Mr Swinney said the tests being brought in for every child in P1, P4, P7 and S3 from August next year would not be “high stakes”, with no need for children to revise and no pass or fail.
He confirmed the online system of reading, writing and numeracy assessments would be developed by ACER International UK, part of the not-for-profit Australian Council for Educational Research.
Pupils will sit the assessments online, with questions designed to respond to how well a child is doing, getting easier if a child is struggling or harder if they are doing well.
A maximum time limit of 50 minutes has been set for each test, with the leaflets stating “we do not expect the majority of children to require the full 50 minutes”.Mr Swinney said: “Teachers are best-placed to make judgements about how children are doing in school and draw on a wide range of information - from both formal and informal assessments - to help them form a view.”
He also said the new assessments should replace the standardised assessments local authorities currently buy in.