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The s2p6 octet is usually what gets filled with electrons. But once you pass the second period on the periodic table and reach n=3 there is the d sublevel, in addition to the s and p orbitals, which can accommodate more electrons.
Once you get to the third row, you have the 3d orbital to consider. Remember that the transition metals are one less than the row they're in, meaning the ones in the n=4 row have the 3d configuration. This means that the elements in the third row can use the d orbital to exceed the octet rule. It is stated that P, S, and Cl can have expanded octets because the elements before it in the third row, like Al or Na lose electrons.
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