20 Elapsed Time Word Problems

Elapsed Time Word Problems

Classen Rafael / EyeEm / Getty Images

Elapsed time is the amount of time that passes between the beginning and the end of an event. The concept of elapsed time fits nicely in the elementary school curriculum. Beginning in third grade, students should be able to tell and write time to the nearest minute and solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time. Reinforce these essential skills with the following elapsed time word problems and games.

Elapsed Time Word Problems

These quick and easy elapsed time word problems are perfect for parents and teachers who want to help students practice elapsed time to the nearest minute with simple mental math problems. Answers are listed below.

  1. Sam and his mom arrive at the doctor’s office at 2:30 p.m. They see the doctor at 3:10 p.m. How long was their wait?
  2. Dad says dinner will be ready in 35 minutes. It’s 5:30 p.m. now. What time will dinner be ready?
  3. Becky is meeting her friend at the library at 12:45 p.m. It takes her 25 minutes to get to the library. What time will she need to leave her house to arrive on time?
  4. Ethan’s birthday party started at 4:30 p.m. The last guest left at 6:32 p.m. How long did Ethan’s party last?
  5. Kayla put cupcakes in the oven at 3:41 p.m. The directions say that the cupcakes need to bake for 38 minutes. What time will Kayla need to take them out of the oven?
  6. Dakota arrived at school at 7:59 a.m. He left at 2:33 p.m. How long was Dakota at school?
  7. Dylan started working on homework at 5:45 p.m. It took him 1 hour and 57 minutes to complete it. What time did Dylan complete his homework?
  8. Dad arrives home at 4:50 p.m. He left work 40 minutes ago. What time did Dad get off work? 
  9. Jessica’s family is traveling from Atlanta, Georgia to New York by plane. Their flight leaves at 11:15 a.m. and should take 2 hours and 15 minutes. What time will their plane arrive in New York?
  1. Jordan got to football practice at 7:05 p.m. Steve showed up 11 minutes later. What time did Steve get to practice?
  2. Jack ran a marathon in 2 hours and 17 minutes. He crossed the finish line at 10:33 a.m. What time did the race start?
  3. Marci was babysitting for her cousin. Her cousin was gone for 3 hours and 40 minutes. Marci left at 9:57 p.m. What time did she start babysitting? 
  4. Caleb and his friends went to see a movie at 7:35 p.m. They left at 10:05 p.m. How long was the movie?
  5. Francine got to work at 8:10 a.m. She left at 3:45 p.m. How long did Francine work?
  6. Brandon went to bed at 9:15 p.m. It took him 23 minutes to fall asleep. What time did Brandon fall asleep?
  7. Kelli had to wait in a long, slow-moving line to purchase a popular new video game that was just released. She got in line at 9:15 a.m. She left with the game at 11:07 a.m. How long did Kelli wait in line?
  8. Jaydon went to batting practice Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. He left at 11:42 a.m. How long was he at batting practice?
  9. Ashton got behind on her reading assignment, so she had to read four chapters last night. She started at 8:05 p.m. and finished at 9:15 p.m. How long did it take Ashton to catch up on her assignment?
  1. Natasha has a dentist appointment at 10:40 a.m. It should last 35 minutes. What time will she finish?
  2. Mrs. Kennedy’s 3rd-grade class is going to the aquarium on a field trip. They are scheduled to arrive at 9:10 a.m. and leave at 1:40 p.m. How long will they spend at the aquarium?

Elapsed Time Games

Try these games and activities at home to help your children practice elapsed time.

Daily Schedule

Let your children keep track of their schedule and ask them to figure the elapsed time for each activity. For example, how long did your child spend eating breakfast, reading, taking a bath, or playing video games?

How Long Will It Take?

Give your kids practice with elapsed time by encouraging them to figure out how long daily activities take. For example, the next time you order a pizza online or by phone, you'll probably be given an estimated delivery time. Use that information to create a word problem that's relevant to your child's life, such as, "It's 5:40 p.m. now and the pizza shop says the pizza will be here at 6:20 p.m. How long will it take for the pizza to arrive?"

Time Dice

Order a set of time dice from online retailers or teacher supply stores. The set contains two twelve-sided dice, one with numbers representing the hours and the other with numbers representing minutes. Take turns rolling the time dice with your child. Each player should roll twice, then calculate the elapsed time between the two resulting dice times. (A pencil and paper will come in handy, as you'll want to jot down the time of the first roll.)

Elapsed Time Word Problem Answers

  1. 40 minutes
  2. 6:05 p.m.
  3. 12:20 p.m.
  4.  2 hours and 2 minutes
  5. 4:19 p.m.
  6. 6 hours and 34 minutes
  7. 7:42 p.m.
  8. 4:10 p.m.
  9. 1:30 p.m.
  10. 7:16 p.m.
  11. 8:16 a.m.
  12. 6:17 p.m.
  13. 2 hours and 30 minutes
  14. 7 hours and 35 minutes
  15. 9:38 p.m.
  16. 1 hour and 52 minutes
  17. 3 hours and 12 minutes
  18. 1 hour and 10 minutes
  19. 11:15 a.m.
  20. 4 hours and 30 minutes