The answer to this question could have been downright “no”, but there are, however, a number of nuances that make this issue a rather controversial one. On the one hand, there are people who, while being good or excellent students, are often confused and frightened by the prospect of placing all their knowledge of the subject into one test paper. They find it hard to concentrate when being pressed for time and, as a result, produce much worse results than could have been expected when taking into account their academic record.
On the other hand, there are people who, knowing nothing, are quite capable of producing, if not excellent, but much higher, than could have been expected, results just by giving random answers, which is impossible in more conventional answering.
It may seem like everything is against testing, that there are no logical reasons for it and direct questioning or continuous assessment (where the mark is based on the overall progress of student in the course of term) would have been much more effective than any other method. There is, however, another aspect, human factor of another kind.
If the mark is given as a result of direct examination, after the teacher questions the student, it, on the one hand, takes much more time to accomplish and, on the other hand, opens great possibilities for corruption. To pay the teacher in order to get a good mark – nothing can be easier in these circumstances. The same goes with continuous assessment – even if there is only one dishonest teacher for every hundred of honest and conscientious ones, he will destroy all the results of the system for many dozens of students.
Thus, we may say that, although testing system is imperfect, it provides the level of impartiality unattainable for all the other systems.