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roddy

Anyone Taken the HSK Advanced

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lau

全新HSK高等模拟考试题集(赵梦萱主编), published in 2005 <-- that's exactly the book we used in the HSK class! and still, the actual test was different. at least, the last part of the listening, questions 25-40 were MUCH more difficult, and, for that matter, totally different. in the book, they had nice, clear interviews, with a clear beginning and a clear ending. in the test, though, there were parts of a conversation, more like, just random 3 minutes cut out of a tv show.

well, let's see how it looks like in the results list!

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wushijiao
with a clear beginning and a clear ending. in the test, though, there were parts of a conversation, more like, just random 3 minutes cut out of a tv show.

Haha! Did you have the long conversation about 枣?

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lau

I have no idea what conversations i had :) my brain has got rid of thraumatic memories already.

I somehow managed to sign up for HSK early, and turns out that for those who sign up for it in 语言大学 and are in first 1000 of those who do, they have an additional exam in the afternoon - everything but 口语 and 写作. And the second test was, i believe, a bit easier even. AND, whats even better, in the 综合 part they had like 5 questions that were the same as in the october test. at least got those right (hopefully). but my point is - that's a bit unfair.

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gato

Hey, guys who need to practice in listening, I would recommend CCTV's "the Economics Half Hour" website to you. Videos and transcripts of many shows are available on the site. The reports are actually pretty interesting, a little like a more commercialized version of "60 Minutes." The show covers many subjects, not just the economy, despite its name.

http://www.cctv.com/program/jjbxs/01/index.shtml

《经济半小时》

Even the interviews are transcribed, so you'll be able to follow some sometimes not so perfectly spoken Mandarin as well.

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roddy

Man, I'm glad I chickened out of taking it . . .

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lau

the results for 模拟考试 (by BLCU) are known. the results for 初中考试 are available. everyone in my university suggested to go check online for my score, which i did, with no result, except for this: 无相关记录,请验证您的输入是否正确。

should i bite my nails off completely? or it's just that they haven't finished reading my essay yet?

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heifeng

advance level exam results are suppose to be available 6/12....at least if the lady who answered the hsk phoneline at blcu wasn't full of it....

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JonasL

Same story here,

I started studying Chinese 5 months before I took my HSK test in March of this year, and got a 207, ( 210 ) is level A ( foundation level of course, my Chinese is lousy. )

so I was 3 points short of a level 3, but heck, it's not bad after 5 months of studying

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wushijiao

Did anyone else take get their results and would like to share them? As for me, I failed to get a 9. Although I didn’t do very well, I think this was a good “test run” that will serve as a guide to help me pass in October (or next year).

First, the parts I failed to get a 9 (C Level) in.

听力 (My score 56/58 needed for C)

阅读 (40/54)

作文 (52/58 )

Then the parts that I did pass:.

综合(58/54)

口试 (63/56)

I have been thinking about the results, and here is my analysis of them:

听力- Well, I was close, at least. This listening was much more difficult than I had anticipated. Anyway, I’ve been working on building a better foundation for listening by using the HSK 汉语水平考试(高等) 听力理解 模拟试卷30套 北京语言大学出版社. This set of 30 tests is a bit outdated for the current mode of the test, but the listening material is fairly interesting.

作文- Well, no surprise here. I’ll keep working on my writing though.

阅读- This was the most shocking result. This was the section I felt the best on right after the test. In fact, I thought I had a C on this section, maybe even a B. But, if I thought it was slightly easy, maybe the other test takers also felt the same way, and thus killed me on the curve.

综合- This was also shocking because I thought I had bombed this section. In any case, I’ll have to keep studying to do well on this section next time.

口试- I was a bit worried about this result. I suppose I never mentally pictured what this section would entail. After the reading of the set text, I started to answer the first question. About two or three minutes into my answer, the whole room became deathly silent, and I was one of the only people still talking. At which point I though, “what the hell is going on?” I started looking around at all the people who had hung up their headphones after just four or five minutes, and I started to wonder if this was some sort of strategy that training schools teach everyone, or something. Obviously, having one’s mind race about stupid crap like this while taping something that’s going to be graded is not a good idea. Next time I’ll be more mentally focused.

In any case, I got 269, with 280 needed to pass (out of 500). Of course, it was not as close as it seems, because I failed to get a C level in three categories, and I even missed the bottom line in the 阅读.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I can develop a strategy to do well on it the next time around.

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gato

Wushijiao, were most of the other test-takers Japanese and Korean? I'm surprised that you bombed the reading section but passed the speaking.

The scores you gave above are the scaled scores, right (with 50 as the mean and 15 as standard deviation)? Did they give you your raw scores for each section?

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wushijiao
The scores you gave above are the scaled scores, right (with 50 as the mean and 15 as standard deviation)? Did they give you your raw scores for each section?

