My first grader doesn't have spelling tests yet. Thank goodness, since he is still very much an emergent reader and writer, and he'd for sure be labeled "behind" on a test of formalized spelling. That said, as long as the spelling list was short and appropriate to the child and it's function as a "test" was down-played, I'd be okay with it.
Part of my job is supervising student teachers, and I observed 2 spelling lessons yesterday (this early in the year, it's one of the few areas the master teachers feel able to hand over to the student teachers). So I was thinking about this a lot yesterday, LOL.
In one (third grade) class, it was very routinized. The whole class identified words with the spelling pattern, they went over a list of 12 words together, they took a practice test, and then they checked them and corrected them together. There was nothing terribly wrong about it, meaning nobody seemed to feel overly pressured or incompetent, but it also didn't feel like a great use of time. About half of the class already knew all the words, and the rest looked a little dazed during the spelling pattern lesson. And the teacher kept noting that they needed to pay attention so they would do well on the test (I'd rather she convey the idea that spelling is important for writing rather than primarily for test passage).
In the other class (also third grade), they had 10 of the same words as the first class (I think the spelling patterns are determined school or district wide), but in addition, they had each chosen 3-5 words that mattered to them based on what they were studying in class. The words ranged from "subtraction" to "mammal" to "platypus." I think the teacher had helped them choose the words by looking over the previous week's work, but I'm not sure. They worked in pairs to help each other learn the words and had a choice of activities to do with the tricky words. Kids who already knew all the spelling pattern words only worked on their self-chosen words. It was great! And the master teacher mentioned a Friday "spelling progress check," which of course means "spelling test," but she was clearly trying to emphasize progress instead of just jumping over a weekly hurdle. I left thinking gosh, I wish I'd been taught to spell that way!