The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) says a lighter workload would give teachers more time to work with pupils before the first round of the new Nationals.
The union wants the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) to suspend a scheme which assesses how teachers are grading pupils’ work.
Allowing schools to opt in would help target schools in need while allowing others to use time to prepare for exams.
Larry Flanagan, EIS general secretary, said: “At this point in the school year, where exam preparation is vital, the most helpful thing that the SQA could do is act to lighten the pressure that is being placed on pupils and teachers by simplifying its verification procedures.”
The call is supported by Alan McKenzie, acting general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, who said: “This is a sensible proposal allowing a little flexibility for hard-pressed schools to ease the workload burden that is now accepted as a barrier to the successful implementation of the Nationals.”