3 Jul 2014

4 Tips to Help You Prepare for HSK Level 6

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The Level 6 HSK exam includes writing, reading, and listening sections. Pinyin does not accompany the characters in the test. Students may take the test online or they may opt for the handwritten version. Prior to beginning to study for this exam, you should have an understanding of the rules and test format of the Level 6 HSK exam; these are described in the next paragraph.

Test takers who are able to pass the HSK (Level VI) can easily comprehend written and spoken information in Chinese and can effectively express themselves in Chinese, both orally and on paper. Test takers will acquire over 5000 Chinese characters and master HSK Level 6 related grammar.

Content and Duration of the Level 6 HSK Exam

HSK (Level VI) test is made up of listening comprehension, reading comprehension and writing sections and contains 101 items.

hsk 6

The test will last for 140 minutes in total (including 5 minutes in which test takers fill in personal information).

Test Structure for HSK (Level VI)

1. Listening

Part I contains 15 items. Test takers will listen to each item only once. For each item, test takers will listen to a short paragraph. 4 options are given on the test paper and test takers should select the option corresponding with what he/she has heard.

Part II contains 15 items. Test takers will listen to each item only once. Test takers will listen to three interviews, each with 5 questions. For each question, 4 options are given on the test paper and test takers should select the right answer based on what he/she has heard.

Part III contains 20 items. Test takers will listen to each item only once. Test takers will listen to several paragraphs, each with several questions. For each question, 4 options are given on the test paper and test takers should select the right answer based on what he/she has heard.

2. Reading

Part I contains 10 items. For each item, 4 sentences are given and test takers is required to pick out the one with faulty wording or formulation.

Part II contains 10 items. For each item, a short paragraph is given with 3 to 5 blanks. For each blank, test takers should select the best answer from the 4 options based on the context.

Part III contains 10 items. Two passages are given, each with 5 blanks. For each blank, test takers should select the right sentence from the 5 options given based on the context.

Part IV contains 20 items. Several passages are given, each with several questions, and test takers should select the right answer from the 4 options for each question.

3. Writing

Test takers should first read a narrative passage of about 1,000 Chinese characters in 10 minutes, and then condense the passage to a shorter one of about 400 Chinese characters in 35 minutes. The subject is undefined and up to the test-takers. Test-takers are only required to retell the content of the passage and his/her own opinions are not necessary.

Suggestions for Studying for the Level 6 HSK Exam

1. Grammar and Vocabulary. You need to understand over 5,000 Chinese characters at this level and master the grammar that will be on the Level 6 HSK exam. There are several learning tools you can use to build your vocabulary. Skritter is an excellent app for learning to write Chinese characters. The entire HSK vocabulary list is available on Nuli! and so you don’t even need to type or download anything. It’s quick, simple, and efficient!

Grammar books will help you with the exam; for example, you may purchase 《汉语近义词学习手册》, which gives you great examples, or 《21天征服新HSK高级语法》, which teaches you common synonyms. Both learning materials have explanations in English and Chinese.

2. The Listening Portion. In the listening portion of the Level 6 HSK exam, there is a lot of information found within each question, so you need to focus intently when you are listening to the audio. Take notes while you listen, making sure to write down any key words that will aid you in choosing the correct answer quickly. Continue listening to Chinesepod and/or Chinese radio in your free time every day to boost your listening skills. And, of course, you should listen to the materials of the official mock paper repeatedly until you have no doubt of the meaning of the audio.

3. The Reading Portion. To review what you have already learned, read the Graded Chinese Reader 2. Then being reading books that were written for native speakers of Chinese, particularly Chinese idiom stories and Classic literature. The abridged Chinese Classic literature 《西游记》《三国演义》 is also helpful. For students who enjoy documentaries, you can check out 《舌尖上上的中国》. The narrators use standard Chinese and speak clearly at a medium speed, and you can read the subtitles and learn new vocabulary words.

Hint: Keep track of the time while completing the reading portion of the exam. Attempt to finish the entire portion with three to five minutes to spare, since the extra time will allow you to double-check your work.

4. The Writing Portion. You will be given a text to read that has 1,000 characters. After ten minutes, you will have to summarize it in 400 characters (the text will be taken away). You must be able to type or write characters by hand, as well as focus well on the events that occur in the story so that you will remember it all. This degree of mastery requires that you spend time writing in a Chinese journal or composing emails that you send to your Chinese friends and/or teacher. Ask them to let you know if you used any expressions incorrectly. As you improve, you should increase the length of the material you write and incorporate different phrases and expressions. Then, you will be confident when you’re ready for the HSK exam.

Learning is continual. The HSK exam is there to “promote learning through testing.” Regardless of what level you are at, continue learning Chinese; that sensation of pride and accomplishment is priceless.

Other HSK6 practice books you could find on Amazon:

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