The periodic table is used a lot in chemistry. It has lots of information on it and if you know how to use it properly, it can really give you the edge when it comes to getting marks in the exam. Here are some handy tips on the importance of the periodic table.
Do I need to memorise the period table for GCSE Chemistry?
No! Unless you want to (seriously) impress someone, then you do not need to memorise the periodic table. However you do need to learn about it and be able to identify certain patterns and explain properties of some of the elements in it. Let's look at the groups first.
What are groups in the periodic table?
The groups are vertical columns that contain elements and are numbered from 1 to 8. In fact group 8 is more often called group 0. You’ll see the group numbers on the periodic table at the top of the columns. There are many elements however, that are not in groups. These are the transition elements and they are all metals. They do not have numbers at the top of their columns.
Which groups do I need to know about?
For GCSE Chemistry you will need to learn the features (we usually use the word properties) of group 1, 7 and 0. Once you learn these you can often apply the information to questions in exams.
The diagram on the left is from our instagram account and you can see a neat little summary of the groups mentioned here and their key properties. Click the image to see this post and lots of others.
Will I get a periodic table in my exam?
Yes. You should get a copy of the periodic table with your exam. Something that is often missed - there is a key on the periodic table that could help you with certain exam questions. The key tells you what the numbers linked to each element are. The bottom number, the atomic (proton) number, is useful because it tells you the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom. This then tells you the number of electrons (it's the same number).
This key is found on the copy of the periodic table you get in your exams (arrows are drawn in on this copy).
If you want your own copy of the periodic table, click the image to get a jpeg that you can keep on your computer, your phone or print out.
Click on the image and get your own copy of the periodic table. A printed version at you desk will come in very handy and it has QR codes to our website and YouTube channel for more help, if you need it.
Get a pdf of the periodic table.
So that's it. A quick guide to the periodic table in GCSE Chemistry. Remember, our free resources page has links to register for free to see all the paper 1 videos for AQA GCSE Science. Visit often to see our growing number of resources to help you with science.