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What is a cookie?

Most websites you visit will use cookies in order to improve your user experience by enabling that website to ‘remember’ you, either for the duration of your visit or for repeat visits.

Cookies do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, storing your preferences, and generally improving your experience of a website. Cookies make the interaction between you and the website faster and easier. If a website doesn’t use cookies, it will think you are a new visitor every time you move to a new page on the site – for example, when you enter your login details and move to another page it won’t recognise you and it won’t be able to keep you logged in.

What's in a cookie?

A cookie is a simple text file that is stored on your computer or mobile device by a website’s server and only that server will be able to retrieve or read the contents of that cookie. Each cookie is unique to your web browser. It will contain some anonymous information such as a unique identifier and the site name and some digits and numbers. It allows a website to remember things like your preferences.

How can I control my cookies?

You can use your web browser to:

  • delete all cookies
  • block all cookies
  • allow all cookies
  • block third-party cookies
  • clear all cookies when you close the browser
  • open a 'private browsing' session
  • install add-ons and plug-ins to extend browser functionality.

Where do I find information about controlling cookies through my browser?

Internet Explorer: How to delete cookie files in Internet Explorer.

Chrome: Manage cookies.

Firefox: Give certain websites the ability to store passwords, set cookies and more.

Apple browsers including Safari: Support for cookies.

Measuring site usage

Google analytics software is used to collect information about how you use the Scottish National Standardised Assessment website. This is done to help make sure the site is meeting users’ needs and to help make improvements.

Google Analytics stores information about:

  • the pages you visit and how long you spend on each page
  • how you got to this website
  • what you click on while you’re visiting this website

Personal information (e.g. your name or address) is not collected or stored so this information cannot be used to identify who you are. Google does not use or share this website’s analytics data.

Find out more about security and privacy in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics uses the following cookies:

Cookie name Expiration time Description
_ga 2 years Used to distinguish users.
_gid 24 hours Used to distinguish users.
_gat 1 minute Used to throttle request rate.