I was reading older posts to see if a question I have had for years might be covered by it.
My original Aikido instructor, due to rapid turnover in his neighborhood, "taught the test". We drilled the techniques required for testing until they were all firmly in motor memory. After that, if the opportunity presented itself, we explored variations. That dojo closed when the ceiling fell.
The second dojo I attended was "traditional" in that the teacher demonstrated variations and only variations. Students about to be tested would ask older students to practice with them. At testing time they would use their own "best guess" or the older student's "best guess" which he, in turn, had gotten his version from a still older student's "best guess".
Is there a "right" way to do techniques in Aikido?