Editor, Daily Nexus,
Should exams be anonymous?
With midterms coming up and us all worrying about our grades, has this thought ever crossed your mind? Would I get the same result if the professor did not know that it was me who had written the paper?
Should finals and midterms be anonymous? I think they should. Since coming here in September, I have heard others saying that perhaps they got a worse mark than they deserved because the professor didn’t like them. Sometimes even that their grade had been pre-decided by the instructor before they had even sat the exam. Of course this type of thing can work in your favor also!
I would not accuse anyone of foul play; it must be near impossible to be completely impersonal with your students, and I would not question the professionalism of any of my graders. But I am used to all of my major exams being totally anonymous. For every exam at which I’ve sat since the age of 16, I have been a number, or signed my name and sealed it up before I even saw the questions. At my home university, all exams are anonymous; your name is sealed away as soon as it is written. Exams are internally moderated by others and externally moderated throughout the country.
Anonymity is free and would not cost a penny to implement, but it may eradicate the element of favoritism that is otherwise hard to account for. There is enough prejudice in this world; eradicating but a small part of it can only be good. Everyone lucky enough to be here should be given an equal chance.