So, grading is coming? How can I make myself ready?
The best way to be successful for grading is know what the criteria is, then work a strategy how to achieve it. If your grading syllabus requires you to have a list of movements,concepts or theory, attend tournaments, know the rules set of the tournaments, assist in class etc. etc.. We need to take some ownership in our own development, our learning is 100% on our shoulders. If we are starting out on a new rank, we need to set out a structure that allows us to learn all the requirements prior to testing at the next level. Breaking up movements in chunks can help, such as in a 12 week program if you have say 1 self defence movement, sparring drill, breaks, patterns, attend a demo and a tournament that is required, I need to find out when the demo and tournament is being held so I can attend. I need to ensure I learn my self defence movement in week 1, so I have time to practice it over 12 weeks. Study the concepts and theories over the course of the 12 weeks as with the patterns as they take time to remember. Do not attempt to learn everything in the last 2 weeks or your doomed for a poor performance. Ideally you should know all the criteria at approx 6 weeks or half way through the time that is required for the test, If you have been able to do this, you will then be able to spend time revising the requirements up to grading.
Role of the instructor.
Your instructor should give you access to the criteria and spend spend time demonstrating and explaining the movements, concepts etc. Your instructor should give you opportunity to have free practice to learn your patterns, movements etc with and without guidance. Practice with peers and seniors. Ask questions to draw information and freely give you information when they see you do not know the answer.
Ultimately the success of the student relies on both the instructor and the student. The instructor is the car on the road, but the student has to do the driving. It is a partnership that without each other doing their share, it is impossible to reach the destination.
All the best in your grading!