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I'm not sure if i completely understand your question but valance electrons in an atom are the electrons in the outer shell. So for example, Carbon has 4 valence electrons but the amount of bonds can vary based on what other element it is bonding with and what gives all atoms involved a complete octet. Elements in the third level such as Phosphorus i believe, can have more than an octet in a lewis stucure. If you are referring to lewis structures, you want to make sure your lewis structure has enough lone pairs and bonds so it adds up to the total number of valance electrons in the molecule. Hope this helps!
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