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HSK(4) paper test - Is it really so much harder?


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I'm not sure because there was a slight glitch when I signed up, but I think I may be doing a paper-based HSK4 test next May.


I don't mind really, I'll just have to push myself to properly memorise how to write all the characters.


However I do have a couple of questions:


1. How much of the test is actual writing? I have some example HSK4 tests and it seems to be that the writing bit isn't that major anyway. For example, I think the paper showed an image of a person playing tennis and the model answer was, 他喜欢打网球。


So it's not like you need to prove you can write all 1200ish required words. You just needs to write a few simple sentences to give a very basic description to a picture.


Am I correct, or have I missed something? Are there other more complicated things involved?


2. If I do happen to be unable to write something, but I know the word, does anyone know what would happen if I resorted to writing the Pinyin? Ideally I of course would never want to do this, I'd rather just think of an alternative way to write what I want. However, if worst comes to worst, do you think it's possible? I mean... writing pinyin is pretty much the same as the writing part of the computer-based test, in my opinion...


Thanks  :D

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1. My teacher told me that very simple sentences don't express your Chinese level.  I suggest you to use extra grammar such as 不但。。。而且,虽然。。但是, etc.

But I prepared for computer-based test  :)

2. I think it will not give you marks even if you write Pinyin and 声调.

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I took the paper test two years ago and you are right it is only the 5 pictures in the back where you have to write. i was terrible at writing at that time but i thought that both the tingli and the yuedu would be easier if i had the paper in my hand. that's why i chose paper test and not computer test.  


1. My teachers told me that simple sentences are better because you probably won't make any mistakes. but i dont know what's going through the mind of the person who will actually grade your test. But to be honest i think you can pass the written part only knowing how to write a 100 characters. That was my case. I was in quite good time so i actually went back to the yuedu text and started looking for words and basic sentences i could write.


2. i would not write pinyin. i think the whole sentence will be counted as mistake if you do that. 

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Thanks for the advice.


Good to know that my expectations were correct, and especially good to know that I won't necessarily be expected to write every single character - only read the majority of them.


And no I definitely had no intention of writing pinyin, it really was just a check, in case the test was going to be tougher than expected. However if it really is just writing a small description for each basic picture, I'm already pretty confident in doing that, regardless of the words I haven't yet memorised, so all is good!


Although I still think it's a little ridiculous that the computer-based test essentially lets you use pinyin for written answers...!


Thanks again  :D

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Oh well yeah I saw that bit, but that's just character recognition. 


Actually I think that's easier than the computer test, surely? Since you don't even need to know the character, you can just copy it within the segment and, as long as you still get the general meaning of the sentence, everything is fine. Whereas on a computer, if you don't know the character at all, then you're stumped because you can't even enter the pinyin!

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I actually thought that was the hardest part. After roughly ?2? hours of intensive testing my brain was pretty fried. I first put the sentence in the hopefully correct order by putting down numbers over each part. Then I started to write the characters (always 4-5 at a time) occasionally I stumbled upon one I was not sure how to write. So I went back to the text and double checked. Continued to write it down. What was the correct order again? Time ticking away.

I was pretty ashamed when I looked at the final result. My writing looked bad - really bad. Like the writing of someone who just tried to copy stuff without having a clue which language it was while using the wrong hand.

I  do not know if it was just my personal inability to concentrate for such a long time but I guess it might be typical for a lot of test takers. I always thought that mechanical writing was one of my stronger skills but my scores were 90+ on all part except for writing at around 70.

I have no idea how the Computer test works so I can't compare :-P

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Some of these tests sound a bit different to the one I've been doing. The practice tests I got of the internet all say they are actual papers. I just wanted to ask, for the paper test, how much of it is multiple choice and how much is writing? From what I've seen the vast majority is multiple choice, in which case I'll be fine, but I do worry that my writing speed will let me down if there is more. I'm looking at the test now, sorry if I'm being dim, but the only bit that requires actually writing characters is the final sections, the 书写 section, correct?

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I took the HSK4 paper test in March. I don't take classes to study Chinese, so I have neglected my character writing skills. I usually just use pinyin input methods to type characters when I chat with my Chinese friends.


The writing section should be quite easy if you write characters frequently. The sentences in the writing section are very simple compared to the sentences in the other parts of the exam. I think the writing would probably be the easiest part for someone who doesn't have issues recalling how to write characters. I personally did not do too well since I don't often practice writing with a pen and paper, but I was still able to get by.



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