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Writing out the d block elements' electric configurations would help you immensely in counting their valence electrons! Just remember to only count electrons in the outermost shell. The electron configuration of Zinc is formally [Ar] 3d¹⁰4s², but you should only focus on the electrons in the outermost shell (4th shell).
Well one one of the best ways to find out the valence electrons is to simply just how many electrons it took to get to the final shell that it has which you can tell from that period. From there, whatever is left will be the Valence electrons.
Yes I believe most d-block elements will only have the s-shell valence electrons of the energy level above the d. This is helpful to know when considering making cations from these metals. The electrons will be removed from the outermost shell which consists only of its highest energy s-shell electrons. So if I have Zn2+, it will have an electron configuration of [Ar] 3d10. Likewise, Ga3+ will also have [Ar] 3d10.
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