Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
fatima_javed

The best all-in-one book for HSK 4 prep ?

Recommended Posts

fatima_javed

Hi guys,  :wink:

 

Could some of you experienced HSK test takers advise me on which book should i buy to cover almost all the HSK 4 content. Like something with the vocabulary, the grammar etc related to HSK 4 ONLY :lol:  Thanks a million for any help you might provide me with  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

fatima_javed

hey sir ChTTay,

 

sorry to have bothered you but no one forced you to answer my question so you are totally free to ignore my irritating questions. and yes i did search these forums and the first one was posted by me so obviously i know whats going on there but i did not find any specific book for hsk 4 grammar that is the only reason i started this thread.

 

Anyways i always highly appreciate your answers as i see you have helped alot of people on this forum and god knows how thankful i am to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChTTay

I was honestly just curious, didn't mean to cause offence.

Actually, in both of those threads that I posted links for (above) I did recommend a book for HSK 4 and 5 specifically, by name... And posted links.

My friend and I are both using this different levels of this book. I am using level 2 for HSK 5 and he is using level 1 for HSK 4. The book is "New Horizon". Level 1 is a red colour. The majority of the vocab is from HSK 4. The vocab lists all have a number next to them to tell you which level they are from. If the vocab has no number it's necessary for that particular text but not on the HSK. The book has two texts per chapter with different activities afterward to check comprehension.

Amazon China link: http://www.amazon.cn/北大版专业通用汉语教材•汉语新天地-大学汉语教程1-柯玲/dp/B0095ORFP0/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0J51EAR874NH0FHJHRQG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fatima_javed

hello,

sorry for asking this question   :( but can you tell me whether or not the grammar content of this book is the same one that will appear in the HSK 4 exam ?

Did you only use this book and passed the exam or were there other resources that you took help from?

thanks  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChTTay

Yes it uses HSK grammar. It has various grammar exercises that mimic the exam type questions. Each main grammar point has an explanation with examples.

Really, the "grammar" just comes from the vocab list anyway. For example, a simple example would be if something like 虽然 was in the list... Then from that you can work out you'd need to know how to use that word in a sentence structure. You'd need to learn 虽然。。。但是.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mokushiroku

Here's what you will generally need for the test:

 

Vocab:

Easily available online. Don't really need a book as you can find example sentences by just copying and pasting each vocab into Google (I prefer to use GIS for this).

 

You can get a list of vocab here.

 

Grammar:

One of the harder areas to find good books in. Of course, I recommend the grammar guide included in our HSK level 4 guide:

 

http://hsktests.com/study-guides/hsk-level-4-walkthrough/

 

Reading:

The best thing to do here is to read through reading passages in past exams. Highlight the sentences you don't understand and have your tutor help you wrap your head around them.

 

Writing:

The HSK 4 test only has two problems: Unscrambling sentences and sentence construction. If your grammar is good, this section of the test is a piece of cake. BUT you must practice writing characters. Why? Because you'll run out of time if you write too slowly. So here, you don't need a book. Just practice writing when you memorize vocab.

 

Listening:

Books don't help. CDs and past tests do.

 

Speaking:

Optional. But if you plan to take it, I highly recommend you hire a tutor, as it's the only way you'll get immediate feedback on your grammar, tones, pronunciation, etc.

 

Other resources:

The resources I recommend (besides my own guide) can be found on this page:

 

HSK Level 4 Resources

 

Good luck!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChTTay

"Here's what you generally need for the test.... Just use my website!"

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
songwen

I know this is an old post but I just went ahead and bought the first two “New Horizon College Chinese“ books.

While they aren't specifically designed for taking the HSK 4, I have still found them very useful.

Each unit begins with an article (no pinyin) with audio on the CD. The new vocabulary are listed with Pinyin and English after the article and each word's HSK level is also shown (so some extra, non HSK vocab). Then there is a clear guide to roughly ten grammar points/sentence patterns (which I think is the most useful part of the book), followed by exercises.

Each unit finishes with another article again followed by the new vocab with Pinyin, meaning and HSK level.

So all in all, a good series of books for reading, listening and learning new sentences patterns and vocab. It's good for improving these areas of your Chinese but not necessarily the most suited for just doing the HSK 4+

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chinesemaddash

Are the above recommendations still relevant?

 

If not, could someone please provide good recommendations?

 

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
songwen

I'd still recommend the above. I passed the HSK 4 a few months after that post. In reality though, the vast majority of my learning for the exam was working my way through the list of words and flagging any words I wasn't sure about, then asking someone on italki for clarification.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk

@chinesemaddash I'm currently using the HSK 4 上 Standard Textbook, which I'm fairly happy with.

 

The link above shows some page previews. It comes in 2 parts, 上 and 下.

