Sunday, June 21, 2009

HSK aftermath

Oh man, that was a hard exam. Hard, because there’s so much content and so little time?! I believe a lot of people (including me) could have scored much higher if we got twice the time to complete the different parts. Unfortunately that’s not the case and as a result I don’t think I did very well.

For those of you who have no idea what a HSK exam is, it’s an exam testing your Chinese language skills (for foreigners, obviously) but do you want to know a funny bit about it? It tests your listening skills, reading comprehension skills, your grammar skills, and your writing skills… and then you get a grade expressing how good your Chinese is. Anyone but me who think it’s funny that there’s no oral part? Just a thought… (although when you’re taking the advanced exam there apparently is an oral part. Just a shame that I’ll probably never be able to get there. Right now I am taking the intermediate exam).

The different parts are quite hard. I’ve only tried taking this exam once before (and then it wasn’t a ‘real HSK exam’ but just something that my university arranged for us) and then I did quite well on the listening part but terrible on all other parts, and especially the writing part (I think I scored something like 2 out of 15?! Haha!). Today was the complete opposite. The listening exam went completely downhill, I somehow never got into it and ended up not feeling so confident when picking my answers. The reading comprehension could have gone better if I would have been a bit more time conscious. When there was only 5 minutes left I hadn’t even started on the last essay…. So that one didn’t go so well.

The grammar part went so-so and the writing part was probably the best one… Even though I couldn’t write all the characters I wanted to write (hehe) I still felt that I knew the answers, and that’s enough for me.

Oh well, it was kind of fun to try taking a ‘real’ HSK exam. I will definitely take the next one too. And the next one, and the next one… Maybe it is like that, that you have to try a few times to get used to it, and then eventually you’re able to do better? Also, something I really have to work on for next time is my reading speed.

Although I have to say that HSK exam aren’t really ‘language skill confidence boosters’… but rather the opposite. The day I do well at one of those exams is the day I will tell others that I know this language. Until then, better study more!

10 comments:

flyingfish said...

You might have done better than you think! And even if you didn't, who cares? As you point out, the test isn't really all that reliable as a gauge of your skills.

Anyway, congratulations on finishing. Now you can take a breath and go have some fun!

Livia said...

Hi Jonna! I've been following your blog for a time now and suddenly realised I don't know how old you are??

Anonymous said...

I agree. The oral part is the most important part. Reading and writing are obviously a very close second, but no one in the world writes what they want to say to the person in front of them as a normal part of conversation.

Having said that, I've found that I've needed to write Chinese to people who only speak Mandarin because I dont know how to pronounce the words I know in Cantonese in Mandarin.

It's inefficient, but everyone has a laugh and appreciates the effort.

Yesterday I learnt ji ro. Jonna, your gym sessions have given you hen da ji ro! hehe

Adrian

pilgrimchick said...

That must have been quite a challenge--I can't imagine how difficult it must be to learn such a different language.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever taken the TOEFL?
They are in the same way.

Shanghai MiFeng said...

Livia , thanks for asking for Jonna's age . As Gentlemen would never do such thing as to ask a Lady's age . My guess has alway's been , about 24 to 26 .

Jonna Wibelius said...

flyingfish -let's hope you r right! Yeah, I guess in the long run it doesn't matter. Although it's always fun to do well on tests... :)

2 more exams and a loooot of writing and THEN I can relax for a day or 2! Wiiiii!

Livia /Shanghai Mifeng -Oh, you guys wanna know my holy number?! Well, let's put it this way: I left Sweden when I was 19 and since then I've spent 8 years abroad. U do the math! (Mifeng -24?! Ohhhhhh! Cheers for that!)

Adrian -hahahha... keep working on the gym and your 'ji rou' will grow even bigger :)

pilgrimchick- hard but not impossible. It's just me whining a little bit too much about it... :)

Anonymous -I never had to take TOEFL, not even when I applied for a uni degree in Aussie land.. I think I had a quite good grade in English back then. But I can imagine they r similar. Must be similar tests for all languages. I wonder how well I would do on the Swedish test.. hehe. Prob NOT that well!

kanmuri said...

Those kind of tests are kinda depressing: they make you feel like you know nothing. Like you, I'm better at speaking than reading or writing Japanese (well, Chinese for you.) Last November I took the highest level of the Japanese Proficiency test and expected to fail it. I passed. So you never know, maybe it'll turn out nicely :D

Anonymous said...

hey, Jonna. i'm your chinese reader.i have been staking your blog for rather a long time. haha andin fact, some of your comments on china and chinese life are quite thought- provoking;BUT for some parts i really cant agree with you. dont know whether it possible to make further communications with you like this on your blog because i just cant open it. where could i find your e-mail adress on your blog? i want more communication.

Mark's Blog said...

Sounds like Gaokao?!

in these kind of exams, it's always a matter of if you are getting 60% or 80%, not if you are getting 100% or 80%.