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Practicing one component in one time to learn the whole

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Most often questions are designed that tests the understanding of whole instead of its components. Students miserably fail to solve these problems due to lack of enough practice of its components.



So systematically breaking down the whole concept into its required components is important. e.g. Take this question:
[Cr(NH3)6]3+ is paramagnetic while [Ni(CN)4]2- is diamagnetic. Explain why?

To start solving this question you have to know the following components:
1) You have to know the atomic number of Cr and Ni. If you have forgotten the atomic number or not memorized it, you are out of luck to solve it.
So, has the teacher or the book has given memory tricks to memorize the periodic table.
2) After you know the atomic number, do you know the electronic configuration of the metal atom?
3) Then, can you determine the electronic configuration of metal ion?
4) Do you know how to calculate the oxidation state, because you need to calculate the charge of metal ion?
5) Have you memorized the…