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Learn Chinese in China

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Challenge 2: Reading and writing level up! - IN PROGRESS

  • handwriting and typing all HSK3 600 characters in 1 month :) -> target speed of 40 characters per minute
  • and reading well, to read an HSK 3 book by month end -> target speed of 40 characters per minute

Challenge 1: HSK 0 to 3 exam - COMPLETE

  • Starting from scratch Getting to HSK 3 in the fastest time possible with a job and life :)

Entries in this blog


Day 12 - Which exam to write?


Today's hours: 1.5


LOL I l looked up HSK 3 600 words so a tonne more, but that's not the issue.. writing is!!! I only know maybe 5 characters off by heart :D :D  We'll see. Lets focus on two ad see how far I ge this week first. I may have to change my game plan. Regurgitating and cramming, and exam technique is easy for 1 and 2, but HSK 3 seems to be a different beast, so how to best get through 1 and 2 fast and yet benefit 3... mmm. I only have 9 days before payment deadline so I need to strategise.

  1. 30 minutes  Did Hello Chinese view and two sections
  2. 30 minutes Some vocab drills especially if I want to get those 600 in...
  3. 30 minutes Actual character practice to remember and not just mindlessly copying 

Day 11 - LWT and Coursera FTW :)


Today's hours -> 2.8

Well I've finally caught up updating so log is now current :) After yesterday's good mock tests, I am wondering if I cant even just go for HSK 3? More research needs to be done, regardless I registered for it... I'll pay if it seems feasible LOL :D 

  1. Spent too much time setting up learning with texts, but that's now done, also discovered opLingo.com for reading help. Lets see if I can begin to use the characters I know in context.
    1. Spent about 15 minutes reading, found some beginner texts and am getting around 50% on first try.
    2. Added new resource links to my notion
    3. Wondering if  I should record my passive learning time i.e. Chinese drama and cpop music... I could hear some words yesterday in the drama -> so totally cool :)
  2. Aim to finish one coursera course
    1. Done! took about 2 hours 40min to complete the last 3 weeks. I'm bushed.
    2. Completed the Taiwan Uni one, it was faster and loved that it was totally in Mandarin... I did notice some different words, but who cares, synonyms :) 
    3. I'll need to come back to it later, I passed the last quiz barely



First Entry - Day 1 to Day 7


Day 1. 29 April - 5 hours 30 minutes


So I read somewhere that HSK 1 can be done in 40 hours... so I decided ok lets try that then.


I have minimal learning exposure -I did some Yoyo Chinese pinyin about a year ago, and one coursera lesson when i decided to learn guzheng. But 40 hours is doable so hey why not.


On the other hand I have a lot of hours... thousands... under my belt of Chinese drama. Thing is I watch it usually at 2x speed so cant pick out a lot of individual words... I may have to slow hat down now sigh.


  1. At 4pm I started research spent about 90 minutes looking for resources, and figuring out what was required for HSK 1
    1. Joined discord servers, reddit groups etc
    2. Collected pdf's for practice
    3. set a game plan and updated my notion OS for learning the langauge, with resource links
    4. set up a new browser learning centre
  2. downloaded an app to use to track my time
  3. 45 minutes -> I then tested my vocab using an HSK list (got the numbers right and 15 other characters) - and attempted a mock HSK paper -> score 35
  4. 90 minutes -> Worked through a few chapters of 3 coursera courses
  5. 90 minutes -> Downloaded ton of apps to try out, and used all.. have 8 good ones left, deleted the rest


Day 2. 30 April

Spent 4 hours on coursera...


Day 3. 1 May

  1. 40 minutes on coursera
  2. 15 minutes -> downlaoded anki did some vocab


Day 4. 2 May

  1. 47 minutes on coursera 
  2. 15 minutes writing practice
  3. 15 minutes vocab app


Day 5. 3 May



Day 6. 4 May



Day 7. 5 May

  1. 30 minutes on vocab apps and Hello Chinese


Tried to register for exam  :( No luck seems home based is only in June... such a bummer :( But still could not register for that either.. finally got hold of CI and they said the site is down for  now... so will retry in a couple of days time.

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