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How exhausting is HSK 9?

How exhausting is HSK 9?


In 2020, the introduction of three new HSK ranges shocked the worldwide Chinese language studying group. The place HSK 6 was once the final word certification of Chinese language language expertise, now you may goal all the way in which for HSK 9. However how troublesome is HSK 9 and what to anticipate in every a part of the examination?

The brand new HSK ranges 7 – 9

The brand new HSK didn’t merely fall out of the air, nor did the HSK superminds (Hanban) really feel that the earlier system didn’t problem Chinese language learners sufficient in order that they needed to provide you with one thing actually not possible.

No, the primary objective of the so-called HSK 3.0 is to supply a language take a look at for superior Chinese language learners who search to review or work at a Chinese language college, not least those that main in Chinese language language and literature and those that research in China for his or her grasp’s and doctoral levels. In different phrases, we’re primarily speaking about sinologists, graduate and post-graduate college students making use of for a Chinese language college program.

Not like “HSK 7 – 9” suggests it’s truly one examination, you get graded 7, 8 or 9 relying in your rating.

Some individuals would possibly really feel they already know sufficient at this level and wish to cease studying. That’s okay. Under I’ll take a extra detailed have a look at every a part of the examination.

Language proficiency take a look at to enter German college

I bear in mind taking an identical take a look at earlier than beginning my grasp’s diploma in Germany. Candidates had to supply proof that their data of German is adequate to review at a German college. Again then, I had been learning German for 3 years just about full-time (my bachelor’s diploma was German research), so I didn’t have any difficulties passing the notorious “DSH-Prüfung”. It examined listening, studying, writing and talking on a kind of educational stage.

Fundamental difficulties

The HSK 7 – 9 examination is just not that completely different, though it accommodates some peculiar elements which are new. Disclaimer: I didn’t take the HSK 7 – 9 examination (but). All the next is predicated on info from individuals who did. I summarized their expertise, which ought to offer you a tough image what to anticipate and to arrange for.

HSK levels 1 - 9 - overview

Everybody aware of climbing the HSK examination ladder is aware of that with every new stage the bar is being raised: the quantity of vocabulary will increase, listening, studying and writing workouts turn out to be longer and extra advanced. HSK 9 is not any exception to this rule. Candidates face a big pool of superior and extra formal vocabulary, a broad number of subjects they’re in all probability not aware of. Some examples from latest exams embrace winter sports activities, enterprise negotiations, literature, marine life, historic structure. The problem stage is considerably larger than HSK 6 and time, as at all times, is proscribed.

01. Listening

HSK 7 - 9 : overview of listening part

Like in all HSK exams listening comes first. What makes a listening comprehension take a look at exhausting? I can consider the next issues and HSK 9 options all of them:

  • Talking pace is excessive (I can’t bear in mind this being the case with the HSK exams I took. Quite the opposite, audio system would converse sluggish and clearly with sufficient time between questions)
  • Excessive info density (the extra advanced and formal the language, the extra info may be transported)
  • Little or no context, no warming-up or any sort of introduction (no time for the mind to adapt to the subject)
  • No repetition of key info & vocabulary (you must get it immediately, no second probabilities)
  • Hardly any info or hints may be derived from the questions (“learn the questions first” was once the finest advise for the listening half)

All these elements make focused listening subsequent to not possible. Clearly, you may’t extract the main points wanted to reply the questions for those who’re nonetheless struggling to find out the primary topic. Until your mind has been skilled to this excessive stage enter, it merely wants extra time to course of what’s being mentioned. That is outstanding, for the reason that HSK listening part was once – if not the “best” half – no less than that half the place most candidates would obtain an affordable rating.

02. Studying

HSK 7 - 9 : overview of reading part

The HSK 9 studying part comes second and covers a variety of subjects. The textual content size beats something seen earlier than in HSK. We couldn’t be additional away from HSK-4-style texts that you may skim by shortly, figuring out the important thing info in a matter of seconds. Texts embrace classical and formal Chinese language, so not solely do you should familiarize your self with tons of vocabulary and complicated sentence buildings, but in addition with completely different sorts of texts that presumably seek advice from Chinese language historical past and literature. Mere textbook Chinese language is of little avail right here. It’s exhausting to say what to arrange for precisely. It boils all the way down to this: for those who haven’t learn your share throughout your years of research, you’ll be in bother.

