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

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dtcamero
9 hours ago, PJ said:

What the exact font is -- is it 10pt Firefly? 

 

i’m sure it’s something very standard like a chinese version of helvetica. the problem is just that their ancient windows font rendering sucks and/or screen resolution is too low.

you can’t find that font now because modern computers would never give it to you. it’s like asking your x-box to do a retro 16-bit display on modern games. that setting doesn’t exist. you’d need to go buy a fossil computer really.

 

for a while i thought like you, playing with windows emulators and trying to give myself an equally shitty font to look at everyday, that i might get used to it. then i gave up because i realized you basically need to install 90’s era windows on your computer. they are literally this backwards / lazy / negligent. you have to try really hard to find this kind of garbled text in the west now.

 

moreover on the listening section i find the answers were bolded... making text even harder to process.

 

so i came to the conclusion that, although i believe learning to write chinese longhand is a low-value skill relative to the effort required, leaning to read this garbage font was an even lower-value skill relative to the herculean effort required to find, install, and use it.

 

so now i’m just practicing writing everyday on my 语文作文本 writing pad, summarizing what i read that day.

on the written exam my writing score is a bit lower this way, but i can fly through the large, clearly printed text.

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PJ
1 hour ago, dtcamero said:

for a while i thought like you

 

Lol, understood, appreciate your advice!!

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crystle940

Hi, I'm taking HSK this year (in Singapore) because it was recommended to me by my teachers. Have never taken it before so I'm not that sure of the format or anything.

I'm thinking of either taking HSK 5 or 6, depending on whether I'm more confident for it 6 by then. 
Could someone explain roughly the format to me? I'm quite confused because I was only given a short 30 minutes intro on what HSK is, why I should take it and what it is testing. 
1) Is it okay to skip between the 3 to do first? Or are they done in a specific order?

2) Which part is the hardest? 

3) How long is each part, roughly?
4) Would the certificate you are given show your scores? Is that the one you are supposed to show future employers?

Thanks! 

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mungouk

Hi @crystle940 and welcome to the forums.

 

Are you intending to do the paper version of the test or the computer-based one (so-called "online" test, which you do under exam conditions in the centre)...?  This depends on your ability to write by hand versus typing I suppose.

 

There are mock computer-based tests here, though no guarantee that your test centre (Crestar presumably) will use software that's exactly the same.  I don't know about level 5 and 6, but the ability to move between different parts would seem to be limited by how the software is designed.

 

Xiao Min on youtube has made some very clear intro videos explaining the formats of the HSK tests... here's the HSK 5 one: https://youtu.be/cy5HhZYY6es

 

Yes the certificate will show your scores for each section and overall score. The video shows an example certificate.

 

 

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道艺黄帝

What's up all,

 

I'm currently on week two of my ten-week study plan to pass HSK 4. The date is set for mid-July. I work full time, but I still squeeze in Chinese review throughout the week. I ramped review up to 20+ hrs/week, and I'm starting to really feel my limits!

 

Anyway, my goal is to hit a 95%. I hopefully will find time to post my progress before the test. I really like reading your guys' posts as it helps motivate me to continue pushing myself.

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∞保罗∞

道艺。。。。你可以的辛苦你了。 加油。

 

我跟你一样,still studying for hsk4 for last 5 months, and working on a post for updating new years goals (was a month in Shanghai last month but want to write the post in Chinese so it's taking awhile).

 

Good luck!

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LinZhenPu

Nice Job 墨本. Congrats on the good result. Now the real work begins. 加油!

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Tomsima

248 is a great result, especially with the ridiculous bingju which brings the actual achievable full marks down a bit from 300 too

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PJ

I got my HSK5 results back as well:

 

听力 71

阅读 64

写作 73

 

Very happy to pass, especially each section individually, but those bad fonts discussed above took their toll on my reading and listening scores.  I actually thought I did much worse (maybe 50% per section), but I know they curve it up somewhat, so I guess this sounds about right.  (Does anyone know more about the curving methodology?)

