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We don't know how to calculate electronegativity, and for the most part it is determined in a lab setting anyway. If the elements are close together, then the values will likely be given. Otherwise we need to use our knowledge of periodic trends to determine the least/most electronegative element :)
No, we do not need to know the discrete values; however, we must understand the relationships between elements and what makes them more or less electronegative than others. Electronegativity is more conceptual rather than calculated in this class, ie being able to understand that electronegativity is affected by a multitude of factors (most prominently by electron affinity and ionization energy) rather than merely plugging and chugging into equations mindlessly.
When you are asked to calculate the difference of electronegativity, the values will be given. More importantly, you need to know how to compare each element in a periodic table to figure out, for example, which bond has more ionic or covalent characteristics.
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