on the number of students testing and the grade they are testing for.
10- What if I fail?
There is no such thing is a failure. If you do not succeed, then try again, and again, and again. Every student is required to meet certain minimum standards in order to advance to the next level, at the Panthers Den we do not teach McKwondo. Remember, Tae Kwon Do is an art and as such it takes time and effort to improve upon it. It is also subjective. That means the observer sets the standard of perfection. Also, physical aspects are only one of the factors that contribute toward gaining a higher grade. Commitment to excellence, discipline, courtesy, and other factors weigh heavily also. During a testing a student is graded on all these factors.
11- I get so nervous in front of a crowd. What should I do?
Remember, testing is an opportunity to learn, grow, and become more enlightened. It is the perfect forum to understand why the mind behaves in the way it does and to learn how to handle a stressful situation and overcome them. This is one of the main lessons to be learned from a testing. The best way to handle nervousness is to concentrate the mind on breathing. Breath in deep and exhale shallow. Concentrate you mind on the breathing only. Relax and visualize being able to do the task at hand in your mind. If it is a form imagine doing it in a perfect manner. If it board breaking, visualize hitting the boards right in the center and splitting them in two. Always ask what is the worst that can happen and what is it that I can do about it.
12- Can I skip a test and go to the next belt if I do great in a test?
No. Advancing from level to another and getting a different color belt is not the main objective. This is not a race to see how fast you can get to a black belt. Steady and consistent growth and learning is the way to build a lasting foundation. Again, the Panthers Den is not in the business of selling belts. We are here to teach! If you just want to get a black belt then you need to go to Wall Mart or one of those places that teach McKwondo.