Yes, all the scores are based on the standard deviation of 15, with a mean at 50. So, according to this chart:

http://www.hsk.org.cn/Intro_hsk3.aspx

A score of 58 puts you in the 70th percentile.

They don't tell you how many questions you got right or wrong. So, I think imron once asked something about if you can know from a practice test how well you would do on the real test, and the answer is that you cannot.

Wushijiao, were most of the other test-takers Japanese and Korean?

It seemed that the test was 70% Korean 30% Japanese, out of roughly 80 people. I was the only Westerner (of course their may have been Chinese Americans that I mistook as Koreans, or whatever). There weren't any Indians, Middle Easterners, Africans either. So, at least in Shanghai at my testing center, it seemed that almost everyone was Japanese or Korean. I wonder if these demographics are true of the test in general? :help

Of course, I might have bombed the reading, and just didn’t know it. But, assuming I did alright, that would mean that Japanese and Koreans are really good at the reading section compared to me. So, I’ve been wondering all day: how good are the elite Japanese learners of Chinese at reading? Of course, I realize that there a bunch of kanji that have different meanings from the same Chinese characters. I’m sure that causes some confusion for Japanese beginners. But I’m thinking along the lines of how good are the Japanese cream of the crop at Chinese. I’d bet they’re very impressive. Also, you have to write the answer by hand using characters in the first section of the reading, so this is another area in which Japanese and Koreans are faster and more accurate, most likely.

On the other hand, I’ve heard from many people that Japanese and Koreans tend to be somewhat shy in speaking. So it could be, based on the prevailing methods different nationalities are accustomed to learning foreign languages, that Westerners might have an advantage in the speaking section.

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gato
They don't tell you how many questions you got right or wrong.

That's really irresponsible of them. It makes it impossible to check the fairness of the curve.

It seemed that the test was 70% Korean 30% Japanese, out of roughly 80 people.... But, assuming I did alright, that would mean that Japanese and Koreans are really good at the reading section compared to me. So, I’ve been wondering all day: how good are the elite Japanese learners of Chinese at reading? Of course,

That's what I was guessing, too. The Japanese students have an advantage because they have to know about 2000 Kanjis to graduate from high school in Japan. The Koreans don't learn as many Chinese characters in their schoolings nowadays, as far as I know, but Korean has many loan words from Chinese and that makes it easier for them to learn Chinese.

But, as you say, the Koreans and Japanese are generally not as comfortable with speaking a foreign language as a Westerner would be and so their advantage in the written doesn't transfer over to the spoken. That would explain your score (on the curve). I know you're already comfortable with your reading novels and magazines whereas you still have trouble getting your tones right. I think in the real world your reading skills are probably stronger than your speaking skills (though it's been about six months since I last heard you speak Chinese) :mrgreen:.

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wushijiao
That's what I was guessing, too. The Japanese students have an advantage because they have to know about 2000 Kanjis to graduate from high school in Japan. The Koreans don't learn as many Chinese characters in their schoolings nowadays, as far as I know, but Korean has many loan words from Chinese and that makes it easier for them to learn Chinese.

I think most Koreans who want to go to college have to learn 1,800 hanga. I know one of my friends who studied at the military institute in Monterry, California had to learn at least 1,000. Anyway, here is a source for that:

Today, any knowledge of Hanja is seen as a mark of education and refinement, largely because most Koreans don't learn much more than the Yonsei 1,800 unless they attend university.

http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/jod/texts/bryce.html

And here is a blog that I found randomly, that seems pretty good. This guy lives in Korea and is knows Korean:

The Korean method of learning Chinese character is basically brute force memorization. Books with little squares, directions how to write the character, and lots of places to repeat the word until they know it. The amount that students learn now for middle school and high school is in correspondence with the college entrance requirements. My wife only took one year of mandatory Hanja lessons, which was all the was required at the time.Things seem to be different now, as I know of six year olds that study Chinese as well as English. There are dozens of Chinese language institutes that help students memorize the pesky characters. Korean people have told me the popularity of Chinese language schools is based on the hedging of their mutli-lingual bets about their country’s economic future.

http://www.torgodevil.com/?p=67

So, assuming most educated Koreans have good foundation in writing skills, that would help them in the 阅读,综合,作文。

I think in the real world your reading skills are probably stronger than your speaking skills (though it's been about six months since I last heard you speak Chinese)

My speaking is fairly scrappy! One thing I did do was have my wife drill me on the tonal pronunciation of the things you must say, in addition to the reading or answering, ie 我的序号是, 试卷号码是…第一个问题回答完了,现在我回答第二个问题…etc. After all, you speak for 20 seconds of scripted stuff at the very start, which I’m sure gives the examiner a quick first impression.

