From the Super Mario Wiki
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A Time Limit (or simply Time) is a staple of the main Mario franchise platformer games, and its basic purpose is to notify the player of how much time is allotted to complete a level or task; if the timer reaches zero, the player loses a life regardless of power ups, including invincibility from a Super Star (and if time runs out when the player has no more lives left, they receive a Game Over). A timer's count is approximately 0.6 or 0.7 seconds (in Super Mario Bros., one in-game count lasts 0.4 seconds, which is 24 frames in 60Hz NTSC or 20 frames in 50Hz PAL, and in New Super Luigi U and the Super Mario Maker games, it lasts exactly one second). When the time limit decreases to below 100 seconds, the "hurry up" jingle plays to warn that the player is running low on time and the level's music plays at a faster speed. In newer Mario games, starting with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, if Mario loses a life after hitting a Checkpoint Flag, the time limit will be reduced when he restarts the level from that point.
Once the player finishes a level, the remaining time is multiplied by a number (usually 50) and then added to the player's score (or coin total in Super Mario 3D Land). With few exceptions (e.g. in Super Mario World, Super Mario 3D Land, and Super Mario 3D World), it is impossible to increase a level's time limit. In Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario 3D World, the time limit glows red when it goes below 100, and also beeps for every second at the last 10 seconds.
Time limits additionally appear in several other games such as in the Mario Kart series, Mario Party series, Super Smash Bros. series, and various Mario sports games where they function as a simple timer for a given game session. In Mario & Wario, a variation of the usual timer called the Time Gauge (タイムゲージ) appears, which is represented by a bar rather than numbers.
In Super Mario 3D Land, the icon for the Time Limit is a + Clock.