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I think it will be valuable to know, you can look it up online and you will be able to see that the metals, non metals, noble gases etc. are grouped together. This will be good to know when we start getting asked about characteristics of elements and what happens during the reaction, etc. You should look in to it for sure!
I don't think we need to remember exactly what metals are part of which group but if you are given the general region the element is on the periodic table, I think you should be able to know because they are grouped pretty easily. But I do think you should know the basics like oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, etc and such are nonmetals and copper, silver, tin, etc are metals.
Yes- it will be helpful when recognizing ionic (metal and nonmetal sharing electrons) or covalent bonds (between two nonmetals). Also it's good to keep in mind their valence electrons for when we will be drawing their Lewis Dot Structures.
Does anyone know if we should know the elements' chemical symbols too?
You'll be given a periodic table on the test, so memorizing all of the elements' symbols is likely not necessary. It's good to know most of the symbols for the more common atoms for efficiency, though. Maybe consciously make note of common experimental elements that have symbols notably different from the names (e.g. sodium and silver)
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