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HSK 4 Writing Section

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7800

I've finally finished learning the HSK 4 vocabulary, and I just started taking some mock tests (by myself). On questions 95 to 100 I'm supposed to write a sentence based on an image, as seen below:
Q100.thumb.png.6d0b796fa7040ff297acc5d30697bc82.png
The only instruction I'm given is "看图,用词造句。" Can I write any sentence as long as it contains the required word and it is related to the picture? Can I write sentences as simple as "他在看杂志。" or should I go for something more like " 我爸爸喜欢每天都喝着咖啡看杂志。"?

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mungouk

My teacher tells me to use as much HSK 4 vocab and grammar as I can when answering these.  I didn't sit the HSK 4 exam yet, but I am preparing for it.

I'm not sure how they actually assess these questions, but there is a published 评分 sheet out there somewhere.
 

2 minutes ago, 7800 said:

mock testes

 

Ahem.  There are official online mock tests on the web... did you try any of those?  (I can't find them right now.)

I wonder how they grade the answers. 
 

 

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abcdefg
1 hour ago, 7800 said:

" 我爸爸喜欢每天都喝着咖啡看杂志。"?

 

我爸爸喜欢每天都喝咖啡,看杂志。(Leave out the 着 after 喝。)

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889

It looks to me like a strong invitation to use 一边…, 一边…。

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7800
3 hours ago, mungouk said:

There are official online mock tests on the web... did you try any of those?

I've been trying the paper-based tests that can be found on the official website.

 

 

2 hours ago, abcdefg said:

(Leave out the 着 after 喝。)

You say that because 着 doesn't go well with 每天 in this case?

 

 

14 minutes ago, 889 said:

It looks to me like a strong invitation to use 一边…, 一边…。

Indeed, it does look like it, but is it a must? How are the answers for these questions evaluated?

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889

I'm not familiar with the phrases introduced at the HSK 4 level. But I think it's pretty obvious you're supposed to draw on what's new at HSK 4.

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7800
On 6/4/2020 at 11:28 PM, 889 said:

I think it's pretty obvious you're supposed to draw on what's new at HSK 4.

I would have agreed with you had I not looked at the reference answers. Take a look a this one:
image.png.edd45502a61d80915b8fdba765840c4d.png
The answer found on the back of the test, downloaded from the official website, goes as follows:

 

image.png.a5a57ffa860e330e8f387ccad9fcace3.png

I believe we can all agree that this answer is really really simple, besides 吃惊 everything else is HSK 1 vocabulary. All other answers are very short, though not as simple.
I'm asking all this because I really have no idea about how the answers are evaluated, I don't know whether I should be writing more complex answers or if "less is more".

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889

"I believe we can all agree that this answer is really really simple, besides 吃惊 everything else is HSK 1."

 

Does HSK 1 actually teach when to use 了 and when not to use it?

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7800
18 minutes ago, 889 said:

Does HSK 1 actually teach when to use 了 and when not to use it?

I'm not sure whether an official list of required grammar for the test exists or not. Also, HSK 1 doesn't test writing, so it's difficult to compare.


Still, 了 can be found on many questions from the 听力 and 阅读 parts, on sentences such as "你少写了一个零", "你看见我的小猫了吗?", "她女儿多大了?", "我买了不少", and "我在中国住了4年了". If my memory's not failing me right know, I believe HSK 1 Standard Course has a whole chapter on 了.

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mungouk

It's not complete yet, but the team over at the Chinese Grammar Wiki have been working on identifying grammar points by HSK levels.

This is the level 4 listing: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/HSK_4_grammar_points

 

From which "official website" did you download the test with model answers? 

 

Also I mentioned this book "New HSK Chinese Learning and Test Course: Writing and Speaking Level 4" in another thread... It has 6 pages of discussion on exam technique for HSK 4. It suggests you should use as many different sentence patterns as you can.

 

Regarding part 2 of the writing section it says this:

 

1615487250_hsk4excerpt.thumb.png.71600b5d9461b323a9bd670bfcd98a45.png

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roddy

Is there really no official grammar list? The (hang on, where are my rose-tinted glasses) old HSK had a grindingly dull but very useful HSK语法大纲 divided into four levels. It's available online, if a dubiously formatted pdf on Baidu Yunpan counts as available. I believe I also have a copy in the attic. Some judicious searching might turn up more sources. 

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somethingfunny
7 hours ago, 7800 said:

I'm asking all this because I really have no idea about how the answers are evaluated

 

From what I remember when I took HSK, no-one really knows for sure how the answers are evaluated.  But that was a while ago now.

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mungouk
On 6/5/2020 at 11:46 AM, roddy said:

Is there really no official grammar list?

 

I don't remember seeing one anywhere.  There are grammar points listed in each official HSK Standard Course textbook.

