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Anyone Taken the HSK Advanced


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wushijiao

I would like to hear heifeng’s answer as to how she improved her reading level because, I think we can say objectively say, she is the “Master of the HSK”!

Compared to other people on the HSK, I barely have any right to speak (发言权). But I think one thing that helped me was to improve the speed of my writing by hand, which comes into play in questions 1-15. I think those questions might also be more frequently missed than the other questions, too. Anyway, I love to read, and have read probably 10-15 books since the test in April of 2006. It’s a bit depressing that my (self-perceived) improvements in reading speed and vocabulary haven’t paid off that much as far as the test is concerned. That leads me to the hunch that, as long as you have a decent base (and it seems that you certainly do Laska), then doing a lot of practice tests would be very useful.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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heifeng

Hmm..

Basically, (other then when I go online) almost everything that I read is in Chinese, so definitely reading in general is helpful and will help out with vocabulary quite a bit. Also, usually about 2 months before the exam, I 'try' to start doing practice reading tests to get use to the whole testing format and increase my speed. then 1 month before exam I will try to do a timed section every other day or so to whip me into shape and give myself some pressure. (hehe but in reality, it never works out to my 'master plan')

The fact that this exam had a shorter reading section helped me a bit in the end b/c I get a bit nervous and overwhelmed if I see long passages (ugh, last time for example). I still haven't gotten my score or whatever I'm suppose to get from the new Advanced HSK that I took in the afternoon after the April exam so I still can't comment on the difficulty b/t the current and future reading sections. (Although I'm pretty sure I bombed that b/c it combines my 2 worst sections...zonghe and reading...nice)

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Interesting, and thanks also to Wushijiao for your comments. Haven't heard from Ajax or others yet...

After listening to Wushijiao, I've basically come to the same conclusion -- in addition to more reading, should also do lots of practice tests.

Out of curiousity, where do you get all those tests? In the Shanghai foreign bookstore I can only find about 15 different practice tests published by BCLU, maybe another 15 published by others but these are not as reliable. Definitely not enough to do one a day...

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wushijiao

Besides the practice tests in the the Foreign Language Bookstore, I really don't know of any others. I must say that I almost never do many practice tests, especially this last time. So, I'd be interested to hear any others people opinion on the relative benefits that can be had by doing practice tests. Often, I find practice tests to be very too boring/painfull.

By the way, I recently found a new HSK Gao grammar book by 郑丽杰 21天征服HSK(高等)语法. I bought it in the hopes that it will help pick up my low zonghe scores. I'll write a review of it if and when I complete it.

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Often, I find practice tests to be very too boring/painfull.

I'm sure doing practice tests helps. Seeing yourself improve will help to keep your interest and as they become less painful to do, the real thing will also become less painful.

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Don't have too much to add, but....

I also had a hard time making myself do practice tests. I managed to do a bunch of zonghe, but only 2 or 3 timed reading. Now I realize the zonghe score doesn't really matter, so my strategy next time will definitely be to do more reading practices and maybe even practice writing.

I agree that skimming ability is most important for the HSK reading. I get too involved in novels to skim and for this prefer reading newspapers, magazines, and stuff online. Before the test, I found it helpful to estimate the number of words in an article and then time my reading.

The other thing that's helped me in the past 6 months or so has been to focus on really learning vocabulary. Now everything I look up goes into plecodict flashcards, which I review religiously. Maybe everybody does this sort of thing, but I never used to. I get slowed up far more by half-learned words and expressions than by completely unfamiliar vocabulary.

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  • 1 month later...
heifeng

So, I thought i would add this ..

Although the advanced HSK is going to get rid of the langdu section, if you like to torture yourself, or just need to work on langdu for either the exam or accent correction, then i suggest the following book 普通话测试辅导与训练, isbn 7-301-11079-0 北京大学出版社.

Tons of langdu (some of which I have actually seen before in HSK prep materials) with a cd/mp3. Plus, there is also pinyin included in many of the section so that you can make sure you are saying the right tone...

enjoy

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there are always full of surprises...