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JamesGoff

Hey

RE to the previous post

Can 'civilians' study at the at the military institute in Monterry CA?

just a thought to add another place i could study when i finish my degree!

thanks

james

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lau

well, i have happier news - i DID manage to get C. my results:

listening: 64 ©

reading: 58 ©

the zonghe thingy: 70 (B, while i was working hard just to keep it above the border line)

essay: 46 (45, and it would have been below the borderline... i was secretly hoping for a B:tong . according to my wudaokou teacher, they give at least the lowest borderline mark in both essay and speaking to everyone, in case they are not that hopeless in other skills.)

speaking: 81 (a very low A, although when i read a passage, it sounds dreadfull)

-------------------------

total: 319 (a good C, C being 280-339)

so, any suggestions how to learn to write? my teachers always say that my biggest problem is 写错字. and - (please, wushijiao, support me) - the topic was stupid!

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kudra

@ JamesGoff

at the risk of going off topic ....

http://www.dliflc.edu/Academics/academic_affairs/dli_catalog/admit.htm

Admission to the DLIFLC is limited to members of the U.S. Armed Forces (either in the active forces or reserve components), to civilian employees of the Department of Defense (DoD) or other federal agencies, and—in certain cases—to adult family members of eligible students. Each student must be sponsored by his/her service or employing agency, and that agency directs which foreign language he/she will study. Generally, before a student is selected for a language program, a specific position requiring foreign language communication skills must exist for the student to fill upon graduation. Requests or applications for language instruction must be submitted to the appropriate sponsor in accordance with the service’s or agency’s own regulations. The DLIFLC does not participate in this process.

At which point

http://chicago.craigslist.org/gov/163765397.html

may be of interest.

And if you are wondering, the answer is no, I just happen to have this stuff bookmarked.:mrgreen:

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wushijiao
well, i have happier news - i DID manage to get C

Congrats Lau! :mrgreen: That looks like a great score! You could probably take it again, aiming for a B.

so, any suggestions how to learn to write? my teachers always say that my biggest problem is 写错字. and - (please, wushijiao, support me) - the topic was stupid!

That's good to know. After the test, I looked up a few characters that I wrote, and realized I had written the wrong one!

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heifeng

Has anyone taken the gaodeng HSK exam in the past and found that the grading on this years exam (4/22) to be tougher on the speaking and writing sections?

I personally found this to be the case, plus when I picked up my test results at BLCU yesterday it seemed like people where calling and asking similar questions, to which the peeps in the office replied 3 teachers look over the essays then assign a grade.....hmmmm.....i guess my essay actually did suck big time with enough cuobiezi that not just one but 3 teachers must have been in kill mode when they assigned my score...

also to reply to other questions ( maybe it was this thread or another one similar one) I personally think the practice HSK exams for the advanced test are too easy for listening,speaking, and writing sections, at least at diqiucun and Tianying (Tianin?) both in wudaokou. maybe this is just meant to encourage students, 鼓励他们before the big event, but I found my scoring on those stupid practice exams to be pretty high, while the reality when i picked up my exam was much crueler.....unless it was just nerves....*sigh*

i have now come to the following conclusion in regard to essay writing: KISS, keep it simple stupid when it comes to the essay portion! chengyu and such will not save you from yourself if you tend to write a bit sloppily and have the bad habit of writing the wrong character and not realizing it until you turn in your booklet...呜呜呜呜呜呜

on a happier note, actually living in China for a while does help immensely on the listening section...but apparently studying in China is questionable in regard to the other sections.....but of course this is my experience, love to hear from others regarding theirs...

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youpii

Maybe the teachers assigning grades don't think "gaoji" and "cuobiezi" can go together

I guess the grading is something like:

9 - can write without mistakes

10 - can write without mistakes & with chengyu

11 - can write like a Chinese

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wiley

Hi guys, glad to see this thread still active a year later! If anyone is curious

to look back they can see a long post of my first experience taking the Advanced

HSK on page 2 of this thread.

I took advanced HSK again this year after a full year of intensive study, my

scores from last year are first in parathenses, my scores this year are second

and without parentheses.

