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jimmy_p

HSK 6 vs HSK Advanced

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jimmy_p

Hi everyone

 

I took the HSK 6 yesterday and I think I did pretty well, especially as a number of the questions had come up before in several past papers I had done in preparation.

 

I would like to see how the HSK 6 compares to the HSK Advanced of yore. Does anyone have any materials (pdfs etc) you could send me? 

 

Also, one of the big problems for me when preparing for the HSK 6 was no knowledge of how the writing is scored. My teacher said she couldn't find any criteria online or in any resources that her other teacher friends had. We were rather shooting in the dark. 

 

Does anyone have an HSK 6 writing mark scheme, or even really know the criteria? I'd be massively grateful!

 

Thanks

 

James

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imron

I don't have any reference materials but from what I can remember from discussions when the new HSK came out, people seemed to think the new HSK6 was approximately equivalent to old HSK 8 in terms of difficulty.

 

Not many people managed to score an 11 on the old HSK.

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jimmy_p

I heard similar things, I was just curious to see it for myself

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imron

You can look at the vocab sizes for an approximate comparison.

 

New HSK6 requires ~5,000 words, which is about the same amount as needed for old HSK8.

 

The other thing to keep in mind was that if you were at old HSK7-8 level, it was probably easier to get an HSK 9 than it was to get an HSK 8 because it was easier to get a low score on the Advanced HSK than it was to get a high score on the Intermediate one.

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jimmy_p

Actually found a couple of things. See attached and link below.

 

http://www.fltacn.com/article_51.html 

 

I haven't looked at it in detail but to be honest it doesn't look much harder or different to the tests I've been practicing on. 

 

They say HSK 6 'only' needs 5000 words but as I've been studying for this test for about a year I can say with a high level of certainty that I know at least 1000 more than than that, and that large numbers of words that came up in the practice tests were nowhere to be found in the word list published by Hanban. 

fjmjonwo15rb1.doc

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jimmy_p

Also, this article from Fachverband Chinesisch articulates what I've been wondering for a long time - how does the HSK really match up to CEFR?

 

As it turns out, HSK 6 is only equivalent to about a B2-C1 level, not the C2 Hanban claims. This makes perfect sense considering what I know about IELTS leveling, 

 

(written in German, Chinese and English)

http://www.fachverband-chinesisch.de/sites/default/files/FaCh2010_ErklaerungHSK.pdf 

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roddy

For the full old HSK experience, don't forget to listen to the audio and crush your pencil in your panicked grip. 

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imron
2 hours ago, jimmy_p said:

and that large numbers of words that came up in the practice tests were nowhere to be found in the word list published by Hanban.

The original HSK Advanced lists had ~9,000 words, but even then the tests still had a certain percentage of words not on the list.  This was apparently done on purpose.

 

2 hours ago, jimmy_p said:

I haven't looked at it in detail but to be honest it doesn't look much harder or different to the tests I've been practicing on. 

To put Roddy's comment in context  here's an example of the listening section.  Seems not too bad - until you get to part 2 (fast forward to 18:20) where the 'dialog' is random stuff taken from TV/radio often with poor audio.  Answers from this section account for > 1/3 of the final listening score.

 

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LinZhenPu
4 hours ago, imron said:

The other thing to keep in mind was that if you were at old HSK7-8 level, it was probably easier to get an HSK 9 than it was to get an HSK 8 because it was easier to get a low score on the Advanced HSK than it was to get a high score on the Intermediate one.

Come again?

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roddy

There was a general opinion that it might be easier to get a low HSK9 score on the Advanced, than an HSK 8 on the Elem/Intermediate. Think how much of it was multiple choice. Outright guesses, educated guesses, you could get a chunk of the way there...

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imron

The old HSK didn't have separate tests for each level. It had one basic test (HSK 1-3) one combined test for elementary/intermediate (HSK 4-8) and one advanced (HSK 9-11). 

 

To distinguish between levels the test got progressively more difficult so if your level wasn't good enough you just wouldn't be able to answer the questions or you wouldn't even get to the questions because you were too slow, and therefore you'd get a lower mark and therefore end up in a lower level. 

 

To get an 8, you needed to ace the elementary/intermediate exam, but to get a 9 you only needed to scrape through with the bare minimum required to pass the advanced.  For that reason, an 8 was often seen as more prestigious than a 9.

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imron

See also this post from 2005 which mentions the fact that the old HSK was graded on a curve, and combined with the banding mentioned above, that made it difficult to get an 8 if you were taking the test alongside many other people with good Chinese.

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imron
8 hours ago, jimmy_p said:

I haven't looked at it in detail but to be honest it doesn't look much harder or different to the tests I've been practicing on.

Also with regards to this, keep in mind what I mentioned above about the old HSK getting progressively harder as the test goes on in order to sort out the different skill levels.  If you've only looked at the start of each section, and/or haven't taken in to account reading speed and whether you'd have the time to get to the end of various different sections then you're missing a large part of what made it difficult.

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jimmy_p
5 hours ago, imron said:

Seems not too bad - until you get to part 2 (fast forward to 18:20) where the 'dialog' is random stuff taken from TV/radio often with poor audi

Dear God in heaven. They've deliberately made that worse haven't they? Do other language tests use such terrible quality audio? I have some experience with IELTS and never heard such terrible quality audio in an official language test. 

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imron
28 minutes ago, jimmy_p said:

They've deliberately made that worse haven't they?

Remember when I said it got progressively harder?  That's the part they use to weed out the 10s from the 11s :mrgreen:

 

I seem to recall they also ask questions that require calculations, e.g. if the audio said blah blah company sold 5 million parts in 5 years, the question would be 'how many parts on average did blah blah company sell in 1 year'.

 

If you could get an 11 on the old HSK there would be no doubt that you could read newspapers/novels without much difficulty, likewise for watching film and television.  The same is not true of the new HSK 6.

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jimmy_p

Welp, now I've passed the HSK 6 I don't really have anywhere else to go! 

 

 

After a 3 week rest between doing the test and getting the results I'm gonna pick up my anki again (so easy to forget those words) and dive back into my high-school student's copy of 三国演义, which I only read 20 pages of before giving up to focus on the exam.

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realmayo
On 08/05/2017 at 9:38 AM, roddy said:

For the full old HSK experience,

 

On 08/05/2017 at 4:38 PM, imron said:

weed out the 10s from the 11s

 

Bringing up the Old HSK never fails to get the old timers' juices flowing.... :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

Personally I still think they're somewhat traumatised.

 

 

I do wish it still existed though, rather than the new HSK.

 

59 minutes ago, jimmy_p said:

Welp, now I've passed the HSK 6 I don't really have anywhere else to go! 

 

Quote

"When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer..... Bristow's only 27."

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imron
1 hour ago, jimmy_p said:

Welp, now I've passed the HSK 6 I don't really have anywhere else to go! 

Don't worry.  Those trails have been blazed for you already.  The question is whether you dare to follow :mrgreen:

 

6 minutes ago, realmayo said:

Personally I still think they're somewhat traumatised.

And I only ever did the practice exams!

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realmayo

I would certainly participate in a "let's study for HSK 9/10/11" topic if anyone was in a position to put that together :Dhint hint

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RogerGe
On 2017/5/8 at 8:09 PM, imron said:

To put Roddy's comment in context  here's an example of the listening section. 

Seems like link doesn't work anymore. Are there any mock tests/past papers for old HSK? I couldn't find any online. What about other Old HSK resources like textbooks?

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