HSK: Certify Your Chinese

Enter the Dragon...

For the past few weeks I’ve been away from AsianLiving to work on a long-standing goal of mine: Crush the HSK. Conquering this exam has been an interest of mine since 2007. At that time I had already been in China for 1 year and started feeling pretty confident about my daily-use Chinese. I had already traveled to the Yellow Mountains by myself and played tour guide for my brother’s New Year visit. But little did I know that there would be a beast of an exam waiting to swallow me whole…

The Chinese proficiency exam (HSK) is the only standardized test of¬†Standard Mandarin for non-native speakers. It is administered by the Chinese government through Han Ban, the “China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.”¬†With a scale of 1-6, HSK basically tests your ability to memorize the minuscule differences among verbs, pronouns, prepositions, etc. My goal is to get 4, but that is REALLY hard. HSK has been pummeled by complaints over the years for its lack of practicality. So, they created CTEST in 2006 for students to certify their daily-use Chinese and, for the first time, speaking!

When I put off taking the exam in 2007 I had become busy with other projects. In 2009 I had signed up for a Fall exam in Guangzhou, but became too busy to attend the scheduled exam… but now, I’m ready! I will not let it slip through my fingers again! Expected a republished article about my experience preparing for this exam when it is over…

After November 28th I will get back to Asianliving and update with some new recipes I’ve learned! A new Toufu recipe is coming + a tasty vegetable dish that floats!

Wish me luck!
-Ben@asianliving.me

  • jennynakao

    Hi Ben,
    Wow that’s great that you are taking the examination! Wishing you much luck and success!
    Although you are far from home, hope you do have a Happy Thanksgiving!
    best wishes,
    Jenny

  • ben.piscopo

    Thanks Jenny! It’s loads of work, but should be a nice feather in my cap. Have you taken a language exam like this before? They are kinda impractical, but oh well. -Ben

  • Anonymous

    Update: I received my score on HSK and I got a level 6! That means I could enroll in a chinese university if I wanted. Very excited! Thanks everyone for your support!

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