 

The Chinese Grammar Wiki folk appear to have reverse-engineered their list from these and other textbooks.

 

Maybe this is one of the things they will put back into the syllabus in HSK v3.0?

 

 

On 6/5/2020 at 11:55 AM, somethingfunny said:

no-one really knows for sure how the answers are evaluated.

 

Well someone knows, unless they get marked by robots! 😀   I would hope that this knowledge finds its way into the HSK preparation books somehow, eventually...

 

Here's the relevant extract from the Hanban 评分 guidelines (PDF), describing what you need to write for a low, medium or high mark in the describe-a-picture section:

 

3.看图用词造句

HSK(四级)中有看图用词造句题。
 

0 :        空白。

 

低档分:   内容与图片及所提供的词语无关 3 个或 3 个以上错别字句子不完整,有语法错误。

 

中档分:   句子完整、无语法错误但有 1-2 个错别字; 句子完整、无语法错误但内容简单。
 

高档分:   完整、无错别字、无语法错误且内容丰富。

 

So basically for a high mark they're saying you need complete sentences, with no incorrect characters, no grammar mistakes and plentiful content... But I'm not sure how we are supposed to judge "内容丰富", apart from it not being "简单".

 

 

 

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889

The advice to use different sentence patterns suggests the answers aren't graded individually but somehow taken as a whole.

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mungouk

I just spent a while trying to track down the online mock tests, and it seems they have moved.

 

I found this newer site, which appear to be hosted by "Silk Road International Education Center" in Beijing, and looks visually very similar to the one I mentioned a couple of years back, including having a Hanban logo, so it could be official-ish:

 

        http://cnhsk.org/mk 

 

You need to register as a user on the site, but the tests appear to be free.

 

There are also some mock online tests on the official Hanban site, which I don't remember seeing before... you need to be registered on the site (use the same login as you use for registering for the exam), and then when you click through you get asked to pay 20 RMB to continue. 

 

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

 

I'm wondering whether the writing sections, like the one for HSK 4 we're discussing here, get properly graded by humans or not. 

@7800 you might want to try them out?

 

 

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jinbu

At the China Education Center website you can find more details about the HSK test en also download the different HSK mock test for free.

https://www.chinaeducenter.com/en/exams.php

 

At Chinese Zero to Hero there is a comprehensive grammar list from HSK 1 to HSK 6

https://www.zerotohero.ca/#/en/zh/grammar

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mungouk
5 hours ago, jinbu said:

At Chinese Zero to Hero there is a comprehensive grammar list from HSK 1 to HSK 6

https://www.zerotohero.ca/#/en/zh/grammar

 

That looks useful, thanks. 

 

Downloadable too — although it doesn't seem to say what the license is apart from describing the Node.js project as a whole as "open source" and putting it on github. https://github.com/longjiang/zerotohero-cli

 

 

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mungouk
On 6/5/2020 at 4:39 AM, 7800 said:

I believe HSK 1 Standard Course has a whole chapter on 了.

 

There are 2-3 pages in Chapter 14 on using 了 at the end of a sentence to indicate completion, and using it between a verb and its object. 

 

So, very basic usage. 

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mungouk
On 6/5/2020 at 4:37 PM, mungouk said:

        http://cnhsk.org/mk 
 

I'm wondering whether the writing sections, like the one for HSK 4 we're discussing here, get properly graded by humans or not. 

 

Right, I just did the first mock HSK 4 test here and not surprisingly the last 5 questions, free writing, don't get graded. The results page shows marks for Q86-95 (re-arrange the words to make a sentence), and shows model answers for Q96-100, but no marks.

 

Also, apart from a few visual tweaks, this is the same mock test system that used to be at http://mnks.chinesebridge.com.cn/Mnks/Simulate/DefaultNew.aspx (now defunct), as mentioned earlier

 

Once you've finished you get download link to a PDF with your results in (and like before it shows the points allocated per question, but you have to add them up yourself... BAD programmer!  LAZY programmer!).  This doesn't include the writing section at all.  But there's also a results web page, that does show the Part 1 of the writing section (the computer grades Q86-95 for you). 

 

Furthermore, the two different sets of results are inconsistent in how many points per question they allocate.  I also found a couple of mistakes in the marking (the test I did turns out to be the same as the sample one on the Hanban website.)

 

It's a bit slap-dash, but at least you can see what you got wrong, and it's still less effort than grading your own paper test manually.

 

 

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7800
On 6/5/2020 at 12:37 PM, mungouk said:

you might want to try them out?

I'm pretty confident that I can pass HSK 4 with nice 听力 and 阅读 scores, and I intend to take the paper-based test (someday,  I guess...). For now, I'll stick to what I've been doing, which is asking some chinese friends to have a look on my writing. Still, I didn't know those existed; I'm sure they'll be useful in the future!

 

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