The SQA plans to run a full diet of exams next spring but is preparing contingencies, John Swinney said.
Erin Bleakley, 17, held a protest at Glasgow's George Square on Friday over the SQA's controversial moderation process.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her deputy, John Swinney, were forced to backtrack after initially branding the process 'credible'.
The exams authority has said it will not consult schools or colleges if it downgrades teacher estimates.
Holyrood's education committee has raised concerns over the new grading system to replace cancelled exams.