Well that exam is th 13th and only in 10 locations, right? I think the old format is still the 14th..and I know I just only paid 400yuan, so I think that is what I registered for this time...

I would guess they just wanted to start it off slowly before they completely switched over in the future. Get things 'under control' I suppose.

Once the New format is only offered I for one will NOT be taking it though...baa humbug

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Why not? In a previous most you gave a pretty thumbs up evaluation of it...at least that's what it sounded like to me. I mean you thought it was a bit too long but I it sounded like you thought the format was at least more reflect of people's actual Chinese level....

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I most likely won't take it not because the new exam has problems, but because I personally am 'over' the whole HSK exam in general. I'm just going to give it a final go this October and then be done with it forever basically. The advanced exam is good to get you past a 'hump' or 门槛 in your studies I suppose, but you can really only give the HSK people so much of your money...and I'm not looking to buy new test prep materials either (FYI They do have the new revised edition materials, but last time I checked they contain a sample test for the jichu, chuzhong, AND gaodeng exam, so if you are taking the advanced exam it's kinda a wast of paper (textbook wise and money wise) to buy this thick book that you will only end up using 1/3 of anyway...)

The revised exam itself is fine. I expecially think the improvements/or just plain added difficulty and length in the listening section is good, and the changes to the spoken section are indeed more practical. (Overall, I mostly dislike the long reading/zonghe section and speed reading section. blah)

However, the old HSK, despite being potentially less useful as a tool to judge someone's (useful)mastery of the language has grown on me over these last 3 exams. I've been looking at 普通话测试 materials lately and there are even the same 朗读's that you would see in the HSK preparation texts, which is interesting. I originally hated 朗读 but through the HSK I have been able to tackle some problems. So, when the old HSK stops being offered, I'll just stop taking it. The end of (a 2 year hehe) legacy I suppose.

That's it really:mrgreen:

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Is anyone able to accesss their results for the 10-13/10-14 sittings of the HSK? I'm antsy. When I put in my information it says,

该考生的记录不存在.

Is that normal if the results haven't been posted? Or does that mean they lost/misfiled my results? :help :roll:I hope not -- I want them for grad school apps, which I am submitting next week.

Awesome write-up heifeng. I'm sure they won't care about the pencil thing. Sounds like if they do, you could complain since you confirmed with the proctors during the test.

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Moved posts on the exam results in here.

The HSK online results thing is pretty clunky though. With the C-Test results the 考点代码 printed on the 参考证 was no use - wasn't until I randomly tried mixing up the info from my C-Test and Advanced exams that I got the results out. This wouldn't be so bad if it told you what the problem was, but it just gives you the 'can't find this student' info - not that you've entered a non-existent test center code.

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You might want to just phone them - at the very least they should be able to tell you when the results will be available, and I can't see why they wouldn't tell you over the phone if they have them handy. Personally I'm not that bothered, but then i'm not worried about grad school applications :mrgreen:

I'm checking every day or two, will let you know if anything starts working . . .

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So I just phoned them. The guy said they will be available "下个星期一吧."

When Heifeng called once last year to check, I think they were available three days earlier than the date he was told on the phone. It would be smart for them to give us the worst possible scenario, like they do for airplane arrival times these days.

Anyway, I don't have to have my first app postmarked until DEC 1, so I should be fine. If I didn't pass, I get to delete a sentence from my statement of purpose, which would help me reduce my word count. :wink:

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Got the results back for the mock HSK Advanced I did back in September. All I've got is a slip of paper with no real information on it, but as far as I can tell, Listening was 85, Reading 80 and the general bit I can't remember the name of 67.5. I'm not sure if these are percentage scores or percentiles. Nor am I sure what grades that would translate to, as I don't have my books to hand. Edit: Seems I'd be just inside an A grade for reading and listening, and just inside a B for general.

Thanks for letting us know what the HSK office said.

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