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To memorize or not to memorize

I suppose to really learn all those chemical elements in the Periodic Table you have to have some type of learning tactic. I never really understood why some professor insisted in memorizing the Periodic Table when it's already shown in the back or front covers of textbooks. So, my point is that I would emphasize to memorize or learn the trends of the Periodic Table. For instance, the atomic radii, electronegativity, ionic trends, type of elements (Earth, Noble gases) to just name a few. But I think the most important aspect of the Periodic Table would be that this is the place to find the number of protons, electrons, atomic mass, and other useful information. Maybe the best way to memorize the Periodic Table is to really understand the trends and how it works in analyzing elements.