Some people take refuge in the often repeated speeches, statements or stories about standardized or structured tests used by schools to rate their students or pupils and score them. Most of the time, they will cite examples of school drop outs who went on to make it big in life or even invent something that solves a lot of problems for everyone. However, they are probably missing the point.
Admittedly, standardized tests are structured to elicit specific answers from students. Invariably, it is restrictive for students and makes everything a high stake risk. But, the main purpose has always been to test the overall comprehension ability of the individual in question over a series of tasks from what has been learned or taught them.
Schools are more aligned with the specific focus of teaching to test on given subjects; a practice that is probably getting out of date.
The calls for new ways of learning that are not structured but formative in nature, has been going on for decades now. But, learning is specific and therefore done to acquire knowledge we didn’t have or probably don’t know we have. No matter the type of learning process involved, something has to show that the person involved actually understood what they learnt. Someone learning chord progression on a Piano must be able to play melodies with the sofa notes (self-composed or sheet music) in order to show that they understood what they have been learning.
I think the main goal of structured tests is to certify proof of comprehension as opposed to tagging students unintelligent.