I’m wondering if anyone has taken the PRC’s Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, either advanced or beginner/intermediate. If so, how were your results? How long had you studied Chinese before you took the exam? How would you describe your reading comprehension and writing skills at the time of taking the exam? What parts did you find easier or more difficult? Also, does the ROC have a standardized exam that is comparable to the HSK? I’d love to hear about your experiences.
No, Taiwan does not have this kind of test. I also think the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi is a good idea, and wish they would adopt a version of it here (of course it would have to be in traditional characters, hehe).
I’ve heard a few times that one is under development, but I’ve never seen anything concrete.
When I studied at the then-Stanford center, the placement test was something like the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi. Does anyone know what they use for placement tests now?
I did the elementary/intermediate HSK in May, and got level 5, which is elementary A. I think I probably should have done better than that, as I’ve been learning chinese for nearly four years now. The listening section was the hardest for me (I got level 4 on that) - probably because after the first year in Taiwan I’ve been learning in Chinese in London. I got level 6 on the reading and grammar sections.
If you are on the mainland now you can get lots of preparation books, example tests etc. There’s also a specific vocabulary list for the test, which makes it easier to prepare. There is very little writing in the elem/intermediate test - just a few single characters to fill in at the end - and no speaking, so it is really only testing your reading and listening.
I did level 6 after 2 years of studying the basics back home in europe and one year in mainland. it’s not that difficult, i’d say, most important seem to be the different usages of synonyms like weihu, baohu or zhaogu or the like. good luck
www.supermemo.com is the best
a friend helped me to inquire about this early this year at either Taida or Shida (i can’t remeber). They told him that they were in the process of developing a similar test here and that we should inquire again later in the year. I still haven’t gotten around to it but you could give it a try.
They are only starting to develope a test a Shida, but the thing is, it is not official and not recognized internationally. As for me, I don’t like to take tests just for fun, so to me it is not useful at all.
I’d love to take some kind of test like that. I wish they’d get their fingers out and hurry up with preparing it – surely it can’t be such a gargantuan task to at least launch a pilot version. It would help to make Taiwan a more attractive place for foreigners to come and study Chinese instead of the mainland, which ought to be, and supposedly is, something that the government would like to achieve.
I want to report on this past weekend. I went over to Guangzhou to take the HSK at Jinan University. I thought I had practiced quite a bit for the past couple of months. I probably did about a dozen practice exams. Even before I took the exam, I knew that it’s not too scientific. The range for the basic-intermediate exam is from 1 to 8. I think most universities/colleges require at least a 5 if you want to study for a degree. When practicing, my scores were all over the “intermediate” part of the scale, from 5 to 8. My average for all the practice exams was a mid to low seven. I’ve never experienced variation that big before when practicing for a standardized exam. Most TOEFL takers I know say that they pretty much get the same score every time they take a practice exam. That would be after they’ve practiced a couple of times just to become thoroughly familiar with the exam and begin to control their time well.
The real deal was harder than the practice exams. I used three different practice books-all from different publisers-so it wasn’t as though I had just picked up a relatively easy test prep guide. Strangely, many parts that had been difficult on the practice exams were really easy on the real exam, while easy parts on the practice exams were more difficult on the real thing. The listening comprehension part was a bit faster than all the practice tapes I had listened to. When I left, I felt like I’d be lucky to get a 5.
My wife came to the university and waited for me while I did the exam. 416 people took the exam that day. We only counted three other westerners and we saw four or five south asians. All the rest seemed to be from Vietnam, Korea, Japan, etc. I talked to a Vietnamese lady who has been studying at Jinan for the past year. Her accent was a bit rough in a few places, but everything else about her spoken Chinese was at least as good as mine. She and a British guy I talked to had both taken the exam before. They both said that the difficulty of each part has been quite different each time. The only conclusion I can make about the difficulty and scoring is that the only way you can be certain of getting an eight is if your Chinese is at a near native speaker level and you are nailing eights on all your practice exams. For anybody who is what we would call an advanced second language speaker in the west, you will probably float around the middle of the scale every time you practice or take the real exam. In this respect, I think the exam is pretty useless for precisely determining most people’s proficiency levels. I’ve taken the ACTFL oral proficiency exam a few times in a short period, and I’ve gotten “advanced high” every time. The HSK just isn’t that consistent. Maybe it will get better as the test writers gain more experience, but I won’t be holding my breath. I still want to get an eight, though.
I also had a pretty big revelation after the HSK. We went to the
Shi-Da, in conjunction with two other institutions, has launched its own Chinese test for non-native speakers. The first test was done at Shi-Da just the other day (20 December, I think.) From now on the test will be held every six months, so you can go to Shi-Da and ask when the next one will be.
FYI I was in the first class to graduate with a BA from Beijing Languages University (then Beijing Languages Institute - now they have dropped the word “Culture”) in 1982. I also did a test run for HSK at Beijing Normal University in 1992 and did rather badly. I think there was something wrong with my headphones - or was it my head?
[quote=“Juba”]Shi-Da, in conjunction with two other institutions, has launched its own Chinese test for non-native speakers. The first test was done at Shi-Da just the other day (20 December, I think.) From now on the test will be held every six months, so you can go to Shi-Da and ask when the next one will be.
FYI I was in the first class to graduate with a BA from Beijing Languages University (then Beijing Languages Institute - now they have dropped the word “Culture”) in 1982. I also did a test run for HSK at Beijing Normal University in 1992 and did rather badly. I think there was something wrong with my headphones - or was it my head?[/quote]
I know it’s been a while since you studied at BLCU, but how did you feel about the program they had when you were there? I often toy with the idea of going back to study full time, but I’ve never really been serious about it because I’ve never been very impressed with any programs. I was quite impressed with BLCU’s materials, though. I’d appreciate anything you could share about your experiences there.
Scrub this :moo:
I got my HSK score report this week. I thought I’d share the results with everyone. My overall score was a 5, or Elementary A. The exam has a total of 400 points. I got 271 for my overall score. My score breaks down as follows:
Listening: 54%(grade 4)
Grammar: 84% (grade 8)
Reading Comprehension: 76% (grade 7)
Combined Skills: 62% (grade 5)
On the scale of total points, I should have gotten a 6; I think the reason I was given a 5 is because the range of my scores was so wide. I need to look back at the scoring guidelines. The score report also tells you how you performed compared to all the other students who took the exam in China in that month. I scored into the 88th percentile. I guess that makes me feel a little better. I was also quite disappointed by my picture on the certificate; it’s too grainy and I look fat.
Thank you so much for sharing that story. I just decided this past week to do HSK Level I and then hopefully HSK Level II next year. However, there are no materials avail. here in Okinawa and we are forced to pay our (mainlander) Chinese teachers outrageous prices for the simple introductory materials. They are making a killing off of us. IF ANYONE IS WILLING TO PART WITH USED HSK MATERIALS IN TAIWAN, I am coming to Taiwan in April and would love to buy them off you. I am a beginner.
ALSO, PLEASE NOTE THAT HSK IS ADMINISTERED AT UNIV. OF RYUKYUS IN OKINAWA TWICE A YEAR You could fly in and out on the same day. 8000NT return.