May 26th, 2008
Right, so I was going to write some long, hyper-intellectual post about my HSK score and what it reveals about me, but some Brazillian’s Google search that led to this blog led me on to this, and then this, and then…… and then…..
Thanks, anonymous Brazillian. That was a pretty good series of distractions.
Oh, and we don’t know how lucky we are….
Now, that HSK thing…..
So, umm, yeah. Well, I got this phone call about half past ten this morning asking “你是王博吗？” (Are you Wang Bo?), having no idea who was calling, I hesitantly responded “是” (yes). And then he said my HSK results were waiting at the front desk of the foreign students’ dorm. So I grabbed my stuff, slipped some sandals on, and went down there.
But I felt really nervous, ridiculously nervous. More nervous than when I even sat the test! That’s absurd! I’ve never felt that way about exam results before ever in my life!
Anyway, I got the results, got home, and opened the envelope.
Inside was a certificate saying in Chinese:
And in English:
Let it be known that Chris Waugh [yeah, I see no need to put my full name up here] from New Zealand took the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) administered on Apr. 27, 2008, obtaining grade B at the Intermediate level and is hereby awarded this certificate of proficiency in Chinese.
Two things: I am not entirely comfortable with the use of my Chinese name, which has no legal standing whatsoever, on official documents; and is it just me or does the English text seem amazingly pompous?
Whatever, there you go, I am Grade B at Intermediate level. Pretty cool, huh?
There’s a slip of paper that comes with it that gives what is perhaps a little more pertinent: A breakdown of my score and the various grades and levels and explanations of all that. My score broke down as follows:
No surprises. I knew Comprehensive would be my Achilles’ heel, and grammar gave me two problems: words I didn’t know (naturally) and the fine, technical differences between words that most people normally treat as synonyms. I’m surprised my reading is so high (heh, years of teaching Chinese kids
legal cheats test-taking skills helped with that), but not surprised with listening- that was very, very clear to me, and I probably would’ve gotten better had I actually prepared it (yes, I went in thinking, for crying out loud, my wife is Chinese and our default language is Putonghua, surely my listening must be good enough.)
This all translates into a level 7 on HSK’s 11-level scale. The graph is entirely in Chinese, and I’m more interested in finishing this post and getting dinner than checking the official website, so I’m not entirely sure of the official English translations, but anyway: 初等证书 (elementary certificate?) covers levels 3 to 5, a C on such a certificate translating to level 3, a B to level 4 and an A to level 5. 中等证书 (intermediate certificate) covers levels 6 to 8, with a C being 6, B (me) 7 and A 8. After that it’s 高级, the dreaded advanced….
And so now… Do I go straight on to advanced in December? Can I bump myself up two levels in that time? I will have a long, hot and largely empty summer, about half of which I plan on spending out in the countryside….. Time to pop down to Wangfujing for some book shopping, I think.