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Can you ace HSK 5 in a year?

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stapler
2 hours ago, MrDuque said:

Now I think, why would universities in China ask for those requirements if they know that it may not be enough for understanding with relative ease the lectures and learning materials?

 

I have never studied at a Chinese university nor have I taken an HSK exam so the following is just my personal speculation.

 

The Chinese government scholarships and the HSK test are a wing of its broader global soft diplomacy/propaganda campaign. The primary purpose of the exams and scholarships is not to educate but promote Chinese soft power through largesse. In particular, the goal is probably to present Chin a as an educational power and global benefactor. There is no other reason for a country with such an underdeveloped education system to be spending so much money on attracting large amounts of students to its campuses when they still need more investment to meet local education demands. And if educating foreigners is secondary to promoting the country it makes sense that there won't be much effort put into actually teaching material, ensuring students understand the material, and maintaining standards. I suspect that many foreigners are pushed through the Chinese education system each year with little to no skills or Chinese language ability. Indeed, if the most developed English speaking countries - even with their strong institutions - also do the same thing with their international students, there is little reason to believe the Chinese system fairs any better.

 

2 hours ago, MrDuque said:

By the way, I did not know that someone could prepare exclusively for the HSK 4/5/6 and still have bad skills, I wonder if other language tests (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, DELF, etc) have this flaw too.

 

They most definitely do have this problem. But the HSK is perhaps worse.

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werewitt
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I have never studied at a Chinese university

Yet, @stapler, you proceed bagging Chinese educational system.

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a country with such an underdeveloped education system

Good on ya, mate.

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stapler


I fail to see how never having studied at a Chinese university means I am not able to or am not entitled to have an opinion about it. Furthermore, I'd add that I am not "shitting on it", I'm offering an explanation as to why it appears to have a low bar for entry. Rather than getting angry at me you should show me where I am incorrect. Are you suggesting that the Chinese system is developed? Or that there is some other purpose behind the Chinese government's scholarship programme?

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werewitt

Yes, in my opinion :D people's opinions about, essentially, experiential things they haven't experienced carry very little weight (whether by pure chance they are correct, or, more often, not correct) and are third-hand, at best. 

 

I tend to not form an opinion on those things, so, I am not going to argue with your seemingly politically-fuelled statements. I don't like politics either ;)

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Angelina

I love politics, why not, communicating like human beings is the only way to prevent conflict. 

 

MrDuque, 

Many students have managed to pass HSK5 after a year of language preparation in China. While I cannot guarantee that you will pass it, I guarantee that your language course can offer you all the support you need to pass your exam. If you are dedicated, you will pass it, the language course will be enough.

 

On the other hand, I cannot guarantee that Chinese universities offer sufficient support when it comes to international students achieving the language proficiency necessary for studying in China.  You should pay attention to this part. I think that there is a huge gap when it comes to teaching writing skills. You might want to be careful when deciding on the right school and the right program for you. 

 

I have personally benefitted from all kinds of soft power. For example, we had an amazing Fulbright Scholar who was teaching Creative Writing. I think that my English writing is much better after that course. I have not seen anything similar in China yet. I think that the Fulbright Commission is doing an excellent job.

 

I was also invited to join Twitter early enough to secure a super cool Twitter username (@angelina). It is like your name is John and you own @John on Twitter. I have to thank a friend I had made through the British Council for informing me about the brand new thing called Twitter back in early February 2007. This is soft power, it is not only China. Please avoid using abusive language, stapler.

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Apollys

I managed to get up through HSK 4 vocab completed in maybe 4-5 months of studying in my spare time (starting from zero).  I think it's very reasonable to achieve if you are motivated.

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werewitt
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I managed to get up through HSK 4 vocab 

But did you manage to pass the HSK4 test? Not quite clear from that line.

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somethingfunny
7 hours ago, lips said:

 

I doubt you can understand the math and engineering taught in Chinese, with even HSK 5/6.  You can use resources in another language to study the materials but how would you deal with tests and exams in Chinese?

 

 

From my experience of teaching Maths to Chinese students, this isn't necessarily a problem.  If you're clever enough about it and good at maths, you can usually just guess what the question is asking you about from the numbers it provides.  For example:

 

Gjsdbf sdnflkadsnflksd work done dslfsdlkf sdlfjsdlkgs dslkgsdlkf 10m dslfhsldhfa dslkfghadlkgh dlkgdlksgh 15N iwhal, dvn jv lsfhliaf lkhfzlkxnv?

 

The answer is almost certainly 150Nm.  Sometimes it might not be, but nine times out of ten it will be.

 

It's not ideal, and it's usually discouraged, but students can consult materials in their own language to support their learning.  I guess the best thing to do would be:

 

1. Try it in Chinese.

2. Check it in your own language.

3. Go back and work out how the Chinese material means the same thing.

 

Learning strategies!

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thechamp

Yea memorizing the vocab is probably only about 20% of the skills required for the test.

 

There's another issue here which is that if there are people taking engineering degrees in China, how are these qualifications seen by relevant professional associations? One thing you should probably check is that the qualification would be valued by a prospective employer in your home country. Perhaps contact a professional association (in the UK we have the engineering council who assess membership as a 'chartered engineer' for example). My guess is that they wouldn't know enough about Chinese degrees to be able to comment either way whether or not it would be accredited.

 

I have a friend who had a somewhat similar situation to yours who had a business degree and was teaching in Taiwan. He got a Taiwan government scholarship to study Geology at masters level and then moved to Australia (he got into the mining industry in a lowish level with the goal of using Chinese skills later). It seems the geology degree was taken seriously enough for him to get a job out there so perhaps it's ok? There just aren't really enough examples of people taking professional qualifications in Asia to be able to comment. Would you employ a westerner with a civil engineering degree from China to build a bridge in your country? Or a westerner with a Chinese medicine degree as a doctor?
 

