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thechamp

HSK 5 to 6 in 2 months.

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thechamp

The thread title makes this sound more ambitious than it actually is - I'm not that daft!

 

This is the story: I live in China a long time ago but left in 2015 to come back to the UK to study postgrad (not Chinese related).

 

A year before I left I took the HSK 5 after a month's study (I had been studying whilst working for a few years prior to that - but not specific HSK materials). At the time the tutor at the language school advised me to take HSK 6 but do it over 3 months (I only had 1 month so went for HSK 5 but passed it quite comfortably). After that I stayed in China working in a Chinese office and being exposed to lots of formal Chinese in communications, documents and meetings so I think I improved a lot in that period although I have no qualification to demonstrate that.

 

I would like to take a sabbatical from work next Summer for 3 months. My plan is to do 1 month of travel and rockclimbing (Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yangshuo etc) and two months of full-time study and take HSK 6). Does this sound plausible/possible do you think? Bare in mind I have only been using Chinese sparingly, for the last 4 years...does anyone know much about how quickly your language abilities deteriorate or come back to you after some deterioration?

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mackie1402

Take a mock HSK 5 test and compare it to your results before. How much have you retained? What do you need to refresh and work on?
Then take a timed mock HSK 6 test. How far are you from passing? What are your weaknesses? 


In my eyes, that's the only way you'll really know if it's doable and how much you've retained from before. It's difficult for anyone to really say as no one knows your level better than yourself.  In the meantime, I hear the vocab and amount of reading is a killer in the HSK 6, so get plenty of extra reading in to boost your speed, then in China find a dedicated HSK teacher to guide you on how to best answer the types of questions you'll encounter. 

 

Good luck! 

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thechamp

Are there online practice tests these days?!

 

After some customary googling....people studying Chinese these days don't even know they are born!

 

The resources are SO MUCH BETTER than they even were 5 years ago.

 

Unreal..

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mackie1402

Ha yeah I suppose you're right. 2015 doesn't seem that long ago, but when I think about how much Hangzhou has developed since then it's insane. Suppose its the same for Chinese materials! 

 

http://www.chinesetest.cn/godownload.do

 

This is the official website where you can sign up for the HSK. It's got some practice tests on there you can check out. Word of warning, it's an awful site, especially on mobile. 

 

When you head back to China you can pick up tonnes of HSK books now. There are usually 6-10 mock tests per book plus a key to tell you why it's the right answer, and they only about 40-70rmb a book. 

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abcdefg
On 8/7/2019 at 10:02 PM, thechamp said:

Bare in mind I have only been using Chinese sparingly, for the last 4 years...does anyone know much about how quickly your language abilities deteriorate or come back to you after some deterioration?

 

I wish you every success with this language project plus I hope you get in some good rock climbing. In answer to your question, I believe the rate of decay of a skill set like this is a highly individual matter. Personally I used to be able to revisit and refresh "dormant" knowledge quickly and without too much effort. As I have grown older, it takes more time and more work. 

 

On 8/7/2019 at 10:02 PM, thechamp said:

I would like to take a sabbatical from work next Summer for 3 months.

 

Might mention, just in passing, that summer is not the best time of year for outdoor activities in Yunnan. It's our rainy season 雨季。Conditions would be much more favorable spring or fall. 

 

Another general thought: Could you get a head start by starting your review process now? Even a few hours a week would go a long way considering that next summer is 11 or so months away.  

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thechamp

I can't really get a jump on it in terms of preparation because I have professional qualifications and courses that are being paid for by my employer so they're sort of the priority.

 

Do you climb? Where would you recommend in Yunnan? Perhaps I will go in Autumn instead then....

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abcdefg
12 hours ago, thechamp said:

Do you climb? Where would you recommend in Yunnan? Perhaps I will go in Autumn instead then....

 

No, I don't climb. Not real climbing with ropes and all. Chinese use the phrase 爬山 very loosely, to include an afternoon stroll on paved trails in a mountain park. I do that kind, with camera in hand. 

 

Suggest you have a look at GoKunming at https://www.gokunming.com/en/. They regularly have articles on where and how to climb in Yunnan. Some are very fine feature stories with maps and photos.  

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mackie1402
On 8/8/2019 at 8:45 PM, abcdefg said:

that next summer is 11 or so months away.  

 

Ha this confused me until I thought about it. Can't believe we're already in summer! Time really does fly. 

 

On 8/9/2019 at 7:16 PM, thechamp said:

I can't really get a jump on it in terms of preparation because I have professional qualifications and courses that are being paid for by my employer so they're sort of the priority.

 

You sure you can get the time off next summer if your employer is paying for you to take qualifications now? Hope it all works out, anyway! Definitely focus on your work for now, but you could always listen to a listening test on the way to work/during a lunch break. I like to think, every minute I invest now, is less money I will need to invest with a teacher in the future. 

  • Good question! 1

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Enjune Zhang

Talking about the rapid progress in short period,it reminds me of a book written by Chris Lonsdale teaching Chinese student to learn English. It says that you can learn every foreign language well in 6 months. Learn the highly applied elements in a language and leave out all the rest.Be immersed in the targeted language daily and try everything possible to create a language environment closely related to personal life. Stick to the 80:20 principle (one can comprehend 80% of the language by applying 20% resources frequently employed)and conquer the infinite with the limited well equipped but available for numerous changeable reconstitution and combinations.We call it 以不变应万变.

 

What you come across in the test or communication is uncertain, but comprehension and expression based on limited character and words is the thing you need to focus on. And the effective time and the efficient way for you to succeed in this guarantees an improvement in limited time. As for the effective time, it is not a matter of how many time you spend but how effectively you spend.You might say you have learn Chinese for a year, but actually the exact time you devote to Chinese materials and communication is just 10950 mins, 182.5 hours, no more than 8 days (counted by 30 mins per day). Procrastination,little motivation and unexpected time-consuming tasks get in the way.

 

Figure out what will be the things worth your attention. Find the test outline of HSK6 and the past exam paper, experience the whole test with same limited time and spot the point getting you trapped. Find the similar listening materials in same speed and reading materials in similar topics, make sure you know every possible characters on the list and get into the ocean of written Chinese info.That's how you could focus on the same characters applied in various articles in different contexts, getting exposed to limitless resources with particular purpose and strengthen conscious input and absorption of Chinese words.

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