Studying Chinese

The results from latest HSK test are here! How is my Chinese doing?

Points: listening/grammar/reading/comprehensive

Yesterday I got the results from my third HSK test. I bet most of you know about HSK, but the rest of you should know that it is official Chinese Proficiency Test. There is two versions of the exam, old and new, and they are quite different from each other. I took the old one because my university doesn’t offer the new exam.

As you can see from above, my new grade is Elementary A! I am actually really happy with the results even though the grammar points are a disappointment. It’s even worse than last time! I should really pay attention to grammar because right now it matches barely level 4.

On the other hand I got nice score from the listening which seems to be on level 6 already! I have been watching more Chinese TV lately (but not on my holiday which I’m spending in Finland right now) and maybe those dating shows really have helped me. But I do remember one questions from the listening part where I understood what they were saying but had no idea what the options A, B, C and D were. All absolutely unfamiliar characters!

But the true winner this time was reading because from it I got 17 points more than last time. Isn’t that a progress? I am just wondering did I learn more characters compared to last November, or did I have a better understanding on how the HSK exam works? Or maybe I’m just a good guesser! The exam is almost completely multiple choice and only in the last part we have to write about 15 characters.

Did anyone of you take HSK last April and what about the results? I would also like to hear your opinions about my progress!


  • Confused LaoWai

    Congrats! I really need to write an HSK test. Never got round to them.

    Sara Reply:

    Thanks! I think HSK is a good way to grade one’s Chinese and also something that motivates to learn more and get better grades. Sure it’s not perfect exam, but no matter if it’s old or new HSK I think it’s always nice to have an official paper of your language skills. So if possible, I do recommend you to try it!

  • HuShiwei

    I took the HSK in April also, but after checking my results it says my exam’s test results are under review, seems that whoever submitted the paperwork did something wrong so I’ll have to wait a bit longer. Did you take the new HSK or the old one?

    Sara Reply:

    I took the old one and if you took the new one, then the dates for results aren’t maybe the same. So don’t be worried just now, maybe the results will come soon.

  • Tom

    Great job Sara! I think there are only a few people that can learn Chinese very quickly, and the rest of us can only hope for steady progress. Great job on the reading section, that’s my weakest section. It sounds like you have good study habits and are on the right track.

    Sara Reply:

    Thank you Tom. I was little bit worried about the results and thought maybe I was just lucky last time and wouldn’t even get a grade now. I’m also little bit sceptical if the test really shows my true language skills or could my Chinese be worse than my grades. I have a big motivation to learn Chinese and faster is better than slower, but self criticism is the worst!

  • Justin Liu

    Grats Sara, the TV probably did help. Television in my opinion is an underrated language teaching tool. I can specifically remember learning German from the German version of teenage mutant ninja turtles and learning English from the Simpsons.

    Sara Reply:

    Thanks Justin. I think TV is an excellent way to study. The language in the dating shows isn’t too difficult and I can understand quite a lot. Later I can change to more challenging ones and hopefully in the future I can follow Chinese TV without problems. In Finland many boys learn English while playing computer or Play Station games.

    Justin Liu Reply:

    “In Finland many boys learn English while playing computer or Play Station games.”

    Little wonder then, such phrases as LOL, WTF, OMG is making it into the modern English lexicon.

    Justin Liu Reply:

    Congrats again on the results.

  • Adriana

    I got my results, took level 4, and good grades.
    I am taking HSK 5 next week, but I am scared…. I haven’t review at all, and I do not think I will do fine…

    I will just have to go to China to practice (perfect excuse :) )

    Sara Reply:

    Good job Adriana! I assume you are talking about the new HSK? It’s sometimes little bit confusing when there’s two versions of the exam and both are called HSK :) I think we have HSK again in June, but because I’m now in Finland I can’t register to it. Well, that’s ok for me and I can wait until November to try again. You should absolutely come to China, if possible! This really is the best place to learn Chinese when you have numerous opportunities to practice everytime you go outside. But sure even in China you have to make an effort because it’s too easy to hang out with other laowais and speak English all the time. But if you can, welcome!

  • Jenna Vandenberg

    I’m inspired! Last time I went to China I took one look at the characters and gave up. I’m headed back soon and pre-emptively working on my Mandarin skills so I too can watch Chinese TV. Good luck with your grammar next time!

    Sara Reply:

    Thank you for commenting Jenna! I think that first Chinese characters feel readlly hard and make no sense, but later on it will become easier. It is hard work to learn and memorize the characters, but it isn’t that difficult. Good luck with your studies!