Initial Setting Time is regarded as the time elapsed between the moment that the water is added to the cement to the time that the paste starts losing its plasticity.
In actual construction dealing with cement paste, mortar, or concrete, a particular time is required to mix, transport, place, compact, and finish. During this time, cement paste, mortar, or concrete should be in plastic condition. The time interval for which the cement products remain in the plastic condition is known as Initial Setting Time.
The final setting time should not be more than 10 hours.
Usually, a minimum of 30 minutes is given for mixing and handling operations.
Final Setting Time elapsed between the moment water is added to the cement and the time when the paste has wholly lost its plasticity and has attained sufficient firmness to resist absolute definite pressure.
The constituents and fineness of cement are maintained to remain in plastic condition for a particular minimum time. Once the concrete is placed in the final position, compacted and finished, it should lose its plasticity in the earliest possible time to be least vulnerable to damages from external destructive agencies.
Hope you get the concept.