Did you have to memorize the periodic table for a chemistry class in high school and was it beneficial in college or life?

7 Answers

Yes I did have to memorize it when I took advanced placement Chemistry in high school and no it was not beneficial in college or in life so far after high school though it did help while I was in high school for me to get accepted into college.

I don't do a job that requires me knowing anything about the periodic table of elements.

I did not take any science classes in college that required me to know the periodic table of elements or have any knowledge of what was on the table of elements. I had to memorize it in Chemistry because one of my tests in that class was to memorize it and have the different specific numbers relevant to the chemical nature of the elements something that I had to know for the advanced placement test, but otherwise it has had no bearing on my existence post high school.

At best the benefit was in being able to understand the importance of rare earth metals when I judge debate and I judge an event called extemporaneous speaking where current events are discussed in an extemporaneous way, but that is about the only time since high school I've even had to consider whether I knew of the existence of something on the periodic table of elements or not. It didn't really give me any benefit to know where on the periodic table of elements the rare earth metal was other than to just know the information. I didn't gain anything from the knowledge. I didn't earn more money. I didn't get a job because of it. None of my grades had any impact whether I knew the elements or not.

All in all I'd say it was not beneficial in college or life for me to memorize the periodic table of elements other than for the benefit that it gave me for helping me to get an A in advanced placement Chemistry when I was a junior in high school. I suppose that helped me to the extent that it helped me get into college, so yes I suppose that in some way leading up to going to college I was able to demonstrate competency by doing well in the Chemistry class and that helped me to demonstrate that I was a good candidate to be allowed into a college that I applied to.


Yes, I did have to remember it. However, for me, after high school I never had to use it again. If you go into the fields of science, engineering and medical, then I would think that it would be very useful in college and in life in general. Outside of those fields I believe it has limited value although we are all impacted by the elements on the table. In addition, by learning those elements, it makes you look less "uneducated" later in your life. So perhaps the memorization of the periodic table may not necessarily be beneficial in life, understanding some of the elements included is beneficial. Many of those elements show up in your foods, clothing, laundry detergents, cleaning chemicals and industry pollutions. Knowing the elements can help you make better choices and know what may be good for you, harmful for you and what you may need to fight to have eliminated from your everyday life.


I was required to memorize the periodic table in high school, and I remember thinking it was absolutely pointless. For the most part, I was right. I was a pre-medical student in college so I ended up taking a lot of chemistry courses, but in all of my courses the periodic table was given to us in exams and during class.

There are a few common elements that were good to memorize (and we worked with them so much that we ended up memorizing them anyway) such as C, O, N, H, and the noble gases. Its a bit convenient to know their molecular weights and positions in the periodic table. But, as I said, all of the college chemistry courses I took always gave us a table for reference.


I didn't have to memorize the periodic table in high school, but I did do an extra credit memorization of The Gettysburg Address. The periodic table strikes me as more useful, but of course a bit harder to memorize than a short speech. If you do go on to a chemistry-related field, it's certainly not going to hurt you to know names and symbols and weights and whatnot off the top of your head.

Just memorizing something, anything, is good for your mental muscles. If this is a requirement in your class, then I say, go all in. Memorize the parts you're supposed to, and memorize bits you don't even have to memorize. Be able to recite the table backwards.


I was never required to memorize the periodic table (ie. the atomic number and atomic mass), but we did have to memorize properties of each group and some various periodic trends (eg. atomic radius or ionization energy).
However, when I took chemistry in school, I found that I memorized the numbers and masses of the most common elements just because they were used so much in the problems that were assigned to me.


Wow it's been a long time since my Chemistry days in high school and university. I have to admit though knowing the Periodic table at heart in high school had helped immensely when I was taking up Chemisty subjects in university.

It was a big help in solving chemical balance equations when you know exactly number of protons and electrons each of the chemicals have.


I had to memorize the periodic table of the elements in high school but only the compounds themselves and not their atomic weights. The knowledge has been useless to me ever since in a career spent in HR and in business. It would only be useful now for the science questions in Trivia Crack that go beyond H being hydrogen and O being oxygen.