When you are told you may test for the next rank, it means that you have learned sufficient forms, techniques, and skills to potentially pass that test. However, there are two things you need to do to pass. The first is to prepare yourself in the weeks and months prior to the test by attending class regularly and practicing those things you will be tested on. The second is to perform well at the test. Without the former, the latter can be quite difficult.
If you don’t prepare and you don’t do well on your test, you will not pass and get the next rank. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person. It simply means you weren’t up to snuff on the day of the test. The purpose of the test is for the student to perform under a stressful situation that requires exactness, concentration, and execution. Those three attributes are exactly what are required should you need to defend yourself or others outside of the school. The higher the rank, the more that is expected of you and the better you must perform to pass.
At some point after the test, you will be told what specifically you did or didn’t do that caused the failure. Take this constructive criticism with you to your next class and the classes that follow and try to work on the areas of weakness. It is important to come back to class strong and continue your training. Remember, this is not a reflection on you as a person, just a reflection on the quality of your movement during the test. Lastly, and most importantly, kung fu is a way of life that can keep you vital, vibrant, and strong the rest of your days. Rank tests are only a part of your training. Consistent, hard training will take you as far as you want to go.