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Details on the HSK7-9 exam are out


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I was very excited to see these news! Test center in Guangzhou confirmed there is a test next month but the registration isn’t open yet.

 

I’m wondering how to prepare? I got back to my old friend Skritter where they have the deck for 7-9. But what else would be good to do? 

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On 10/21/2022 at 11:00 AM, xuefang said:

But what else would be good to do? 

 

The only resource I've seen besides bare HSK3.0 7-9 lists is the DOT Languages - Learn Chinese app. The app, which is free (so far) is available from Apple Store and Google Play, has well organised reading material and practical exercises for all HSK3.0 levels, including 7-9. Users choose their level at the start and the reading texts and drills will be especially for that level (though it's possible to check the other levels)  

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/dot-languages-learn-chinese/id1547286120  

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dotlanguages.dot&gl=US 

https://www.dotlanguages.com/   

 

The app is nicely set up, has lots of reading texts with audio (words are clearly spoken by humans!) and a huge spread of topics and vocabulary. I find the texts a bit too simple for a 7-9 level, but they're still excellent in terms of vocabulary drills, and the exercises are varied and well designed. Really an excellent app.

 

I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned before - I think the developers may have posted here a long time ago but then the app was at a very preliminary stage. It is impressive now.

 

It also has a very cute icon!

 

 

 

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Like quite a few people, I've been eagerly following the HSK 3.0 (see my post at Stack Exchange) for the last 2 1/2 years.  For HSK 7-9 in particular, to my knowledge, there's only vocabulary and grammar lists (from the standards; see watermark-removed version), and resources derived from those lists, such as Chinese Zero to Hero (oh, I listed the HSK 3.0 chengyu here).  5000 words is a lot to learn!  Moreover, it seems very unlikely the HSK 7-9 is restricted to the official vocabulary list (it likely has many 超纲词).

 

Simply put, I don't think it's possible to say how to prepare for the HSK 7-9 exam; we don't know what is and isn't important yet.  Maybe it's best just to follow the descriptions of the exam, as given in the announcement.

 

(PS. By the way, 2+ years ago many people thought the official vocabulary list will be from the book 汉语国际教育用词语声调组合及轻重音格式实用手册, to the point that many apps introduced a "HSK7-9" feature using this book.  However, this book is not the same as the standards; e.g. 爱 is level 2 in this book while 爱 is level 1 in the standards.)

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On 10/21/2022 at 11:06 PM, Luxi said:

The only resource I've seen besides bare HSK3.0 7-9 lists is the DOT Languages - Learn Chinese app.


Thank you! I’ll check it out. I’m familiar with academic texts in my field in education, but I’m not that good in other fields so I think I need to read more varied texts. 

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On 10/21/2022 at 5:06 PM, Luxi said:

 

The app is nicely set up, has lots of reading texts with audio (words are clearly spoken by humans!)

Not as far as I was able to assess sadly. Did sound too good to be true! Got curious and signed up to see as I have a mild interest in voice and tts (though I thought it a bit dodgy having to give my email address before being able to see anything of the app itself, save for the images promised on the app store; no other info online either).

 

The app seems to use tts throughout, including the emphatic female voice reading the articles (yes, even the sound of her breath intake and vocal warmth are all artifacts). It seems to my ears to be from the generation of Microsoft Azure technology; I think it was Baidu that had developed a very similar, almost life-like set of voices, too, so it could also be one of theirs. Nothing wrong with tts - and this is a very good way to use it for free if you don't have access to good tts, but it would have been nice to provide a choice of voices at least (it seems there's a natural female voice pre-set to read articles, a natural male voice pre-set to read dictionary words, and a robotic male voice pre-set to read any text you upload yourself). 

 

I agree the higher levels aren't challenging enough, but the advanced texts do seem to contain lots of random vocab from lots of disparate news articles so that could potentially be useful. The rest is what I imagine apps like Duolingo are the like: gamified vocab drills with an integrated dictionary and reading platform. Mind you the latter is limited to texts of up to 1000 characters, including those you upload yourself.

 

The app seems otherwise well-designed, hopefully harmless and probably best used for intensive, short session of vocab-building/reviewing input. However, I would be surprised if it's based on what Becky above said are the new official HSK7-9 word lists.

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On 10/22/2022 at 8:55 AM, sanchuan said:

The app seems to use tts throughout,

 

Wow! I went back to the app to check again, and distinctly heard the AI breathing🤐... Maybe I got lucky, but the reader clearly exhales air at several places in the text 飞速发展的 (Rapid development of Vietnam) in the HSK7-9 section.

