I am a researcher on educational methods and I (no offense indicated to anyone’s methods of learning) have found that continuous assessment leads to constant stress in students; some suffer burn outs, some suffer mild to extreme depression and a few resort to drastic coping strategies such as drugs or suicide.
As a child I hated tests too, not because they were hard; but because they were too easy, bothersome and constantly getting in the way of actual learning. Remember the days you used to spend revising for tests. Personally, I have found that constant reminders in class and lively discussions with tea and nibbles, teaches a child much better than testing him or her every week; it is so because unlike the teacher, who is teaching only one course, the students takes five to eight courses in a semester, which piles on homework, projects and tutorials etc. on the hapless students.
I live in an institute for gifted children, and I see first hand, what an over the top study regime does to a child/ teenager. Constant assessment does not overcome the obstacles in the studies; it simply ignores the parts which children do not understand. This leads to gaps in education;if ignored these gaps change into big gaping holes of ignorance over time.
Annual or semester end exams, on the other hand have the huge problem of a big pile up of study materials. The end result, in both cases, is not pretty. A student is either willing to learn or he/she is merely plodding through enough to pass. Keeping in mind that some of the really brilliant people of our times, did not do well in school assessments what should one think? Open to interpretation!