Thousands of people have signed a petition by angry pupils against the grading system used by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
Around 133,000 Higher, Advanced Higher and National results estimated by teachers were adjusted by moderators, most of them downward.
As exams were cancelled, moderators used a number of criteria to award grades, including teacher estimates and schools’ past performance.
Some 18,000 signatures had been gathered on the petition started on Tuesday by midday on Wednesday.
There is anger that pupils in schools in deprived areas appear to be have been worst affected.
‘Classist and insulting’
In the petition, Sarah McLauchlan, an Edinburgh school leaver who had expected to get straight As, claimed the system was “classist and insulting”.
She said: “Thousands of teenagers who may have excelled in their prelims or gotten steady grades all year have had their results deflated – purely because they live in a more deprived area or their school isn’t as privileged as others.
“Current fifth years and sixth years with conditional university offers were reliant on these results, which means they will have more stress and anxiety throughout the year due to their grades being deflated based on a system which doesn’t value them whatsoever.
“Results should be based off of personal performance and personal performance only.
“It is completely unacceptable and wrong, especially when class should not be a basis for results which impact the rest of a child’s life.”
Grades ‘fair and robust’
Education Secretary John Swinney has insisted the grades were awarded in a “fair and robust manner”.
He has rejected claims pupils in poorer areas were penalised and said the pass rate for those in the most deprived areas was higher than last year and that the poverty-related attainment gap had narrowed.
The SQA is running a free appeals service.