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Due to hunds rule, the orbitals of the atoms will fill based on that, therefore if you know what block the atom is located in you can figure out how the orbitals are going to fill with one electron in each orbital before filling both spots. You will have to back track the element based on location on the periodic table.
If you were to write the electron configuration out you can look to see which electrons are in the highest #orbital. Those electrons with the highest n value, are the ones in your valence shell (the outermost electrons). You can then count how many there are using the periodic table or simply observing how many are in each orbital.
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