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Rest Breaks During Exams

Rest breaks during exams allow students a 5 minute break for every 20 minutes of exam time. This accommodation is provided for students with muscle or cognitive fatigue or who need to manage pain.

Rest breaks during exams are necessary for some students who experience significant pain issues, muscle fatigue or who have difficulty with concentration over significant periods of time. Rest breaks are particularly important for exams that require extensive writing. Rest breaks do not count against the allotted exam time. Students are not allowed to work on the exam during rest breaks. It is often difficult for faculty to accommodate rest breaks during exams so the exams are administered by the services for students with disabilities office or a testing center.



The student is responsible for providing documentation that supports rest breaks as an accommodation and for working with faculty in determining how the accommodation will be carried out.


Faculty are responsible for coordinating with the services for students with disabilities office to provide rest breaks during exams to the student in a manner that maintains their confidentiality and privacy.


The services for students with disabilities office is responsible for notifying the faculty of the student's need to take rest breaks during exams, and for providing the accommodation should the faculty member be unable to accommodate the students in the classroom.


Related Functional Characteristics

Restlessness (Physical) : Rest breaks during exams give students an opportunity to get up and move during a long exam.

Motor Skill (Fine) : Rest breaks during testing allow students to recover fine motor function and minimize pain when doing extensive writing on an exam.

Fatigue (Physical) : Allowing rest breaks during exams provides students who experience muscle fatigue the opportunity to relieve stress on their arms and hands when writing.

Pain Management : Rest breaks during exams provide time to change positions and to stretch or rest muscles thereby reducing pain.

The Building Accepting Campus Communities (BACC) project was funded by the US Department of Education Office of Secondary Education grant #P333A080070-09. The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.