 

My biggest surprise was my writing score.  I thought I did much better than that.  The proctor even told me afterwards I wrote very well, and that I got "most" of the questions correct.  I think I got 6/8 of the re-ordering questions completely correct, missed one completely, and the last one almost correct except I mistyped one character (that I misread due to the font problem).  The two paragraphs I remembered and checked with a native speaker afterwards; I was told there were no grammatical/usage errors and that the stories were cohesive and entertaining.  Why such a low score?  I'm especially shocked since the other two sections showed such a large curve -- how much of the writing section could I have missed, uncurved?

 

If anyone knows anything about the rubric for the writing sections, please let me know!  Was I supposed to cram in as many HSK5 words as possible?  I used some (and even a couple of HSK6), but didn't push myself to use more just in case.  Or was there something special I was supposed to do in terms of starting or ending the story?  I didn't do anything special for the HSK4 sentences (e.g. cramming HSK4 vocab into them), and got a 99.

 

Thanks in advance for any guidance!  Will take it seriously for writing the summary in HSK6.

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LinZhenPu

Nice work PJ!

You know, with a HSK5 pass some universities in China will allow you to skip the first 2 years of a 4 year Chinese Language and Literature degree, allowing you to graduate in just 2 years with 2 semesters per year and plenty of time off in between.

Good luck with all your future endeavours!

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PJ
14 hours ago, LinZhenPu said:

Nice work PJ!

 

Thanks!  Unfortunately I may be too old for another degree now...  wish I'd known about that a couple decades ago!  Lol.

 

7 hours ago, edelweis said:

This thread

 

Thanks, that thread is really usefull!  Wish I'd seen that before my exam!  The book itself doesn't seem available on amzn any more, but I did find the description.  I'm not sure it will help me understand how it's graded though.  Well maybe; will first see what Hanban replies to me when I ask them.

 

jienene's writing section surprised me though -- the system sounded much easier than the one I had (though it wouldn't have made much difference for me since I had plenty of time on the writing section).  1) I could not drag and drop on the word ordering questions (I tried), and instead had to write out each sentence; 2) my word editor did not allow whole phrases, as the maximum seemed to be 2 characters or so (basically one 词语 at a time -- e.g. 我爱你 would have to be one character at a time).  This is unlike normal word editors of course, but I figured it made sense since they were trying to force us to show more writing skills.  Does this, like the font resolution, also depend on test center??  It's really something that needs to be standardized!

 

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道艺黄帝
On 5/28/2019 at 2:14 PM, 艾墨本 said:

non-test language learning does transfer over to the test

Good point...I'm preparing for 4 and a lot of the language I picked up in natural conversation has bled over to the content in the book. Nice to know a good chunk of it was practical, however I too will be taking a break from HSK for a good while so I can focus on more time actually interacting with locals. One thing I find disappointing is how having basic test knowledge can help to cheat the test and won't reflect my true score. I had some "essay"/文章 questions the other night, and without reading them I could guess that the answer to "According to the text, successful is something..." (everyone can achieve if they work hard). 

 

I'm in Shanghai, and after my test, I plan to replace a lot of my study time with some form of local interaction. I'm from the US, and I used to volunteer/work at local Boys and Girls Clubs. We would often have a lot of college students and retired individuals coming to volunteer their time and work with the kids. I'm going to look for something similar (if it exists) and see if I can't volunteer my time with young children. I've been tending to avoid older Shanghainese folks lately simply because my 普通话 is sometimes better than theirs lol. If anyone has any tips, I'd be happy to hear them. I'm probably going to start by finding some community centers, or if all else fails, simply ask around for some extremely low level English learners, and use Chinese to teach them.

