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Test of Proficiency (TOP), Taiwan's HSK

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rob_keluopi

Hi all,

A little bit confused.  I’m not in Taiwan now, I’m in America – hoping to take the test just as a way to test myself as I’m more familiar with traditional characters and I will take the HSK afterward.  Website said there are test centers in LA, SF, and NY – however, I get a 404 and a website out of commission for the SF and NY websites.  I don’t want to have to fly from the east coast to the west coast just to take a test if I can avoid it…anyone know what’s up with this, or can anyone vouch for the legitimacy of these (physical) sites?
Thanks!

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edelweis

the TECOs are the equivalent of embassies for Taiwan... so they should be pretty official.

The sc-top website looks manually maintained so maybe the links are down.

The NY TECO seems to have a new page with tocfl info here: http://www.edutwny.org/language-tests.html
I suggest you contact them, and they might even have info about other test centers such as universities.

Also this page has a list of TECOs in the US.
http://www.roc-taiwan.org/US/NYC/mp.asp?mp=62

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Walkingtree

It seems in order to apply for a scholarship in Taiwan the minimum score for the TOCFL is level 3. Does anybody here have experience with both this test and the HSK? My specific question is how does level 3 more or less compare with the mainland test? I have taken and passed the HSK 4.

 

Thanks!

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Geiko

I haven't taken TOCFL yet, so I can't tell you for sure, but if we compare the minimum words required, both TOCFL 3 and HSK 4 require knowing at least 2500 words. I guess you could have a look at a mock exam and see how hard it seems to you.

http://www.sc-top.org.tw/mocktest_e.php

 

 

EDIT: I've just realised that HSK 4 requires around 1200 words and not 2500 (that would be HSK 5). So if we only compared the amount of words, TOCFL 3 would be more like HSK 5 and not 4.

Edited by Geiko
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lechuan

It turns out that the local TOCFL test centre only runs the test once a year. This year it's at the end of May. That gives me 3 months to prepare. So far I've reviewed/learned the level 1 and 2 vocab. Level 3 adds 1500 more words; shooting for 50 words per day to get through it in about a month (with Pleco SRS flashcards).

 

I found an app called Chinese Stories - Intermediate, which is like a monthly magazine that has short articles at the 1200 word vocab level. It includes multiple choice tests, vocab, grammar notes, and an audio recording. I'll probably go through as many of these as I can. They claim that the intermediate level targets level 3 tocfl / hsk 4, but that seems a bit off considering that TOFCL 3 has 2500 vocab.

 

A few blogs have mentioned that time is the biggest challenge when taking this test was running out of time. So, I think I'm going to have to spend a lot of time increasing my reading speed with articles/stories. I think I will need to try and read an article over and over until I can read at native recorded speed. According to this site, in the listening portion of the test, you only have 5 seconds to read all the multiple choice possibilities and answer the aural question.

 

If anyone has any other ideas on how to prepare, I'm all ears  :D

 

I also contacted the local embassy, and when registering for the test you are able to choose a simplified or traditional version (which I am grateful for because, even though I plan to learn traditional later on, all my character learning so far has been in simplified).

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Walkingtree

For the HSK I was able to find about 5 practice tests online with audio. For vocab I think you are going in the right direction, but for listening I took one audio file and using Audacity repeated the spoken portions and listened to it twice a day on my commute. Afterwards I took it home and worked on transcribing it. Slow and painful, but lots of vocabulary in test-related context.

 

I took two more and just listened to them, repeatedly. Transcribed as best I could, etc.

 

The last two I used as actual test practice, keeping on time, etc.

 

Geiko posted a great link just above your post, you can find practice tests there.

 

Good luck!

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Geiko

Well, today I sat TOCFL band B in Paris. It was definitely easier than HSK 6: I understood almost everything in the listening part, although it was twice as long as the HSK, and the reading was funnier, not only chunks of long paragraphs, but also advertisements, letters... the reading part lasts slightly longer, and I had to read fast, but in HSK I had no option but to skim the texts, I didn't even try to read them. Plus in TOCFL there's no writing part, and when taking HSK I can only choose the paper based version. So all in all, I'd say TOCFL 4 is around HSK 5 at the most.

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Geiko

Well, the scores of my TOCFL exam are finally out too: 听力 54 (level 3), 阅读 67 (level 4), so I only got a level 3 certificate. I’m slightly disappointed, because I was under the impression that I had done better in the listening part, I thought I had understood most of it… Anyway, if we compare it with my HSK results, TOCFL Band B is easier than HSK 6. In theory, both TOCFL 4 and HSK 6 require the same amount of words (5000 or more), but while I only scraped through HSK reading part (62/100), I got a good mark at TOCFL 4 (67/80). On the other hand, my results in the listening section weren’t that different, because I failed in HSK 6 (49/100) and could only reach TOCFL 3 (54/80). 

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Milkybar_Kid

 

TOCFL Band B is easier than HSK 6

Of course it is, it is a completely different level compared to HSK Level 6. If you wanted a truer comparison you should have sat the Band C test (流利精通級) and aimed for a level 6.

