In Taekwondo, a grading is just a practical exam that you have to do in order to progress to the next belt.
Gradings are common in most Taekwondo organisations. Smaller organisations (organisations that are comprised of just one or two schools), may not hold gradings, and the instructor may just promote students when they think they are ready.
Gradings may be held in a different location to your normal Taekwondo class – often students from several schools in an area will take part in the same grading.
As a colour belt Taekwondo students, you might attend a grading every 3 to 6 months to progress to the next belt. The exam normally consists of several parts: line-work, forms, set sparring, free sparring, and theory. The exam will normally be presided over by an external examiner – normally a high-ranking black belt – often a master – who will determine who passes and fails.
In order to attain black belt, you normally have to pass a more intense grading, which may also include activities such as board-breaking or long-distance running.