 

I'm studying with a teacher, and she recommended it.  I'm only up to Chapter 3 so far.

 

Pros: 

  • Produced specifically for those taking HSK4, and the same format as the other HSK Standard Textbooks if you've already used any of those.  
  • Introduces half of the 600 new words gradually with about 30 new words per chapter, based on dialogues or prose in the chapter. (10 chapters in each volume.)
  • Comes with a CD (remember those?) with MP3 audio of all the dialogues.
  • There's a memrise course that introduces the vocabulary in the same order as the book, chapter by chapter – I find this very helpful since you have 600 new words to learn overall for HSK 4, and many apps/sites just present them in pinyin-alphabetical order with no clustering of meaning or context. 

 

Cons:

  • The grammar explanations are sometimes very brief and not very clear. I often also use the Chinese GrammarWiki and a grammar reference book as well.
  • Since it's focused on the test, it "teaches to the test", which for me has tended to instill a habit of "oh, that's not in the HSK 4 vocab, I don't need to know it", which I'm doing my best to avoid. Although I have noticed it already seems to be dropping in more non-HSK 4 words than the HSK 3 book did.
  • There are group activities in the book which assume you're in a classroom setting with other learners.  Since I'm working online 1:1 with my teacher, these mostly aren't very useful in our context.  

 

Also... it's not "all-in-one" as per OP's original question (minor con) — but there's an accompanying workbook which, assuming it's like the HSK 3 workbook, includes a test for each chapter that coaches you towards the actual HSK 4 test. It has a separate CD for the workbook MP3 audio, which is very useful for listening practice (major pro).  

 

Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yaycat

I understand that the original recommendation question was seeking general study materials rather than test-specific materials, but I bought a book of practice tests to help me prep for HSK4 - https://www.amazon.com/Simulated-Tests-Chinese-Proficiency-Included/dp/7561928807/. There are 10 total. Overall, I found it very helpful. It's best if you have a comfortable reading level, as the Listening dialogues and answer explanations are included in the back of the book, but only in Chinese (also I did find some answer explanations lacking). 

 

Otherwise, I self-study and I'm not consistent with my mode of study - I mostly stick to things I like and enjoy. Soo, we'll see how much my prep helped as I take my HSK 4 this weekend :P

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk

Welcome to the forums @yaycat, and all the best for your test this weekend! 

 

Where are you taking the test, and is it paper or computer-based?
 

Feel free to report back on the experience and/or your result, when you get it, over on this HSK thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DavyJonesLocker
On 9/5/2018 at 10:21 PM, mungouk said:

Although I have noticed it already seems to be dropping in more non-HSK 4 words than the HSK 3 book did.

 

Wait until you get to book 5 especially 下! It uses much more words than what is included in the test. It also has the annoying habit of randomly placing new words in the text that do not appear in the vocabulary list at the start. I have every word listed in an excel spreadsheet for the purpose of  importing into ANKI. In some chapters, especially the later ones they can include an extra 20+ words in the text that do not appear in the vocabulary list for that chapter. I find this quite an annoying feature of Chinese text books as it really slows down progress. For example the latest chapter I studied on hsk 5 has 40 new words plus and extra 20 new unlisted words. That makes 60 new words per 1 page of text. That takes me 2 weeks to learn yet I am only exposed to 1 page of reading. With 36 chapters in the 2 books it had taken me more than a year to get through them yet little actual reading exposure. It seems to be a  negative feature of almost all chinese text books though (written within China)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk

@DavyJonesLocker I think there are two sides to this... On the one hand it's irritating to stumble over unknown characters when the books are supposed to be graded.

 

On the other hand, if we were totally "protected" from "new" chars/words all the time we wouldn't develop coping/lookup strategies for dealing with them. And might have a slightly over-inflated impression of our reading ability.

 

Vocab-wise at Level 4a I'm noticing there are lots more new words using only characters I already know, and the books actually work with this (e.g. sections with vocab that share certain characters). And sometimes you can guess — and learn — from context, which I suppose is the argument for Extensive Reading.

 

Plus if we believe in "comprehensible input" being at a level just above our current ability, then there needs to be some stuff in there we don't know so that we get stretched.

 

I have a couple of graded readers I keep meaning to start on, but I always seem to be so busy with trying to learn vocab from the textbook!  Time to fix that I guess.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DavyJonesLocker

Yeah I stuggle with this one too. I take the view that these are text books only and as such no unknown words should be included. Adding 40 words to one page of text in my view is simply to much and then throwing in another 20 some of which are idioms make reading painfully slow.

 

I think graded readers should serve this purpose and text books should contain all information needed.

 

Appreciate that others may well like this style but I find progress painfully slow.

 

Actually in some ways you can avoid this by buying several HSK5 books and thus more reading exposure at the same level, thus more overlap of words

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×