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edelweis

@Milkybar: there was some talk earlier about HSK levels being much lower than announced by Hanban compared to CEFR levels. And since Geiko compared tests with a similar number of words in the vocabulary list, it is useful (for the rest of us) that she gave her opinion, even if it's about tests which are "officially" of different levels.

 

Did you take TOCLF Milkybar? which level? did you take HSK? which level? How do they compare in your experience?

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Geiko

@Milkybar, my point was exactly what edelweis has just said: both HSK 6 and TOCFL 4 require to know around 5000 words, and although Hanban claims that HSK 6 corresponds to CEFR C2, it has been discussed several times (1, 2, 3) if it's more of a B2, and TOCFL level 4 is a B2, so one might think that both exams are around the same level, and in my experience, they are not. 

 

Edit: the third link is relevant, it's from Fachverband Chinesisch webpage, and at the bottom of the page you'll see an equivalence chart. According to it, HSK 6 and TOCFL 4 are at the same level.

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NoahHouse

I had to go to New York to take my TOCFL band B.

 

@Geiko I also believe Band B - 4 to be around the same difficulty as HSK 5级.

 

However I still have not received my scores. I am uncertain if I need to return or if they will be posted to me. I have had some trouble contacting TECO NY. Anyone have information?

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Geiko

I received my certificate and score report at home, around two months after taking the exam. Good luck!

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Milkybar_Kid

 

Did you take TOCLF Milkybar? which level? did you take HSK? which level? How do they compare in your experience?

I will be taking the level 5 HSK test this summer so it's still too early to make a fair comparison.

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rob_keluopi

 

However I still have not received my scores. I am uncertain if I need to return or if they will be posted to me. I have had some trouble contacting TECO NY. Anyone have information?

Hi Noah - I have a feeling I met you there, can't tell from the photo and of course I forget everyone's name.  I managed to get my score by directly e-mailing someone I had e-mailed before the test, she was fairly helpful.  It still took a couple of e-mails and a couple of calls, not sure which eventually caught their attention.  I'm going to PM you her e-mail in case you want to give it a try.

I have only taken TOCFL Band C and computer HSK5 (no speaking) to date, though I used HSK6 tests to practice for the TOCFL Band C due to the scarcity of good practice tests.  Based on my true HSK5 score (~240) and my average HSK6 scores (~180, I always cut it close) in practice, I am of the opinion that the TOCFL Band C (the TOCFL level 5 result, in particular) is marginally more difficult than the HSK6.  I think that the challenge lies in the listening section having much longer passages and I just had more trouble establishing context in the reading section.  I'm interested to see if anyone agrees or disagrees!

The environment also did not help.  There were several classrooms with thin walls and you could hear everyone else's listening section.  It was in NYC and sirens could be heard outside.  There was a piano lesson and children running up and down the halls at points.  Honestly the most distracting part to me was someone tapping her foot really loudly.  Still, these do not justify my failing by 10 points on each section :)

Good luck everyone.  I may take the TOCFL Band C again in the fall.

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chuugokugo

I'm new here and I've started studying Chinese recently.

 

According to Wikipedia, the new HSK has 5,000 words total (the old HSK had 8,840).

Taiwan's TOCFL has 8,000 words total.

 

Is there a list anywhere for that 3,000 word difference between the new HSK and the TOCFL?

I'd be extremely grateful.

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Geiko

Hello, chuugokugo, welcome to the forums! 
 

That's an interesting question, I had never thought about it, but I've found this article, which might shed some light on the matter. According to it, 

 

 

(1) There are 3,700 words shared by both the TOCFL and HSK wordlists while there are 3,619 words in TOCFL different from HSK. In contrast, HSK has only 1,296 words that differ from TOCFL. (...)

(3) The HSK contains more than 4.3 times the number of four-character words than TOCFL does.

(4) The TOCFL wordlist contains a larger number of "er" words than the HSK does.

 

Points 3 and 4 really surprised me!

 

I wasn't able to find the list you wanted, maybe other forum members will. Enjoy the adventure of learning Chinese, and welcome to the forums!

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Geiko

This year I took TOCFL Band B for the third time and finally my listening improved enough to get level 4 :D Unfortunately, the improvement wasn't enough to pass HSK 6, but at least I know I'm moving forward! Level 4 is my little success of the year. 

P70613-143544-001-001.jpg

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Luxi
On 4/28/2016 at 0:57 AM, chuugokugo said:

Taiwan's TOCFL has 8,000 words total.

 

There's a lot of information about the TOP (former name for the TOCFL) in this site:

http://www.sc-top.org.tw/

 

and here (in English)

http://www.tw.org/tocfl/

This site now has the lists for Levels 1 to 5/6

 

This downloads page includes a list of the 8000 characters in an Excel file, the zip includes also fonts that may be needed to read it.

http://www.sc-top.org.tw/download/8000zhuyin.zip

This file explains how the list is organised:

http://www.sc-top.org.tw/download/8000_description.pdf

There are several more files to download that are probably useful for people considering taking these tests.

 

2 hours ago, Geiko said:

Level 4 is my little success of the year. 

 

Congratulations @Geiko

 

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