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艾墨本

HSK 6 Test Preparation, where I'm at and questions on how to move forward

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艾墨本

At this point, the listening comprehension is just a matter of catching all of what they say. I don't have a problem with most of the vocabulary but some of the questions are quite nuanced and missing out on even one word can drastically alter the meaning. I'm just listening to a lot of the questions on repeat. This is the section I feel most secure with. Not  necessarily because it is easy but I feel comfortable with how I'm progressing here.

 

I'm more worried about reading and writing.

 

For reading, I'm finding part one (病句) and part two (近义词) very difficult. I also don't really know how to prepare for either of them.

 

Preparing for 病句 seems slightly more straight forward as it relies on a knowledge of the grammar of Chinese. Also, the explanations of 病句 at the back of my HSK 6 practice book are helpful. There also seem to be a slightly more limited set of ways that the 病句 are wrong and combined with the fact I don't need to explain why a sentence is wrong, this seems more manageable. The information I've learned over the last semester in preparing to teach Chinese has also helped here, particularly studying Chinese linguistics. I struggle most with the 病句 that are wrong due to using an incorrect synonym, which brings me to the second section of the reading portion.

 

The 近义词 section is really difficult, with many of the synonyms notably difficult. I can approach this as a test and get a good chunk of them right. I look at the words and find one with an easier comparison or a set that has a word I'm familiar with and see if it is correct. If it's wrong,  I know that option is wrong. I progress like this to get the right answer. This is, however, not a very gratifying way of approaching it. How can I move forward with learning all these sets of synonyms? Is this a case of one-by-one and take it slowly?

 

The writing section is both the easiest and hardest. I have no problem reading through the article and comprehending what it says. I also have no problem writing the word count. However, *remembering* all the bits and pieces is difficult for me. I have a poor memory from the get go and the writing section seems more an exercise of memory than writing ability, which sure seems like a shame from the highest level of the HSK. Any advice on how to organize thoughts and mental notes for this one?

 

Unfortunately, I don't have much time to prepare. Altogether, I have one month before I take the test, but I also have three papers to write in Chinese, each of which take a big chunk of time. Additionally, I have a lot of other studying to catch-up on as many of my classmates have undergrad degrees in teaching Chinese. They have such a strong base of linguistic knowledge to work from and build from. As such, I have been working through a textbook on teaching Chinese grammar, which has inadvertently helped a lot with the 病句 section of HSK 6.

 

Any and all advice appreciated.

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Tomsima

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, for me I found part 2 and 3 the most comfortable of the exam. I found it easy because I drilled the 固定搭配 listed in the small blue hsk 6 突破 vocab book every day for about 6 months. If you have a few more months of prep and you havent already tried out this method then it might be worth a go. Cloze sentences, reading them out loud every day, putting them into srs etc. I used and still use the advanced 博雅漢語 textbooks for in depth explanations and comparisons of synonyms.

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imron

I don't have any advice for the problems you mentioned, but probably the single best thing you can do when prepping for the HSK is try to improve your reading speed.  It will help with every single section on the test and even modest gains will translate in to a few extra minutes of time.

 

I can see why investing 15 mins a day improving your reading speed might not seem like a useful investment when you could be going through synonyms or problem sentences, but keep in mind that it will buy you a little bit more time to think about every single question on the test.

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艾墨本

@Tomsima I'll check it out! That is something I am notably missing from my 语感. I really don't have much of an intuitive sense of which words pair with which words. I think that could help. I'll also go check out the Boya books for synonym explanations. Do you have an Anki deck already set up for which words pair with which words?

 

(Edit: @Tomsima is this the book? http://product.dangdang.com/23940218.html )

 

@imron That's probably one of my strongest bits. If I am tripped up on reading speed it is mostly due to unknown vocab but I am capable of skimming over it for the sake of a test. Studying a masters degree in Chinese has done wonders for my reading speed. Once I got done all the relevant field-specific vocabulary down, reading assignments all naturally became 泛读. Unfortunately, HSK 6 vocabulary is very different than the vocabulary I've needed for my studies. Blah. It seems like a lot of it comes from sappy love stories and propaganda pieces. Which also happen to be the two types of reading material I don't like...

 

I've also contacted a Chinese classmate to tutor me on sets of synonyms and 病句. I'm curious to see how she goes about arranging the tutoring session to meet the goals I set. Despite still being a graduate student, she is very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher from what I have seen of her. Looking forward to it.

 

I'll also report back if she has some helpful methods for studying them.

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Tomsima
36 minutes ago, 艾墨本 said:

is this the book?

Yep, thats the one. And definitely agree with imron, the most influential thing that improved my score was my reading speed. As well as doing a lot of reading,  doing timed past papers also helped

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艾墨本
25 minutes ago, Tomsima said:

Yep, thats the one. And definitely agree with imron, the most influential thing that improved my score was my reading speed. As well as doing a lot of reading,  doing timed past papers also helped

After you finished a practice exam, how did you go about studying? Would you work through all the wrong answers? Just move on and continue studying your blue book? Write down all the new vocab and add it to your Anki deck? etc. etc.

*edit* and in hindsight, what was helpful and what wasted time?

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Angelina

I feel the same way. Especially how the writing part of the HSK 6 does not correspond with the writing skills necessary to attend graduate school taught in Chinese. 

 

 

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dementior

from what I read it seems you are already doing a good job. I recommend this book to learn in depth 近义词

http://product.dangdang.com/20593826.html

 

There is no secret to master the writing but focus and good memory. Combine spatial memory in terms of what paragraph said what with a visual map of characters and places.

 

And yes, the most important skill is reading fast and skimming properly. If you practice this you are saving stamina for the writing section, allowing you to keep in you short-term memory more details from the text.

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Tomsima
8 hours ago, 艾墨本 said:

what was helpful and what wasted time?

most helpful thing was seeing the test as a way to improve my level rather than to prove my level (even though that is ultimately why we are forced to take the test in the first place). Every time I took a past paper, it was an opportunity to scour for new words. even during timed tests i circled every character i didnt immediately recognise, every word I couldn't immediately tell you what it precisely meant in context. After finishing the past paper, I would mark listening and reading, then go through and collect all the words and characters and stick them in my 'big list' in pleco. The more I found the happier I would be, as it showed that the test was useful in improving my language abilities, regardless of whether I actually liked the content or not. Feeling positive about the test, despite the negativity that you might find from students online (sometimes in these forums too), was for me the most helpful way to study.

 

as for using the book, I read it every day, and still often flick through it. I have srs decks of the sentences and fixed expressions that I used to review daily.

 

Everyone has their own ways to study, so do what you must already know works for you. The best prep is whatever can make you feel the exam paper content is exciting and relevant (regardless of how you or others feel).

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Wippen (inactive)

I have come across many Chinese people also taking the HSK 6 test. Does their native advantage influence the pass rates for non natives? 

 

I know someone who just got 82% who is native Chinese. 

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