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Learn How to Solve a Time Word Problem

In today’s post, we are going to work with time word problems. We’ll take a look at some examples and solve them together.

Let’s begin!

Time Word Problem 1: The Sailboat Race

time word problem

In a sailboat race, the winning boat completed two distances in the following times: 2 min 22 seconds and 3 min 45 seconds.  How much time did it take the sailboat to finish from the beginning to the end?

We want to know the total time that it took for the sailboat to finish.  So, we’ll need to add the times of the two distances. time word problemHere, we see that the seconds add up to 67 seconds, which is more than 60 seconds. We can’t leave the final answer in seconds. Instead, we’ll need to express the 67 seconds in minutes and seconds: time word problemAs a result, it took the boat 6 minutes and 7 seconds to cross the finish line.

Time Word Problem 2: Flight to NYC

time word problem

When Alex arrived at the airport, he looked at his watch and it was 5:45 a.m., exactly 3 hours before his next flight to NYC. If his next flight left on time and took exactly 114 minutes, what was the time on his watch when he arrived in NYC?

We need to calculate the amount of time that passed since the moment Alex looked at his watch until when he landed in NYC. The first thing we need to do is figure out when the plane took off. The text told us that exactly 3 hours passed, so he left at 8:45 a.m.

Now, we need to calculate when he landed. The flight took 114 minutes, which is more than 60 minutes. That means we need to change it so the answer is expressed in hours and minutes: time word problemThen, we can add on the time that passed to the initial time when the plane took off:time word problem99 minutes are more than 60, which means we need to change it to hours and minutes:

time word problemAs we can see above, Alex’s plane landed in NYC at 10:39 a.m.

What did you think about this post? Did it help you understand how to solve time word problems?

If you want to practice more time word problems, and others, create an account on Smartick and try it for free!

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Diane Ackerman
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  • Randy WaiteOct 13 2023, 12:26 PM


  • Maya NgMay 23 2022, 1:55 AM

    The equation here is not what I need but, thanks for giving those equations

  • Joy AdiaboApr 29 2020, 2:01 PM

    Please can i learn online with you

    • SmartickApr 30 2020, 2:53 AM

      Of course!

      • Anuforoh EmmanuelJul 03 2021, 4:21 AM

        As an educator, I find this very educative. Students can develop a time-conscious attitude when dealing with maths problems.