How to get a Chinese language certification?
Chinese is well-known for being one of the most difficult languages to learn. While that is not entirely correct, it does not imply that it is impossible to master. It just takes more time, effort, and commitment than other languages. However, if learning a language that provides a range of wonderful benefits necessitates a little more dedication, it no longer appears to be so tough. Since the 1950s, the government of the People’s Republic of China has encouraged the use of simplified Chinese characters, while traditional characters continue to be used in Taiwan, Singapore, and other nations with substantial Chinese-speaking populations, such as Malaysia. Literate speakers of incomprehensible languages share the written form, which employs the logograms known as Chinese characters.
HSK, Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, the Pinyin form fo r汉语水平考试,, meaning “Chinese Proficiency Test,” is a set of tests used to verify non-native Chinese speakers’ understanding of Mandarin Chinese. It is made up of six separate exams at various levels. HSK certifies your competency based on the level you can pass, ranging from HSK1 to HSK6. And, because HSK is generally known and acknowledged, people can immediately judge your Chinese skills when you refer to your HSK level.
Hanban (汉办), an affiliate of the Chinese Ministry of Education in charge of the Confucius Institutes, organises HSK. HSK levels and scores are generally utilised by Chinese institutions as part of the admissions process for overseas students, although anybody can take the HSK if they want to define their Mandarin level or need to demonstrate a mastery of Mandarin for professional purposes.
Let's now see how to get a Chinese language certification.
Official Chinese examinations and certifications issued by HSK
The HSK national diploma, which is officially recognised by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, attests to various levels of proficiency and command of Mandarin Chinese.
HSK has six levels: HSK1, HSK2, HSK3, HSK4, HSK5, and HSK6. HSK1 is the lowest level of ability, while HSK6 is the greatest.
According to Hanban, the HSK organiser, HSK1 and HSK2 correlate to extremely basic Chinese abilities in this system. Then, HSK3 and HSK4 introduce more complex Chinese knowledge. Finally, HSK5 and HSK6 are markers of Chinese competence and fluency.
Because language competency is extremely subjective, Hanban provides brief descriptions for each of the six HSK levels and describes what you can achieve at each level.
Simple words and phrases are easy for you to grasp and employ. Learners must know at least 150 words and 150 letters (optional)
You can speak easily and directly about issues that are familiar to you. Learners must know at least 300 words and 300 letters (optional)
You can communicate in everyday situations, such as school and job. When travelling in China, you can manage most communication. Learners must know at least 600 words and 600 letters.
You can converse smoothly with native Chinese speakers in everyday circumstances and discuss a pretty wide variety of topics in Chinese. Learners must know at least 1200 words and 1000 letters.
You can read Chinese newspapers and magazines, watch Chinese movies and television shows, and prepare and present a comprehensive speech. Learners must know at least 2500 words and 1500 letters.
You can readily grasp what you read and hear, and you can express yourself fluently in both written and conversational Chinese. Learners must know at least 5000 words and 2500 letters.
HSK levels are expected to rise. In March 2022, the current HSK system will be complemented with a single advanced HSK test (levels 7-9).
So, what does HSk comprise of to acquire the Chinese certification?
HSK is a completely written exam that focuses solely on listening, reading, and writing, with no speaking component. To pass the HSK1 and HSK2 examinations, you do not need to know any Chinese characters because Pinyin (Mandarin romanization) will be supplied alongside the characters on the test papers. Please be aware that HSK Levels may not fully correspond to the CEFR!
The general HSK is comprised of three exams:
A certificate of Chinese language level’ is provided, indicating the level attained. This is dependent on the
type of exam chosen and the mark obtained:
- The elementary test qualifies you for a certificate class 1 to 3.
- The primary-secondary test qualifies you for a certificate class 3–8.
- The advanced test qualifies you for a certificate class 9 to 11.
Who is the HSK intended for?
The HSK is intended for students of Chinese mandarin who want to continue learning the language and objectively assess their proficiency. This certificate is now required for foreigners who want to live, study, or work in China. According to Wang Lujiang (professor at Beijing’s University of Languages), “the number of applicants competing in 2005 approached 500,000!”
Is a certain level required?
To pass the HSK Elementary, the first of the Chinese mandarin examinations, students must master a minimum of 400 words.
What are the HSK examinations like?
This test lasts around 135 minutes and has 140 questions, which are split as follows:
50 questions of listening comprehension (35 min.)
40 grammatical questions (40 min.)
60 level of reading comprehension (60 min.)
Primary and secondary HSK
This exam lasts around 145 minutes and consists of 170 questions split as follows:
50 questions of listening comprehension (35 min.)
30 grammatical questions (20 min.)
50 questions about reading comprehension (60 min.)
filling in the blanks 40 (30 min.)
This exam is divided into two parts:
The first lasts around 105 minutes and includes a total of 120 questions, which are split as follows:
40 questions of listening comprehension (25 min.)
40 questions about reading comprehension (40 min.)
40 questions about generic expressions (40 min.)
The second phase lasts around 155 minutes and consists of: a written composition [400 to 600 characters] (30 min.)
a 10-minute oral exam (recorded)
Chinese is a language spoken by more than 1.2 billion people worldwide. The earliest written documents in China are Shang dynasty oracle bone inscriptions, which date back to 1250 BCE. Standard Chinese, based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin, was adopted in the 1930s and is now an official language of both the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan, as well as one of Singapore’s four official languages and one of the United Nations’ six official languages.
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