Aside from the general complexity, the largest opponent (once more) is time. You bought 60 minutes to complete 47 questions. With out earlier examination coaching it’s (virtually) not possible to distribute that point properly.

03. Writing

HSK 7 - 9 : overview of writing part

The third part is writing. It consists of two assignments, amounting to 800 phrases of output that needs to be produced in 55 minutes. The primary process is to explain and analyze charts with info. The second process is to jot down a brief essay.

What provides the writing half a brand new high quality is that neither of the gadgets contain any retelling or summarizing of a given textual content. In different phrases, it’s pure output (and you may’t use ChatGPT or different instruments^^). What’s extra, at this stage you’re not supposed to make use of 口语 or spoken language, however moderately formal language, match for academia. It’s additionally not sufficient to easily produce a 600 phrase textual content. The essay ought to current your arguments in a logical and structured method. It is a typical talent Chinese language learners purchase by practising formal writing.

At this level, we’re 90 minutes into the examination and focus might be lowering. On the constructive aspect, for those who’re taking the web examination, you should utilize the keyboard to provide Chinese language characters as an alternative of handwriting. To me that’s virtually a distinction between night time and day.

04. Translation

HSK 7 - 9 : overview of translation part

The fourth a part of the take a look at is one thing new: translation. The texts which are to be translated are offered in 5 languages, that are English, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese. You’ve already picked your language as you registered for the examination. The primary merchandise is written and the second is spoken.

The written half accommodates a brief textual content in your most popular language which must be translated (again) into Chinese language. Right here you may anticipate to be examined on sure sentence patterns, grammar factors and vocabulary that the HSK take a look at creators have laid out for you, so it’s tough. Much more so for individuals who aren’t native of their most popular language. For the spoken half you must play the interpreter and do a stay translation. You get one minute to learn one other quick textual content and two minutes to translate.

Perhaps the primary problem right here is that it’s exhausting to know what to arrange for precisely. Truly, you may’t put together something. You need to course of the offered enter and reproduce it in Chinese language in a matter of minutes. Translation – though associated to listening, studying, writing and talking – is a talent by itself which requires particular coaching. Probably at this stage of your studying, you could have tons of translation expertise and don’t encounter any issues. Then again, if non of the 5 languages talked about above is your native tongue, the interpretation half may be nasty and it doesn’t really feel fully honest.

05. Oral take a look at

HSK 7 - 9 : overview of oral test

With the ultimate translation process you’ve already entered the oral take a look at and there are solely 25 minutes left. Beforehand (HSK 1 – 6), the HSK oral take a look at wasn’t a compulsory a part of the HSK examination. For HSK 7 – 9 nonetheless, you must take the oral take a look at.

Now you may anticipate one thing like studying a desk with info and than answering a query, utilizing this info to resolve an issue. In different phrases, you must extract the important thing info quick and supply a wise reply. For the second half you must hear and reply questions. Lastly, you must react to a given matter or thesis with three minutes time to arrange your reply.

Right here as soon as extra, you hardly get any time to assume over your solutions. You need to hear, not realizing what questions you’re going to be requested after which when the beep comes you give it your finest shot. The one factor you may put together is a handful of helpful sentence patterns to construction your solutions.

Conclusion – how exhausting is HSK 9?

From every part I’ve seen thus far, HSK 7 – 9 is doubtless probably the most troublesome HSK examination ever. By way of scale, complexity and time strain it beats each different HSK examination. You actually need to be a skilled sinologist to face any likelihood. On the constructive aspect, for those who don’t plan to review or carry out analysis at a Chinese language college, you in all probability don’t ever have to fret about taking this examination.

Wish to choose for your self? Take a look on the solely mock exams for HSK 7 – 9 which are at the moment (February 2023) accessible:

Did you’re taking the HSK 9 examination or are you planning to take it? Be happy to share your ideas and expertise within the feedback under!

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