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. 
dumpling98

HSK 3 in 19th March and feeling unprepared. help with tips

Recommended Posts

dumpling98

Hello everyone. I am new here. I have HSK 3 this March in 19th. I started studying Chinese in last October at university and progressed at a steady pace. I took some HSK 2 mock tests and aced them and decided to jump to HSK 3 since in my university you can apply for one year in China with HSK 3 and HSKK Beginner.

I lost some time with finals and now I am finally free and started preparing for HSK 3 with mock tests. I am shocked how hard it is. I did two mock tests so far and I only scored 196 and 219 out of 300. It seems that I am between HSK 2 and HSK3. I have come to you to ask for some tips. I only have one month left. My weakest part would be Listening. At both tests it was BRUTAL. Like I wouldn't understand anything except a few words sometimes. It is so frustrating since I checked the transcripts and I would have understood everything.

How can I bridge this huge gap in listening? I read online that doing transcripts of the listening material helps a lot to improve. What do you think about this?

Any tip is welcome. Please help a poor Chinese students with big dreams. 谢谢

  • Like 1

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.

fabiothebest

Listening is something that requires a lot of practice, you can listen to anything and it will do well for you but you don't have a long term goal, instead you want to pass HSK 3 soon. So you need to be able to recognize the directions of the exercises and the words contained in the HSK 3 wordlist, rather than some other random words. Just focus on the exam for now. Then I recommend you to try more mock tests, some are available on chinesetesting website, some on popupchinese and then you can buy HSK books from BLCUP for example..HSK standard course 3..

Then I recommend you "Chinese for HSK 3 PART I" on Coursera. It's free if you always say no when it prompts you to pay for getting a certificate of completion. Also part 2 of the course will be released but at a later date, anyway from what I understood all the material is taught in part 1 and part 2 is only focusing on the test preparation itself. I'm using it these days and I found it good for grammar and sentence order exercises. The course is mostly taught in Chinese and all the words you need for HSK 3 are pronounced in isolation and within one or more example sentence, then there are some video clips of conversations at full speed (really fast :D), that can help you as well for listening. Hopefully in the exam, speed will be slightly slower, :) not so slow though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dumpling98

I also saw that a lot of problems came from lack of vocabulary. In the reading section it is easier to move around words you don't know, but in the listening it was bad. Do you have any tips for learning words quicky? I think I know 50-60% of the vocabulary list as of now, and everyday I learn more with Anki.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fabiothebest

I think that having some memorization tricks helps. For example I like to read about the meaning or phonetic component of each characters and eventually try to link something interesting to the shape of the characters. I think anki is good for reviewing, but I prefer to use memrise at first. They provide some hints for remembering the words or you can create your own (an image or a sentence). Also the new website advertised on the forum these days "Tofu learn" has a similar approach. Some people don't like it because they think it adds an extra layer of complexity, but for me instead it gives me the ability of looking at a character and thinking: oh I see this shape, so I remember the meaning..it's XXX. I don't memorize the story by heart, it's just something that sometimes helps me to make the meaning pop up in my mind in case I find that word particularly hard to remember. Some characters are easier to remember because the shape gives clear information about the meaning, but it's not always the case. Then also writing is useful and HSK 3 is the first level in which you are required to write some characters by hand or on the computer (it depends on the availability of paper-based or computer based exam at your test centre. At mine only paper-based is available for example), so don't skip that part. Listening, reading and writing account for 100 points each, so if you completely fail at one of these you immediately end up getting 100 points less out of 300.

Then there are some books for learners of Chinese language (like mandarin companion or others) that are good for extensive reading and reinforce the recognition of words and reading speed in a natural way (better than using an SRS system like anki, but one doesn't exclude the other), anyway you have about 1 month. I don't know if you have time for reading something, but it's something you could add to your study routine.

 

Memrise, anki, tofu learn, pleco flashcards all can be set up to test you on the listening part (if that's what you are particularly interested in). Then also Glossika is great for mass sentence building and listening practice. Then there is chinesepod and other podcasts, watching Chinese tv or movies, reading books with an accompanying audio cd. Anyway I didn't want to mention too many things because you have a limited time, you have one month for passing a test and aiming to get a scholarship for studying in China, so you need to choose what to do. Using all these resources together may be time consuming and not the best approach at the moment. In the long run, I recommend all anyway.

 

Another thing that you could try is dictation. Listening to the audio of a short text and transcribing the words you hear. It's something that probably is done in some courses taught by a teacher, but I'm self studying and I didn't try yet (because I've been lazy maybe) but I think it can be useful. I'm going on with the Coursera course I mentioned before and there is an opportunity to do this, because there are some texts with characters, pinyin and English translation and an audio, so you can listen to it as many times as you want and also try to transcribe it if you want. Then the same thing can be done with some audio books, for example Chinese breeze graded readers books or Sinolingua graded Chinese readers books have a cd with the audio, so you can read along, improve your pronunciation and listening(passively or actively doing a dictation).

Edited by fabiothebest
added content
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

Fabiothebest's advice is very good. However my suggestion is drop the idea of doing HSK3, do HSK2 and as you say "ace it", you should do these things in the correct sequence. Your gaps and problems are indicative of the fact that you are not ready for HSK3.

