How intense are your schools black belt exams? As in what do you have to do? Is there an oral section? Board Breaking? Patterns? How long is the test? For example I recently just tested for fourth degree black belt. Our black belt exams hold people as young as around 9 pre testing for black belt all the way up to me, one of the highest ranks at our school. Our exams usually last between 4 and 5 hours and include everything from white belt techniques up. Our first section of the test is sitting stance and performing all blocks and strikes, after that we do them moving up and down the floor in front stance. We then repeat this process with kicks, and then we go back to hands for basic combinations. By basic combinations I mean like Down block followed by middle punch without stepping. We then go into kicking combinations/ sparring footwork, for example chun-jin step, full step, spin hook kick. We will do kicking for about an hour or so. After the first hour or so we will get our first 5 minute break and then we are partnered up for self defense. We must defend against, middle punch, face punch, a bo-staff, lapel grab, choke hold, bear hug, wrist grabs, round kicks, and anything else our master can think of. After self defense we move into patterns. We start at chun ji and work our way up. Until you reach third dan you must do from chun ji up till chu je the last second dan pattern. Once you reach third dan we assume you know the color belt patterns because at that point you should be teaching regularly so third dans and higher start patterns at Kwang gae. After doing tons of patterns, this includes weapons patterns so I usually total at around 25 patterns we gear up for full contact sparring. We all must spar at least 3 two minute runs but sometimes we are asked to do more, my fourth dan test I was asked to spar 6 times. After sparring we go into board breaking. Those that are pre testing for testing for first dan/poom must do every board break they did to achieve a color belt rank. That means step side kick, back kick to the rear, spin back kick, step spin back kick, step behind hook kick, spin hook kick, step spin hook kick, and then a power break which is usually 3 boards with no spacers. Once you are first dan according to your age and size you are assigned a number of boards, teenage males are 7 boards while adult males are 9 boards for example. You are allowed three techniques and three attempts at each station. The number of boards you are given are a minimum and you can exceed it, if you want. There are special cases, for example for my fourth dan test I was only asked to do two break. A speed break of my choice (board held at only one end) and a four cement brick side kick. I ended up doing a speed ridge hand strike while holding the board myself. After board breaking the test is concluded but before the test has started you are expected to have turned in your 1000 word essay on a topic. My fourth dan paper was my personal approach to how to teach taekwondo.