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!


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


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%.