Tricks to Learn Periodic Table

5 minute read
Tricks to Learn Periodic Table

Chemistry students find it quite difficult to memorise the elements in the periodic table beyond the 20 or 30 element mark. You might remember the beginning order of Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Calcium but then you will end up getting confused whether Scandium comes next or Titanium. However, due to the need for quick calculation required during engineering and other competitive exams, it becomes all the more important for students to remember the names of elements on your fingertips. To help you with the same, this blog aims to elaborate some useful tips and tricks to learn the periodic table that will surely come in handy simplifying your calculations.

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Periodic Table of Elements
Periodic Table of Elements

Plan a Strategy (Snail-paced or Ferrari-like)

One of the significant tricks to learn periodic table is that you need to know what you are good at and which method suits you. Whether you like to divide the table into small chunks for easy memorizing or you want to remember them together in a continuous order. Whatever method you choose, stick to it throughout the preparation phase.

Break down the Periodic Table

Instead of mugging up the whole table of elements at once, the best and efficient way to learn the periodic table is to break it down into element groups or color groups and try memorizing it one row at a time or taking a set of 20 elements. Try making these chunks of elements, master each group completely and then move on to the next one.

Use Shortcuts and Mnemonics

Mnemonics, acronyms and acrostics are amongst the clever tricks to learn periodic table. Pick elements, associate and relate them to names, places, animals or to the things around you. Here is an example of efficiently memorizing the elements by making them into a sentence.

Here he lies beneath bed clothes, nothing on, feeling nervous

The letters in bold can be written as: He Li Be B C N O F Ne and you can learn the elements with the help of an entirely unrelated statement. However, be careful, this method doesn’t stand for learning all of the 118 elements. Make chunks of it and utilise other tricks to learn periodic table by creating mnemonics or carving out your own techniques of memorization.

Sing it Out

Similar to how mnemonics work, our hummings are also a better way to make element association a bit less uninteresting. As one of the commonly used and creative tricks to learn periodic table, this technique requires you to choose a song that you love and connect it with the elements you want to learn. Or, you may choose to make your own song altogether if you want to be adventurous. Link your favourite tune to the elements of the periodic table and you have a potential magic wand of memorisation! Remember, don’t forget the song itself.

The Memory Palace Method

Having been tested for centuries, the Memory Palace method is one of the best tricks to learn periodic table. Using this method, you just have to think of a particular journey you take every day or any location that you know completely like your house. Now, remember the layout of your journey or the place you are thinking of, first visualize an object there and allot an element from the periodic table to that object.

For example, think about your house, imagine that there is a hydrogen lamp on the table below the TV set, then there is a painting on the sofa which shows a kid running with a helium balloon, and then you open a drawer which has lithium-ion batteries and so on!

Make Flash Cards

Another great memorization technique to learn periodic table is to make flashcards for different elements. You can buy flashcards and jot the elements down on them or either create flashcards by yourself and write down the element on one side and its atomic number, atomic weight, symbols etc. on the other side.

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Keep Testing Yourself

It is vital to keep the long-term memory fresh and alive in your prone-to-forget brain. While using the different tricks to learn periodic table, indulge your learning into your daily activities and then memorise. It is important that you go about it in an organic way rather than just hammering it out all night and then forgetting it altogether the next day.

Refer to Roots

Another unique technique amongst our list of tricks to learn periodic table is to learn the Greek, Latin and Roman roots of the elements. This gives you another name for every element increasing twofold your chances of recall. Helium comes from ‘helios’, lithium from ‘lithos’ and interestingly beryllium from the partly Sanskrit origin of the ‘city of Belur’. Discover the roots, you will surely have a little less exhausting time memorising the table.

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Use Your Visual Memory

Train your visual memory to handle the load of your memorising. You have a higher probability to recall objects you see every day such as fruits, toys, games, or anything in comparison to learning by brute force, for instance, ‘hydrogen to hydrant’ and ‘lithium balloon’. Though this method is fairly well-backed by research, it takes more than usual to find something you can relate and make it stick into your brain. So, while using several other tricks to learn periodic table, try this technique for those elements which are seeming difficult while recalling.

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Remember the Mantra of Practice

The most important one out of all the tricks to learn periodic table is the very fact that you should not stop memorising. Also, remember that you need to keep testing yourself to retain the memory of your already learned elements afresh as well as to make new elements easy to recall. Be patient with yourself throughout the process and ensure that you are putting away some time for consistent practice.

Tricks to learn periodic table cover only a small aspect of your preparation for engineering-related exams such as JEE, GATE etc. Further, students struggle to effectively plan an approach suited to their needs and requirements. Come for a 30 mins free counselling session at Leverage Edu and get quality assistance not only for your exam but beyond it as well such as the selection of the course, university and admission process as our experts are here to ensure that you make informed decisions towards a rewarding career.

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