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Huey

from HSK 3 to HSK 5

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Huey

Hello guys,

I have a question about HSK. Currently Iam at level 3 (I can pass HSK 3 very easily). As for HSK 4, I have had a look at the sample test, and some of the questions very easy, some of them dificult, so I´m not sure if I would pass. Say I would currently NOT pass HSK 4, but would not be very far from that. Do you think than I could reach even HSK 5 (yes, 5), in 2 semesters (one year) of Chinese language course in China (full-time study) ? Basically, that is from HSk 3 to HSK 5 in one year.

Thank you for your opinions

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JustinJJ

Definately possible, I went from scratch to HSK 5 in nine months, so a year should be plenty of time if you are already border-line HSK 4. I used the 'sentence mining' method to learn as much vocab as I comfortably could every day. The difference between HSK 4 and HSK 5 in my opinion is the vocab you need. If you learn the 1300 or so words from the HSK 4 list you should feel very comfortable in that exam, but the HSK 5 exam uses many words outside the 2500 word vocab list. I'd suggest trying to learn a steady amount of words (say 10-15?) a day (from the HSK word list of anything of interest to you) and stick to a routine that works for you each day.

In regards to the writing section, I didn't specifically learn any grammar, but from learning example sentences (i.e. when I learnt new words) the patterns seemed to stick OK so the writing part was ok. I'd suggest spending a lot of time during the year listening to the radio, TV etc so when it comes to the exam the speaking will seem very slow and manageable for you.

The last couple of weeks before the exam go through a practise exam a day to get used to the pace of the exam.

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淨土極樂

I've seen plenty of people go from 0 to HSK5 in a year of full-time study in China, so yeah, it's possible. It certainly helps if you're young and ambitious, though.

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ZhangKaiRong

HSK5 is definitely no problem for you if you study a year in China. Of course, you have to grind to learn some characters and expressions, but one year is more than enough. During the language course you will get used to the different types of HSK excercises, because textbooks often use the same pattern as the exam. Before you take the exam, do some mock tests, and you shouldn't have a big problem to pass.

But if I were you, I would use that one year in China to actually learn some real Chinese, because HSK level and actual Chinese skills have just a little correlation as far as I experienced. Consider HSK as a station in your studies, not as an ultimate goal. Most foreigners tend to forget this fact, this is why they have problems after years of learning the language...

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mokushiroku

I've spent the last year researching and investigating the ins-and-outs of the HSK exam. I can say, for the most part, if you're questioning the level suitable for you, just check your vocabulary level. Vocab is the only facet that runs through every section of the HSK exam, even speaking.

I've dealt with students from all over the world, and while many Westerners seem to have the belief that Asian people have an upper hand and can take higher levels of the HSK earlier, they are wrong. If your vocab's lacking, you're not going to pass. It's as simple as that.

Like the above poster, I suggest you integrate yourself into Chinese culture as much as you can. You can beat the HSK through strategies (which I've outlined in my guides), but you can't survive in China with the same strategies. You gotta integrate.

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Sarevok
...and while many Westerners seem to have the belief that Asian people have an upper hand and can take higher levels of the HSK earlier, they are wrong. If your vocab's lacking, you're not going to pass. It's as simple as that

I would argue that having a solid foundation in characters and a certain amount of shared vocabulary with your mother tongue (sure, there "false friends" as well, but not so many that they would even each other out) gives you some advantage...

Having studied Japanese for some two years prior to taking up Chinese helped me a lot, kicking my studies forward a great deal. I suppose that having Japanese as your mother tongue would do the same thing (to even greater extent). Same goes for Korean...

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bluetortilla
It certainly helps if you're young and ambitious, though.

Just wanted to take the opportunity to debunk the myth that younger people learn second languages better than older ones (for people beyond the 'soft acquisition' period that is, which ends somewhere around 18 I believe).

Older people often have a harder time learning because they are busier and their lives are more complicated. It has been studied, observed and well-noted that all things being equal, there isn't much difference between people studying languages in their twenties or in their fifties. Of course, at any age you need motivation, passion, and a schedule flexible enough for the challenge.

I learned Japanese in my twenties, passed the 日本語能力試験一級 within several years and then spent the next decade and a half running a business in Japan using Japanese. In my second year here starting Chinese. Because I have not had the time, I'm only at Level three in the HSK but I too am trying to jump to five. Next year, I plan to be doing graduate studies at the Yunnan University of Nationalities. I am almost 50.

So don't anyone here think they won't be able to take on tough linguistic challenges when they get older. The fun never ends.

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mokushiroku

Language learning after the age of 12 is basically the same for any age. Though you lose fluid intelligence as you age, your crystal intelligence maintains or improves itself, and crystal intelligence is arguably more important for learning languages.

 

Older people handle grammar better, have more ambition, work harder, and have better self-discipline and study habits.

 

The only problem with learning a language in old age is that you'll virtually never get rid of your foreign accent. Who cares, right? Foreign accents are exotic.

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AaronUK
On 8/19/2013 at 2:23 PM, Huey said:

Do you think than I could reach even HSK 5 (yes, 5), in 2 semesters (one year) of Chinese language course in China (full-time study) ? Basically, that is from HSk 3 to HSK 5 in one year.

@Huey Hey, did you make it to china or are you still studying back at in your home place?

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