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Taking the HSK? Already taken it? Report in here!

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As we've now got a specific forum for the HSK exam (and any other Chinese exam, but likely the HSK will be the main one) I thought it might make sense to have a sticky topic for people to let us know where and when they're taking the exam, what they're hoping to get, and then to report their results. There's already an existing topic for the Advanced exam, this one'll be for the other levels - Threshold (or whatever 基础 is) and Elementary / Intermediate. Specific study questions should probably be the subject of a new topic - but you can get all your moral support in here.

HSK 2009 Schedule for China. There's a list of Overseas HSK test centers you can check if you're not in China, but knowing the HSK website, that won't be complete or up to date.

So, who's first?

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Last year I took the Basic in late April back home and got a 3; this year I'll probably take next month's 初、中 and I'm hoping for a 6 at least (well, 8, to be honest, but that's just daydreaming).

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At the moment I'm doing practice papers for the basic level HSK exam - to take it on 16 May (in the UK).

Can someone who's taken it tell me about the ordering of the reading comprehension texts on the real papers?

In the practice papers, for the listening section, the first section is the easiest, the second section is harder, the third section is at the highest level. In the reading comprehension section the texts are mixed up as regards level - easier and harder are in no particular order. Is it like that on the real paper?

This makes a difference to how I approach things as I'm expecting to only get level 2 (or might only even get level 1). I know it's a waste of time for me to try and spend a lot of time on the higher level reading texts - wasting time, in effect.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I plan to take HSK at the end of this year. I speak a little bit Cantonese, I hope I can get HSK 3 after studying one semester in Chinese language course.

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  • 2 weeks later...

HSK 8 has been pretty elusive for me in the past (only missed it by measly 4 points once), but I finally got it in the March term this year, so I naturally want to show off 8)

My grades were as follows:






Well, it was kind of a narrow hit this time as well, 2 points less in 综合 and it would have been 7, even though my total score would still be well above 337 needed for 8. But that time invested in listening to Deutsche Welle (an excellent resource, which I wouldn't have otherwise found, were it not for this forum) during the last year really paid off... pity I can't go for the HSK Advanced here in Czech Republic, we only have Basic and Elementary-Intermediate here (I might well be the only one here wanting to go for the Advanced level). But I think it might be sensible to wait until they fully implemented the revised version and prepare for that one instead (hopefully there will be more good prep materials for that soon).

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  • 1 month later...

I did the HSK Intermediate Exam in Sydney in October 2008.


语法 37 (the bottom mark on the bottom grade :) - I assume I nearly failed )



总分191=level 3

I just downloaded an HSK sample paper HSK(初中等)样卷 (Word 21p 304kb)



and found my 语法 has improved to 56

I'm doing the exam again in Sydney on October 18th .

I'm aiming for a level 6.

My main challenge is to improve my 听力 . This forum has shown 100 is possible -congratulations by the way :) . I am open to ideas. Of course listening to audio works (eg Deutsche Welle, below) .

I am hoping to develop a strategy for enhancing audio comprehension. I try to notice what works and what doesn't. For instance I notice reading and audio differ in at least one important way - with reading our eyes can flick ahead - a process known as 'saccading' - whereas our ears can't. My impression is we use our short term audio memory to assemble meaning - I am trying to work out how to leverage this insight into a time-effective strategy.



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I took the HSK 基础 (Basic) in May and got my results this week: Level 2.

Level 1 would have felt a bit humbling (though some achievement nevertheless because even that is above the UK's GCSE Mandarin that I took last year), but level 2 feels a fair achievement - and a fair reflection of my performance both on the day and over the practice papers I'd done beforehand.

They tell you the scores for the three parts of the test: listening, grammar, and reading. What I don't know is the weighting for the 3 sections. Can anyone tell me about that? It may be in the mass of details they give you about the exam, but my Chinese isn't good enough to understand it, if it is there.

My total score was 209. (Level 1 = 100 - 154, Level 2 = 155 - 209, Level 3 = 210 - 300) But in no way have I really just missed Level 3 - and I'll explain why.

For the Listening, I got 87. For the Grammar, I got 72. For the Reading I got 50. This is the same sort of spread of marks as I was getting in the practice papers.

In the exam - just like in the practice papers - I couldn't finish the reading section. I might have managed about two thirds of it. But being an ex-teacher, I filled in something on all the spaces on the multiple-choice marksheet, regardless of whether I'd even attempted the question. Statistically, by doing that I will have picked up the odd mark which is no reflection of my reading skill. So, I'm actually happy to have got the Level 2.

Edited by JenniferW
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Congratulations to all of you who have done it!

I did the Basic test in May too. Much to my surprise I not only passed but actually got just over the 210 points limit for a level three. Nothing for it I guess but go for Intermediate next year and see.

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I have just learnt that HSK Intermediate results are 'norm -referenced'.

So does this mean I was wrong, above, when I said


my 语法 has improved to 56"

which was simply my naive calculation of a percentage based on the number correct, which I marked myself from the answer sheet (17 correct out of 30 questions, which is 56%)

compared to my official HSK result

"语法 = 37 "

So does that mean for 语法 I have (merely) improved to the mean, from being about 1 standard deviation below the mean ? I'm not sure how to interpret this :help



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After studying mandarin for an year,I got 3level,elementary C on 2009.06.21

听力 44 

语法 68 

阅读 39 

综合 41。

总分 184

next year by this time I need to get 6 level,so hopefully my Chinese will improve,I have bought a few HSK books,exercising ,lets see,any other tips?

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Not really good after two years of study, well, I was not really 认真。。。

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听力 69

语法 78

阅读 76

综合 77

总分 299

Level 6

if my total score was a point higher I'd have Level 7.

I was completely surprised. I've taken Chinese for 4 years at a US high school and half a year in China, but when I took the test I didn't feel strong about it. I thought I was going to get a 5 and even fearing a 4.

It feels weird to think that I could apply to many Chinese universities now, since I don't think I would be ready for it at all - especially in listening.

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Meng Lelan

good job meowypurr. Can I ask which high school you were taking Chinese and what textbooks there?

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Bard High School Early College in New York City.

9th and 10th grade: Integrated Chinese Level 1 Part 1

11th grade: Integrated Chinese Level 1 Part 2

the summer between 11th and 12th grade I went to Beijing and studied most of Integrated Chinese Level 2

12th grade: A Trip to China by Chih-p'ing Chou and Der-lin Chao (but only completed the first 24 lessons)

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I took the HSK April 09 after 17 months of sself-study (no classes but in China). Did a huge amount of prep for it, loads of example papers, but it paid off, got an 8 on my first attempt. Trying to motivate myself to do the advanced....

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Was that from zero Chinese, or did you already have a foundation to work on? An 8 in under one and half years is pretty quick.

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