Students taking science or chemistry as a subject would have undoubtedly come across a ‘bunch of boxes’ containing all the elements that have been discovered to date. Today, we shall quickly revise through what are some of the main features of a periodic table.

Figure 1 shows a portion of periodic table that students are expected to be familiar with.

The elements are arranged in a periodic table from left to right in ascending order according to the atomic number, also known as the proton number. Hydrogen is the first element of the table, with an atomic number of 1, helium is the second element, with an atomic number of 2, and so on. On the other hand, another number called relative atomic mass is found at the bottom of the element name. Students are to take note that there are many versions of the periodic table and to read the key before assuming the meaning of the numbers as some periodic tables have different convention of placing the number (e.g. some may place the atomic number at the bottom of each box and the relative atomic mass number at the top of each box).

One of the first few ways we were taught to categorise the periodic table is probably to group the elements are metal and non-metals. In general, the metals are located at the left of the periodic table while the non-metals are located at the right side of the periodic table. THis can be seen in the demarcation shown in Figure 2. Note: hydrogen is a non-metal.

Figure 2: Classifying metals vs. non-metals

The boxes in the periodic table are also arranged in rows and columns. The rows are called the periods, with the first row, second row, third row being called period 1, period 2, period 3 respectively and so on. The columns are called Group, ranging from Group I, Group II to Group VII and then Group 0. Take note that the group numbers have to be referred using the Roman numerals.

And so this sums up a simple quick guide on periodic table. Secondary Tuition Singapore provides an even more in-depth lessons on the periodic table for students who would like to join our Secondary Chemistry Tuition. Come learn from our teachers to master chemistry concepts in no time. The teachers can also teach topics like electrolysis, metals and organic chemistry.

Call Sze Chuan @ 90907959 to join the Secondary Chemistry Tuition.

Alternatively, you can also learn more about our related Secondary and JC Tuition classes conducted by tutors in the centres located at Bishan and Bedok, such as EconomicsFocus, and SGEducators.