(Last Year) / This Year

====

Listening (60 - C) / 70 - B

Reading (51 - /) / 54 - C

Comprehensive (64 - C) / 83 - A

Writing (58 - C) / 77 - B

Speaking (75 - B) / 88 - A

----

Total (308 - C) / 372 - B

This time I took the test at Beiwai instead of Erwai. The test proctoring was

equally as poor this time. I'd say it was a chronic problem from my two

experiences taking the test, although I'd be pleased if anyone had something

positive to say about it. This time around the proctor failed to give a five

minute warning for the end of the first reading section. She realized she had

messed up, but the way she corrected herself was by saying "you have 5 minutes

left on this section," taking a deep breath, and without batting an eye saying

"now this section is over, please turn to the next section." I was shocked, but

I couldn't make a scene in the middle of the test. I was one of two white people

in the room, and I had the misfortune of sitting in the first row where one of

the proctors hovered over me ceaselessly in a really distracting manner at 4

separate times during the test. This wouldn't have been as bad if it had been

happening to ANYONE else, and if the koreans sitting in the middle and back of

the room hadn't been cheating so blatantly. I was truly shocked at the

brazeness with which people whispered to each other during the exam. At times

it would get bad and the proctor would tell them to stop from the front of the

room, but at no time was anyone addressed specifically, or did the proctor ever

walk down to the offending rows. And a few minutes after each scolding, the

offending students would be right back at it. At the end of the multiple choice

test students are asked to hand in the question booklets, but somehow several

korean students managed to hold one of the question booklets until the very end

of the test and were using it to fill in answers on their bubble sheets in the

open for everyone to see. This would be bad enough if the Advanced HSK were an

objective test, but its even worse because its graded on a curve, which means

that I score lower as a result of these cheaters.

Test administration aside, I was both happy with and suprised at my marks on the

test. I came into the test after having spent two weeks doing timed trial tests

for the multiple choice sections. I'll break down my reflections again by

section.

Listening: I couldn't have gotten more than 50% correct on the actual test, so

my score of 70 must mean that lots of other people didn't understand a freaking

lot of what was being said. It's still really humbling how difficult it is for

me to understand two native speakers speaking at each other at a natural pace.

I need to watch more TV, or make more Chinese friends. This is probably the

easiest area for me to improve.

Reading: I thought I bombed this section and I was right. I was particularly

shocked because this was the section that I had prepared the hardest for,

taking between 10 and 20 practice tests in the weeks preceeding the exam.

Results on the practice tests were mixed, but I definitely had a strategy that

was improving my score on the practice tests, and it just unilaterally failed

on the real test. The main problem was that the practice tests were far easier

than the real test. I found the passages incredibly difficult. If there was a

paragraph in the practice tests that had 5 questions, you could find the answer

to question 1 sequentially first in the paragraph, and the answer to question

two would absolutely be later in the paragraph than the answer to question one.

My impression of the real test was that the questions weren't in any sort of

sequential order, and that threw me off big time. I left 5 or 6 answers blank

on the first part and randomly filled in 5 or 6 answers on the second part.

That in the end might have been what got me up over the dixian and into C

territory for reading and preserving my possibilty of getting an overall B.

When bubbling in answers randomly can get results like that on a test, then its

probably time to rethink the scoring scheme. Good thing no one gives a rats ass

about your HSK score. I have a lot of confidence in my ability to read with

full comprehension when given unlimited time, but what the HSK tests is your

ability to scan for information. That would be a super-cool ability to have in

Chinese, and I definitely want to improve that. It's a little disenheartening

that after a year of reading, including numerous books, 900 pages of dream of

the red chambers and 3 semesters of classical chinese, that my reading score

improved a mere 3 points. I think the test got harder and the competition got

stiffer, because I know my reading improved dramatically this year.

Comprehensive: I got an A on this section and I know that it was because I took

a fair amount of time before the test to get familliar with both the format and

with the KINDS of problems they were testing you for. I predicted that it would

be easy to raise my score on this section, and it was.

Writing: I hit the correct number of characters, finished just in time, and

didn't have any major spelling problems that I could detect. I might have

tossed a chengyu or two in, but nothing terribly fancy. I picked a topic

slightly tangential to the question of "explain what you think about the phrase

'yi fen qian, yi fen huo''" which I would translate as "You get what you pay

for." I wrote about how that wasn't true when vendors raise prices based on

their assumptions about the customer. I got a B on the section and I wouldn't

argue with that evaluation of my writing, although I have a sneaking suspicion

that if I wrote something slightly less critical of Chinese people I might have

been graded a little more leniently.

Speaking: Got an A on this one and from listening to the Koreans in the room I

know why I scored ahead of the pack despite my bumbling, off-the-cuff remarks

on whatever it was that they asked. Alot of the people in the room could barely

express themselves at all in Chinese, I think that they put a lot of emphasis on

fluency and tones, and I would play those angles up if you can on the test.

Objectively speaking I know that I couldn't have gotten more than 50% of the

reading or listening questions right, so the fact that I passed both of those

sections reflects the difficulty of that part of test for the demographics

taking it.

I'm really pleased to have gone from a pretty low C to a higher-than-average B,

and thrilled to get A's on two of the sections. My masochistic nature will

probably see me taking the test again at the same time next year, hopefully

this time for the full A. I'm gonna have to get a lot better at scanning for

info if thats gonna happen tho. Hope this helps and good luck everybody!

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