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When writing electron configurations, I believe you always write the 3d block before writing the 4s and 4p blocks. The 3d block is lower in energy so even if the entire block is not full you write it before the 4s block. For example, for Vanadium you would write [Ar]3d^3 4s^2. So even though, the 3d block in this example is not full, you still write it before the 4s block.
The 3d subshell becomes higher in energy once an electron enters the 4s subshell. Thus, you fill up 4s before filling 3d, even thought he energy level of 3d is lower. Once you begin to fill the 3d, it becomes lower in energy. So in an electron configuration, you always write 3d before 4s. Once into the 4p, it becomes the highest energy subshell.
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