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I believe that for most electron configurations, we will have to write the entire configuration. However, if an element has an excessively long electron configuration, such as Strontium, we most likely will be able to use the shorthand notation.
For both the midterm and future tests, we should write the whole electron configuration instead of the shorthand notation because not only will you be more safe than sorry, you will gain better understanding of how to write electron configurations accurately.
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