The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) in KwaZulu-Natal says all matriculants who sit for their final exams should be given an equal opportunity to rewrite Grade 12 exams next year.
Cosas was reacting to a government announcement that matrics who fail this year's final exams will be given a second chance and would be able to re-write exams in June next year.
But, those pupils who passed with low marks would not be allowed to rewrite.
This week Cosas called on the government to postpone all matric examinations until next month to give learners more time to catch up on revision.
Cosas provincial secretary, Isaac Luthuli, said they were not happy with arrangements that only those who failed would be allowed to rewrite.
"We pointed out that we lost valuable time following the public servants strike. The voluntary catch-up only benefited some schools. We asked that the department postpone exams until November. That proposal was rejected."
He said the national department should now consider giving students the choice to improve their marks even if they passed poorly.
"We also want the department to give such learners the content book or study guide on what is included in the examination".
The National Teacher's Union (Natu) in KwaZulu-Natal said the decision to rewrite exams was nothing to "celebrate".
Spokesman Musa Gumede said: "Under normal circumstances matriculants are afforded the opportunity to write supplementary examinations the next year. This is nothing new."
He said the fact that the department has even considered the failure of pupils, meant that "pupils are not adequately prepared for exams".
"The national department has taken a hard line on this matter. While teachers have done their best to prepare learners, I don't think a postponement would have been that bad. Especially considering that some schools like Magazi High only received their text books last week," he said .