I think it would definitely help to have specific learning objectives in writing. I have always heard and believe that "people come to aikido for many different reasons". If this is true, then why does it seem that everyone wants rank?
I believe at certain levels, besides technical proficiency, the examanee should have a certain level of confidence or martial spirit. Too many times I see people going to test and walk through the motions in such a slack manner.
I know in karate I would never promote someone who "dialed it in". My feelings is that it can promote a false sense of security. It also lowers the expectations of new students.
I agree that we need to take a page from the business world in that expectations need to be spelled out. But these should also be emphasized during training not just test time.