i recently asked a friend of mine to explain that- after i got the rank beginner, lost it for a day, then found it back. i thought i made a mistake, but no... its a human system
humans make mistakes, but im sure not that big. its literary your reputation, not really by skill. i know some skilled witches who arent high ranking in reputation :D i think its best not to think much on it-- good if you get it though!