I believe this intensive, exam-based system, is still used in India. It seems to work for some.

Hi Shanks !
Tests - Paugh! Massachusetts is currently in a turmoil about "M-CAST" test for all school children to test their knowledge. I'm not even going to touch that one.
I think when standardized tests are established teachers stop teaching subjects and start teaching the test.
If test must be given I think it should be prepared by teachers and be essay type.
Rant Rant Rant