Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. One of the reasons I hated history when I was in school because of all the rote-work involved. I hated it. It makes history (and geography, literature, etc.) feel like its an inorganic discipline with little to no space for creativity.
I have no idea why schools still insist on this method. Either because there's too much subjectivity in grading assignments, or that the administration is too cumbersome. I started gaining an interest in history in university just for two reasons. One, we didn't need to memorize useless facts. Two, we get to be creative in our essays and research.