 

Did we check the same app? The app I use is from the Apple Store, version 2.4.3, in an iPad. Looks very much the same as the one in the Google store for Android, but I cannot verify this. I can't remember having to give my email address, the Apple store uses an in-app email (using one's email is optional), and that and a user name of my choice was enough to sign in.  I've only listened to a small fraction of the audio (almost entirely from Section marked HSK 7-9) and both texts and highlighted vocabulary are spoken by human-sounding voices with inflections, irregular pauses, slight variations in speed, and even occasional breathing sounds. It's much more difficult to tell with the vocabulary audio, isolated words always tend to sound robotic.

 

On 10/22/2022 at 8:55 AM, sanchuan said:

(it seems there's a natural female voice pre-set to read articles, a natural male voice pre-set to read dictionary words, and a robotic male voice pre-set to read any text you upload yourself)

 

That's weird too, all the voices I heard so far are male! I even checked a couple of beginner and intermediate level to be sure. 

 

In any case, why would any developer pay the cost of natural-voice Azure-class tts, with added breathing and other natural inflections, reading hundreds of assorted texts and masses of vocabulary in a free app used by only a handful of people???

 

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I've also only checked a couple from the 7-9 section - including now that text on Vietnam you mentioned, which I can confirm has a male voice on my end too.

 

I think we're looking at the same thing. They must be using a couple different TTS voices across the app. The Vietnam one is most definitely read by Yunxi, a "lively and sunshine" chap from Azure. 

 

I imagine they will have used your Apple email to sign in (I only tried on an Android device).  

 

As for why a free app would pay for Azure... Well. The betting, if you catch my drift, is that they did not.

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On 10/21/2022 at 8:16 PM, becky82 said:

Moreover, it seems very unlikely the HSK 7-9 is restricted to the official vocabulary list (it likely has many 超纲词).

 

Once Hanban publishes a few practice exams for the HSK 7-9 I'll do a vocabulary analysis like I did for the HSK 6. It will be interesting to see how the two exams compare in terms of text difficulty. I won't have as much data as I did for the HSK 6 but I could probably pose some sort of statistical hypothesis test to see if the HSK 7-9 material is significantly different from the HSK 6 material in some way.

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Maybe it's possible to register for the HSK7-9 now; the website has changed:

 

1926050389_Screenshot2022-10-25at05-55-11--.thumb.png.1954a2ef52f7c5852a560e57adf90131.png

 

I don't think I'll attend the first one---it's probably too expensive for a test I can't (yet) prepare for.  Besides, I likely wouldn't do too well and I should probably just study more.  Also, I only encountered "at home" tests and that doesn't suit me.  I'm guessing the first exam will be quickly shared all over the Internet (e.g. those Korean YouTube channels), after which I might be able to judge my competency.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I registered for the home exam via a Shanghai test center. The exam is a bit over 1000rmb, making it a very expensive failure that will most likely happen 😅 

 

I passes HSK6 in 2013 and 2016, but I haven’t been actively studying since then. Have concentrated more on teaching levels 1-4 instead. My excuse is that I’ve lacked a convenient and concrete goal that the new advanced exam now provides. 
 

I’ll try to write down my test experience in as many details as I can afterwards, hoping it could help others as well. 
 

Any advice on how to prepare for this mysterious test is greatly appreciated!

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On 11/14/2022 at 4:15 PM, xuefang said:

Any advice on how to prepare for this mysterious test is greatly appreciated!

 

It seems you're our resident expert---you might know more than anyone else.  The structure of the exam is here.

 

Quote

I’ll try to write down my test experience in as many details as I can afterwards, hoping it could help others as well. 

 

Yes, please do!  I'm extremely curious (but not enough to spend 1000 yuan).

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I went to the bookstore today and found these books that I believe can be helpful. The news reading and audiovisual course are made for those above 5000 words. The translation book has tons of exercises which I feel are very useful for me as I don’t have any experience in translation. 
 

 

77613ACB-E26C-4853-8504-D2D78BC27E77.jpeg

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The exam is coming next week and I received a call from the test center. As it’s a home test, there is a mock exam this Sunday. It’s both exciting and terrifying at the same time, exciting because I get to see what the exam truly is like and terrifying that it’s so soon and might make me panic 😅 

 

The mock exam is a little bit shorter than the actual exam, but includes all the question types. This way I know what to cram next week before the real exam! 

72F6230A-7756-432F-B4D0-D509BD5E78E3.jpeg

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