This past week I was in the dojo "only" four times (see previous post). The training on Saturday, the last one before the test today, went really well: a lot of people showed up, and everyone was concentrated and helping each other and making real progress. It felt like we were coming together as a team. We all cleaned up the dojo together afterward as well. Then today, the test went really well for pretty much everyone in the adult group: everyone knew at least the moves they were supposed to, and many a good deal more, and everyone was quick and precise. Of the ca. dozen people being tested, about half (including myself) skipped a half belt. This is very unusual - previously, the most that had ever jumped a half-belt at one time was two. (half-belts are not used by all dojos, but ours uses them. the progression is white, white-yellow, yellow, yellow-orange, orange, orange-green, etc.)
On the other hand, the kids did not do terribly well. The highlights were some of the very young, white belt kids, who, despite being very lax in practice, were suddenly totally snappy and alert in the test. But a whole group of the higher level belts have been asked to work on it another month and retake the test then (rather unusual, too: we usually only have the tests twice a year). We're going to have to arrange some extra hours for the kids - the "free training" sessions are too late for most of the kids to participate in.