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汉语水平考试 (HSK)

Posted by: zgarrett | October 20, 2010 | 3 Comments |


Last weekend I went to Portland to take the HSK, a test created by the Chinese government to test people’s proficiency in Mandarin. The test was developed in 1987 and by 2005 around 1 million people had taken it in over 120 countries. It is frequently compared to the TOEFL, which serves a similar purpose for people learning English. If you have a certificate from the HSK then many new opportunities in higher education and work open up in China. If your score is especially high then you stand a chance of being granted a scholarship from the Chinese government to study in China.

The levels of HSK tests are divided into three sections, containing two tests each. The elementary level has HSK 1 and 2, the intermediate has HSK 3 and 4, and advanced has 5 and 6. I decided to take the level 3 test, since this is what the people at the Confucius institute suggested as a first try. The test was divided into a listening section, a reading section, and a writing section. If you are in Chinese 331 then you shouldn’t have too much trouble with the listening, after all our classes have a pretty strong focus on listening. The reading section was also not very much trouble. All the characters in the reading questions were very common, but if you aren’t that confident that you know enough then you can find word lists on the internet. The writing section was the hardest because it contained characters that I didn’t know. Plus, I feel that grammar is one of my weakest points.

If you want to take the HSK I believe they will be holding it in Portland again in April. However, if you want to take the HSK 2 they will be offering it for free in November, just check you email.

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Responses -

what? The grammar is your weakest point after all the sentences patterns and all the exams you have taken in our class? hmm….I have to think about how I can make the class more grammatically centered now.

I think it is because there are so many different patterns created by the characters that I don’t use all of them enough, so I don’t remember the ones that I don’t use. The review weeks are nice because the homework requires us to go back and review the patterns we already learned.

haha… It was a joke. I understand. Actually native speakers do not really use that many sentence patterns unless they are required to in daily life. You can think about how many different English sentence patterns we use in our conversations. I have paied attention to people’s dialogue, actually not that many. But when we write, we have to use different sentences otherwise, our eyes and minds get bored. Very interesting phenomenon.