Trying to grade my Chinese

One of my favourite blogs Confused LaoWai wrote about his Chinese proficiency according to Lingomi’s PRG scorecard for Mandarin Chinese. Looks like Neil is doing very well! Even though my Chinese isn’t quite there yet and it’s hard to rate one’s own progress, I wanted to try too.

Writing Characters

I have learned about 500 characters with Skritter now, but maybe have forgotten something and haven’t added something I already know. Maybe my writing by hand is somewhere between level 3 (250 characters) and level 4 (500). With computer I think my level is 4.

Reading Characters

I have read Graded Chinese Reader 1 with 2000 characters and started book 2 with 3000 characters. There are words that I don’t know and I have to check new words from the margins, but I can get the overall meaning. So maybe level 5 with 1200 characters is the closest one.

Chinese Vocabulary

This one is also really hard to estimate, but I guess that level 5 with 1500 words is the closest one. Getting this far with grading my self, I have to say it is difficult! I feel like I am giving my self too good marks, but on the other hand I don’t want to underestimate myself either.

Chinese Grammar

How is it even possible to grade? I guess I am intermediate 1 or 2 (level 3 or 4), but I don’t really know what those levels mean. Last November at old HSK Elementary-Intermediate exam I got 49 points (out of 100) from grammar section.

Spoken Chinese

Maybe level 4 with “can get around and do daily things” describes my spoken Chinese quite well. When talking with my Chinese boyfriend I’m probably already at level 5 (“can begin to express complex ideas and thoughts”), but he have learned to understand me very well.

Chinese Listening

Steven at Lingomi has lots of questions marks in his listening scorecard (for levels from 4 to 7). Level 3 says “has a good grasp of tones and tonal differences” and level 8 “fluent listening”. I can enjoy easy Chinese movies (我知女人心) and dating TV shows (称心如意 and 我们约会吧). I don’t understand  everything they say but I get the basic idea and like watching them. Should that be level 4 or 5?


I don’t really have any idea did I just grade my self fairly or was I too strickt or probably too kind. Maybe I should ask my teacher to grade me? Or maybe my HSK results can tell more about my skills: Listening 52, Grammar 49, Reading 42 and Characters 51. Notice that it was old version of HSK that I took last November and I got Elementary B (level 4). Right now I am waiting for the results from my last Sunday’s HSK (also old one).