A lot of questions this early Tue morning… but this one I don’t really know how to tackle. The uni where I am studying is offering the usual HSK course this fall and I don’t know if I should take it or not? For those of you who are not familiar with the term ‘HSK’, here goes (from an HSK test homepage):
“The Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) is China's national standardized test designed and developed by the HSK Center of Beijing Language and Culture University to assess the Chinese language proficiency of non-native speakers (including foreigners, overseas Chinese and students from Chinese national minorities).”
Since I started studying Mandarin I have been a little bit against the whole ‘HSK thing’ since I am not studying to score well on some test (that only test your grammar/writing/reading and listening skills –so basically u can be good on the paper and then if you have no speaking skills it won’t matter) but to be able to speak and use the language in my every day life (and hopefully later in my career). But then I met a girl this semester, an American girl, who has gone from level 2 to level 4 (!) simply by taking the HSK course and doing really well on the test. She said the HSK course had helped her with both vocabulary and grammar and that made me think… “hm… maybe that course isn’t that bad after all?!’
Although I already know I won’t do well on the test. I am a smaller disaster when it comes to handwriting Chinese characters. Give me a computer and I’ll do okay but by hand… nope. It won’t happen unless I have my best friend aka my electronic dictionary next to me… I simply find it impossible to memorize all those strokes in my head and scribble down an essay. I am deeply impressed by those who can, however.
I have heard from many people that the HSK course is quite hard, that the tempo is really high and that u basically have to know what the class is about before you go in there otherwise you’ll be lost… so hm.. I can’t say that it sounds appealing. But that smart girl who went from level 2 to 4 is definitely an inspiration… Hm… Anyone reading this blog that has taken the HSK test? What did you think? Does it help with vocabulary? Or is it simply about self studying a lot and then quickly reviewing it in the class? I definitely don’t need another class that I am struggling to keep up with, I already have three and that is more than enough…