 

Best to be the top of HSK2 test results than the bottom of HSK3. Don't run before you can walk.

 

When I was young my teacher wanted me to skip grade 2 and go straight to grade 3, after some consideration it was decided by my parents I would be better off staying at the level for my age and for me to do very well in grade 2 and not struggle at grade 3. I tell you this so you can see what I am trying to get across.

 

Which ever one you choose, I hope you do well.

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fabiothebest

I gave some advices for HSK3 because I feel it's very important for you, you said it's a condition for aiming to get a scholarship (I personally don't know if you have the same chance by passing HSK2), but if you aren't in a hurry I also recommend you to take HSK2 now. Shelley's advice is very good.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dumpling98

Thank you all for the great tips. I am already signed up for HSK3 and I can't back out. But I will do my best anyway. I can apply for the scolarship this year only with the HSK 3 in 19th of March but if I don't pass it, I still can apply for next year since we have in my city 3 hsks a year. ( next ones in may and december, certently enouch time to achieve HSK 3)

 

Even if I don't pass it, it will really push my boundaries to get better at Chinese. :)

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flickserve

Need lots of listening practice.

 

If you have transcripts, use the workaudio book app. It is very helpful and easy to use to repeatedly listen to sentences and phrases.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dumpling98

Thank you for the tip! I am working on my listening skill. I found a book called Standard course book for HSK3 and I try to use the listening material from there to transcript since it has the written text already. And also Spoonfedchinese every day. I am lucky that I downloaded the set a while back. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius

I would like to answer the specific question concerning transcription exercise.

 

It's a very effective way to improve listening comprehension, especially at the elementary to intermediate level. But it takes time and perseverance. My estimation is that for an average person to feel real progress, i.e. from catching only isolated words and phrases to roughly understanding what's going on,  you probably need 1-2 months of uninterrupted practice, 1-2 hours a day. So it probably wouldn't be in time for your March test, but if you can spare an hour or two everyday, I don't see why not.

 

Find some listening material, 5-10 minutes worth at normal speed would be enough to keep you busy for those hours. Listen, loop, put them on A-B repeat, slow them down if necessary, use the app mentioned above or whatever tools you have. The end goal is to produce a transcript as accurately as possible. If what you write down doesn't make sense, 99% you're hearing it wrong, try other possibilities. You see, to understand natural speech, we need more than just two ears. The process is unconscious and automatic for our mother tongue, but must be trained when learning a new language.

 

When you feel there's nothing to improve on your transcript, check it with the original text. And don't worry too much if you can't find an original transcript. It probably works even better. When I first started doing transcriptions (for English of course), there was no internet, no Goolge, no electronic dictionaries...

 

Anyways, I wish you good luck in pursuing your dreams!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dumpling98

Thank you for going in detail for the transcription exercise. I had hard time finding details how to do it in an effective way . After I do the transcript and check it with the source, should I listen a few times just by following the words on the real test and later retest myself with the same transcript until I can do it 100% perfect? What do you recommand? Sorry for asking so many specific steps but this month I feel I will have to tackle the HSK problem alone since I don't think I can meet any of my teachers. Everyone is busy with finals at university but I finished two weeks earlier that is why I am free now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius

Shadowing is a good method I think, but I'm not very experienced in it. Periodic review is also a good idea. But I don't think you have to aim for 100%. If you can achieve 95+% accuracy on first try, I would recommend moving on to more challenging materials. :P

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dumpling98

Thank you very much for help! I really appreciate your input! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flickserve
1 hour ago, dumpling98 said:

After I do the transcript and check it with the source, should I listen a few times just by following the words on the real test and later retest myself with the same transcript until I can do it 100% perfect?

Probably you need to experiment a bit to find which way works best for you. I just listen and match the words up. I listen a lot of times without the words. Then I listen again sometime later (not very disciplined) after a break and try to work out which words are difficult. Then I need to revise those words.

 

I don't use pinyin, but just look at the Chinese character and look up on Pleco to confirm the tone. Whether this works for you and HSK 3, I don't know. (I am not taking HSK 3). Listening skills is a very weak area of mine.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laogui

Coursera.org Has Beijing University courses for HSK3 preparation - Learn Chinese: HSK Test Preparation

HSK3 Part 1 and Part2
These are free since you won't want a certificate.  Like you I was a little shocked at how much work HSK3 is after HSK2 was so easy.

The Beta testing of Part1, and now Part2 has taken me a long time, much longer than the week it is supposed to.

 

Part1 is running now, Part2 is in Beta and  is talking about test strategies.  Part2 won't be open until at least March I think, but Part1 is a good start.

 

老鬼

 

Learn Chinese: HSK Test Preparation

Edited by laogui
correction
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dumpling98

GUYS, I wanted to update you that I passed both HSK 3 AND HSKK. I got 274 and 82. Thank you for the nice tips. Best wishes. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fabiothebest

Good 饺子,congratulations. I meant to take it too, but I couldn't because I had to work on that day. Next session is in July at my test center, it seems. I feel confident about HSK 3, then maybe I'll try to aim for HSK 4 if I'll be ready by then, else I'll stick to HSK 3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...