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realmayo

OP, as you will have realised from the answers here, it is especially common in China for there to be a disconnect between the orders transmitted down from the leaders, and their real-life feasibility. I think that people tend not to waste time trying to change the orders, but instead make sure they first tick those boxes, and then make the best of the situation they're left with. It may well be that successfully cramming HSK 5 won't give you good enough language skills for your degree but if that's the rule, that's the rule and that's the box that needs to be ticked. The more important thing is what happens next if indeed the HSK 5 level is obviously insufficient. Does the administration in any one university wash its hands and simply say that according to the regulations you've got good enough Chinese, that's that. Or in reality do the people running the course make sure that there's lots of allowances made, provide lots of reading material in English, and so on. It's hard to know what the situation is from a distance. Don't assume that the regulations are joined up and actually make sense. But don't assume that just because they don't make sense in theory, that on the ground they aren't made to work in practice.

 

@stapler @werewitt it is 100% true that China uses these scholarships for (geo)political purposes. I don't know why anyone would disagree.

 

4 hours ago, stapler said:

if educating foreigners is secondary to promoting the country it makes sense that there won't be much effort put into actually teaching material, ensuring students understand the material, and maintaining standards. I suspect that many foreigners are pushed through the Chinese education system each year with little to no skills or Chinese language ability

 

Your suspicions are correct, certainly in some cases. But that doesn't necessarily mean that even those students don't benefit from the opportunities -- again, a question of what works for them in practice, rather than in theory.

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somethingfunny

Not all Engineering degrees in the UK come with chartered engineer accreditation, so a degree from China would definitely not be enough to secure this.  You would probably have to do a further Master's degree in the country in which you planned to work.  I'm not 100% sure on this, but it's definitely worth looking into if you're planning on being an engineer.

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stapler
7 minutes ago, realmayo said:

Your suspicions are correct, certainly in some cases. But that doesn't necessarily mean that even those students don't benefit from the opportunities

Agreed. And I never argued people don't benefit from it. In fact if I had the time and opportunity I'd love to get one of the scholarships myself!

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Angelina
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There's another issue here which is that if there are people taking engineering degrees in China, how are these qualifications seen by relevant professional associations? One thing you should probably check is that the qualification would be valued by a prospective employer in your home country.

 
 

 

 

Rather than trying to see if a degree from China would be valued by a prospective employer in your home country, I think it is better to make a rough plan of what you are planning to do in the future and see if this degree can be used. If you are planning to migrate to China, I think that a degree from a Chinese university is a good idea. You can, for example, later work in China without previous relevant work experience. You can start your own business and so on. With a master's degree from a Chinese university you are free to stay in China after graduation.

 

Not all of us are planning to go back home and are worried what domestic companies would think of a Chinese degree. Yet, planning is still important. 

 

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werewitt
18 minutes ago, realmayo said:

it is 100% true that China uses these scholarships for (geo)political purposes. I don't know why anyone would disagree.

@realmayo you missed the point. All you and, by his own admission, @stapler have is an uninformed opinion, likely picked up from some politician pursuing their own interests of the day. I simply refuse to serve as a cog in someone's opinion mill, that is all. Uninformed opinions is what gave the world Brexit and Trump :D  

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Angelina

What OP is asking is: what studying in China is like,

not how studying in China compares to studying in the UK.

Most young people around the world have neither access to the money needed to study in the UK, nor the English language skills. Even if, at this point, soft power English instruction is better than teaching Chinese for the purposes of soft power. 

 

Again, describe what studying in China is like, don't describe what studying in China is like by not being something else.

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somethingfunny

I wonder what it's like not being able to form opinions about thing's one hasn't experienced.  

 

Oh, wait, I can do that, and it turns out it's rubbish.

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Angelina

Can you share your experience? Don't forget to distinguish between a negative experience with a particular program and negative experience that applies to higher education in China in general.

 

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thechamp

Hmmm, but Angelina what about working as an engineer, and getting chartered status even in China, after this kind of degree in China? Has anyone ever heard of anyone doing this? 

 

Thinking about it, the maths probably isn't even the hardest thing in an engineering degree to study in Chinese. There must thousands of technical terms that have a very obscure Chinese equivalent, and wouldn't appear in most dictionaries. HSK 5 wouldn't cover these. I kind of thing they'd have to help an international student a lot, to get through this kind of content in Chinese....in which case would a local employer value it? 

More and more people will do this as higher education gets increasingly expensive in the West, so it's something people should look into more

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Angelina

I have only heard about this, how a master's degree is enough to work in China post-graduation. It is either I am doing that or applying for a new scholarship in the next couple of weeks. 

Disadvantages: writing, writing, writing.

Advantages: many, not only career-wise. 

 

link to Shanghaiist article

 

 

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lips
1 hour ago, somethingfunny said:

From my experience of teaching Maths to Chinese students, this isn't necessarily a problem.  If you're clever enough about it and good at maths, you can usually just guess what the question is asking you about from the numbers it provides.  For example:

 

Gjsdbf sdnflkadsnflksd work done dslfsdlkf sdlfjsdlkgs dslkgsdlkf 10m dslfhsldhfa dslkfghadlkgh dlkgdlksgh 15N iwhal, dvn jv lsfhliaf lkhfzlkxnv?

 

The answer is almost certainly 150Nm.  Sometimes it might not be, but nine times out of ten it will be.

:shock: This example is a far cry from the math/engineeriing/science required for a university engineering degree.  It'd be ludicrous to suggest such guessing for any serious academic endeavour.

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