Memorizing the Periodic Table for time


Hey guys, first post on this forum, LOVE the place, have been surfing around for quite some time!

I thought it would be interesting to see how long it’d take people to memorize the periodic table, and achieving 100% recall. What needs to be memorized is:

Name of the element

Its symbol

Its atomic number

Time starts when you begin memorizing the first element, ends once you achieve full recall of all the required information.

This is not ment as a competition, but rather, it’d be interesting to see at what speeds people can retain valuable information that most who are untrained in this art couldn’t absorb in a lifetime.

There are several ways to approach this. You could memorize it all in a single sitting, or do multiple over the course of however long you decide. Just keep an eye on the clock and add up to its total time invested, and share which approach you used. Also, please do share how you went about memorizing the information.

Good luck guys!


Bump! Nvm, found it.


Hi WrOx88,

How did you get on? any tips before I tuck into this?


I did this. Hardest part was prepping a palace. Took me like 3 days to do up to #80. Then took me another week to do the rest. Lost a lot of momemtum with the difficult names and having to stretch out a small palace. But it’s done.


Grammar edit.


Well done for completing this challenge. Did you go for a straight 80 locations or group into areas for the different groups of the periodic table?


I learnt it just a month ago, didn’t really time myself but Anki says I’ve spent around 5 minutes per day and it took me a month and a half (Yeah, I wasn’t rushing lol), so around 4 hours ^^. Well this also include all the reviewing, I probably could’ve done this all at once in the same amount of time but then I would forget it quickly without reviews.
As for my method well nothing crazy, I associated an image with each element (Quite hard sometime, just to give you an idea “Zirconium” = “The Cone” for me xD (‘The’ pronounced with a foreign accent gives the ‘Zi’) ), and then I used the major system for the atomic numbers. The symbols were pretty easy, just used a tiny bit of mnemotechnics for some annoying elements, like : Thorium: Th, Thallium: Tl, Thulium: Tm. Ugh, it can’t get any more confusing!


10 non-consecutive hours. I used Graceland virtual tour to do the first 50 and maps from a video game through 109 elements.


Old post, but anyway. Back in school I actually did this, but I didn’t use any special technique, just repeating over and over again and thus it got “printed into my brain”. Sometimes I treated the atomic number as a year and used the name to connect to some historic event. I remember one of those:

Number 49 - Indium - the year 1949 is approximately when India got independant -> so Indium ~ India

Number 67 - Holmium - I was born in 1967, we lived in a part of the town by then that actually was called „Holm“, so this element always was easy for me

I cannot recall how it took me to learn them all, but the first half of the table or so went quickly, most of the elements were introduced in school anyway and so we knew many of them in advance. The last half, and especially the ones above number 80 (I remember Mercury here!) took longer. I would guess all in all it took a few weeks to get them all in place.

Then I had fun trying to encode words and sentences using the symbols and substituting the number, like so:

fun = F U N = 9 92 7 or 099207 (two digits always, ignoring the ones above 99)

This helped a lot in consolidating the stuff. I am fascinated by the fact that I know quite some of those still after more than 30 years! I was a lot of fun back then, I really enjoyed it!