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PJ

@道艺黄帝  Well, I would say that's true of most tests.  A good sense of logic helps in all fields.  FWIW, I think the "cheating" becomes harder and harder as you progress.  In HSK5, I saw many "trick" questions where the answers sounded obvious but were wrong because of a subtlety of the text.  Moreover, the questions become more and more subtle and hence harder to guess via logic.  For example, I always remember my first practice fill in the blank question where I thought the natural English word would have been "experiment", but neither "实验"  nor 试验” were not available.  In fact all four answers looked not-incredibly-wrong-but-not-perfect to me, and I ended up narrowing it down to "项目” and “现象”.  I chose wrong, and ended up having to have a native speaker teach me the subtleties in these two words that my years of flash card training never taught me (but maybe you already have from your local conversations  :) ).  Anyway, my point is the cheating potential decreases over the exams -- and I can only assume it is much lower by HSK6.  Another way you can view it is that they've already accounted for this kind of "cheating" when they came up with the difficulties and passing scores, so you should use them as needed.

 

Sorry I'm no help on the second question since I'm not a local, although I will also drop by SH for a month this summer for work.  So I'll look out for what responses you receive!  :)

 

 

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matteo

I've been studying for I think some 3 years now , and I am at a level somewhere in between HSK4 and 5 (although I never gave the test). 

I've been until recently following quite closely the HSK frame because it provides a simple straightforward structure, and it is like a beacon to follow in an otherwise mindbogglingly vast and  confusing universe of resources and materials.

As my ability to communicate (slowly) improves and I make an effort to use the language to actually communicate effectively thou, I am under the impression that the contents of HSK5 are more and more disjointed from the reality of everyday life. 

What I mean is, focusing your studies mainly based on HSK means you can get to level 5 and know how to say "I praise a hard-working student" in 5 different ways but you don't know how to say "razor" or "onion". 

As a consequence, I am more and more ditching HSK materials and giving priority to other resources (ex. comic books, tv series): it seems to me that there's quite a bit of material for natives that is often not "harder" than HSK5, it is just "different" as in, it contains more practical, everyday language.  

Do you agree? If that's so, why would someone prefer focusing and spending more time in getting HSK5 let alone HSK6?
What advantages does that bring?

 

 

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edelweis
5 hours ago, matteo said:

why would someone prefer focusing and spending more time in getting HSK5 let alone HSK6?
What advantages does that bring?

Some people need a HSK certificate for job purposes or university admittance.

Some people need a high level of written Chinese in order to pursue a degree in Chinese litterature or linguistics or history etc.

Some people (like me) are not all that much interested in everyday vocabulary and just want to be able to read technical Chinese articles or news articles.

If you're more interested in everyday vocabulary, by all means study everyday vocabulary instead of (or in addition to) HSK vocabulary.

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mkmyers45
6 hours ago, matteo said:

As a consequence, I am more and more ditching HSK materials and giving priority to other resources (ex. comic books, tv series): it seems to me that there's quite a bit of material for natives that is often not "harder" than HSK5, it is just "different" as in, it contains more practical, everyday language.  

 

Can you give examples of such resources? These are usually quite hard to find

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Tomsima

Just wanted to say, all 5000 words on the hsk route are all very common and you will need them if you want to start reading native stuff. It's not time wasted!

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mungouk
15 hours ago, matteo said:

know how to say "I praise a hard-working student" in 5 different ways but you don't know how to say "razor" or "onion". 

 

My take is that the HSK vocabulary is "horizontal" (or "broad") without going deep/vertical... because it's based on the most commonly-used words in society, not the most commonly-used words by any particular person or group.

 

If so, then we will all need to personally work on building our own "vertical"/specialised vocabulary as well as what the HSK shifus have decided we need to know.  Areas like food and drink, things related to our own personal circumstances, hobbies, jobs, etc.

 

So it's not about "ditching", but rather about "adding" and "broadening" vocabulary.

 

Grammar on the other hand is perhaps more easily structured into objective levels of learning, and although I'm only around half-way through the HSK 4 material, it does feel to me like grammar becomes a more important focus round about here. 

 

(Talking of HSK and grammar... I'm fairly sure I got an email this week from Sinosplice/Allset Learning that they've compiled an index of the Chinese Grammar Wiki grammar points organised by HSK levels rather than CEFR levels, but I can't find it.  I'm sure John Pasden will announce it here on the forums soon enough.) 

 

 

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