Guess what? Some auspicious news is here… I passed my HSK Level 4.
HSK is an acronym for Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, which is the pinyin for Chinese Level Test. It is the most internationally recognized certification in Mandarin.
I would be lying if I were to say that I am not proud. Chinese takes an incredible amount of time to learn and I am no exception.
Preparing for the HSK helped to increase my vocabulary and improve my reading comprehension.
According to the Wiki, the level four exam has a word count of 1200. It also provides the following description of the test.
“Designed for learners who can discuss a relatively wide range of topics in Chinese and are capable of communicating with Chinese speakers at a high standard.”
I don’t know if I would call my Chinese “high standard”, but I’ll take it.
Of course, it is commonly speculated that you need about 3,000 words to understand a mainland newspaper. HSK 5 is 2,500 words. I am not even halfway there…
However, regardless of being able to understand a newspaper, I have experienced a jump in my daily communication ability.
Not only has my Chinese level improved, but it also gave my self confidence a boost. Even though I almost never write characters longhand, (with the exception of an address), my ability to communicate with others over social media platforms has noticeably increased.
I hope to start preparing a level 5 once I return from my trip home.
If you are interested in starting to learn Chinese or continuing to improve, check out the following sites I use.
- Memrise for character recognition
- China Admin
- Good Grammar Guide
- Good Web Dict. (stroke order + drawing features)
- Pleco APP Dict. (overpriced but worth it)