Difference between Turn Around Time (TAT) and Waiting Time (WT) in CPU Scheduling

In CPU Scheduling, we often need to find average Turnaround and Waiting Time with the help of Arrival, Burst and Completion Time. Let’s have a brief look of them:

Turnaround Time (TAT):

  1. It is the time interval from the time of submission of a process to the time of the completion of the process.
  2. Difference b/w Completion Time and Arrival Time is called Turnaround Time.

Completion Time (CT): This is the time when the process completes it’s execution.
Arrival Time (AT): This is the time when the process has arrived in the ready state.


Waiting Time (WT):

  1. The time spent by a process waiting in the ready queue for getting the CPU.
  2. The time difference b/w Turnaround Time and Burst Time is called Waiting Time.

Burst Time (BT): This is the time required by the process for it’s execution.


Now with Waiting Time and Burst Time we can also calculate Turn Around Time via:



Process Burst Time (in sec.)
P1 24
P2 3
P3 4


Figure – Gantt Chart

Avg. TAT = (24 + 27 + 31) / 3 = 27.33 sec
Avg. WT  = (0 + 24 + 27) / 3 = 17.0 sec 

Let’s see the difference between Turnaround Time and Waiting Time:

S.No. Turn Around Time Waiting Time
1. The time since the process entered into ready queue for execution till the process completed it’s execution. The time process spent in the ready queue and for I/O completion.
2. Different CPU Scheduling algorithms produce different TAT for the same set of processes. CPU Scheduling Algorithm doesn’t affect the amount of time during which a process executes or does I/O but only the amount of time that a process spends waiting in the ready queue.
3. The turnaround time is generally limited by the speed of the output device. Waiting time has no such major effect.

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