Elapsed Time

The concept of elapsed time is one of the trickiest concepts in mathematics. In this guide, we will explore interesting and simple ways to explain this concept in an easy way. This helps us measure how much time has passed between two different moments. Let’s dive in and discover the exciting world of elapsed time!

What is Elapsed Time?

Elapsed time is the amount of time that has passed between two specific events or moments. It helps us answer questions like “How much time did it take?” or “How long did it last?” For example, if you start watching your favorite TV show at 3:00 PM and finish at 4:30 PM, the elapsed time is one hour and thirty minutes.

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Tools for Measuring Elapsed Time :

To measure elapsed time, we use different tools such as clocks, watches, or timers. These tools help us keep track of time and understand how much time has gone by. We’ll mainly focus on reading analog clocks with hour and minute hands.

Reading Analogue Clocks :

Analogue clocks have two hands : an hour hand and a minute hand. The hour hand is shorter, while the minute hand is longer. Here’s how you can read an analogue clock to determine the time:

The hour hand points to the hour, such as 1, 2, 3, and so on.

The minute hand points to the minutes, such as 5, 10, 15, and so on.

Remember, the minute hand moves faster than the hour hand.

Finding Elapsed Time :

To find the elapsed time between two events, follow these steps:

  • Identify the starting time and the ending time.
  • Look at the hour and minute hands of the clock for both times.
  •  Calculate the difference in hours and minutes between the two times.
  • Simplify the answer if needed.

Example 1 : You start playing at 3:15 PM and finish at 4:30 PM. What is the elapsed time?

Starting Time : 3:15 PM Ending Time : 4:30 PM

Hour:Minutes : 15 Hour : 4 Minutes : 30

Calculating the Elapsed Time :

Hours : 3 – 2 = 1 hour

Minutes : 30 – 15 = 15 minutes

Example 2 : Look at this clock. Right now, the clock shows 9:05. What time was it 15 minutes ago?

To solve this problem, move the minute hand back 15 minutes. Since the minute hand crosses over the 12, the hour changes too.

Simplifying the Answer :

The elapsed time is 15 minutes.

Elapsed time helps us measure the duration between two events. By learning to read analog clocks and using simple calculations, we can find the elapsed time accurately. So, let’s keep exploring and discovering the fascinating world of time measurement through captivating stories and other teaching resources.

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Uncle Math 9 to 11 Years App Banner


Teaching elapsed time with kid-friendly, clear, and easy-to-understand posters from Uncle Math School by Fun2Do Labs :


Learning elapsed time can be made enjoyable by incorporating interactive games and activities. 

Tick…Tick….Tick :

In this fun activity, we will measure how long it takes for each team to complete different tasks.

  • The teacher will give each team five tasks to work on. Here’s the exciting part: a volunteer from the opposing team will keep track of the time, noting when the task begins and when it ends. They will write these timestamps on a special board dedicated to the activity.
  • Once all the tasks are finished by both teams, the volunteers will return to their respective teams. Now comes the teamwork! Each team will analyze the timestamps written on the board and calculate how much time they took for each task.
  • It’s like solving a mystery and discovering the elapsed time.


Help your kids practise the concept of elapsed time with interesting and engaging fun worksheets and solutions from Uncle Math by Fun2Do Labs.

Worksheet 397 : Elapsed Time
Solution 397 : Elapsed Time

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