The guides we offer on this site are important for widening your vocabulary — not just in quantity but in quality. We’ve added tons of stuff to our guides so that you will be ready to actually USE the vocabulary you learn for the hsk and living in china. Our guides are focused on the Listening/Reading/Writing sections, but they can be used to prepare for the HSK Speaking tests, too.
This site offers free resources, such as a free email minicourse and practice tests. Please look around; there’s already too much on here to point you in a single direction; everyone has a different goal in terms of their Chinese learning.
Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking about how to speak mandarin without any training. The previous link gives you what you need, provided you’ve already mastered the basics of Pinyin.
Test takers who plan to pass the hsk test, especially those at higher levels should be able to comprehend written and spoken information in Chinese. These tests are to find which students cant effectively express themselves in Chinese, but the HSK only requires written communication as mandatory. As a Chinese language certificate, the HSK passing certificate allows foreign student to enter Chinese colleges. Because the results of the HSK are valid for two years (from the test date, that is), test takers may as well start trying to pass the HSK early. When they pass, they will receive the results for the HSK within three weeks after the test.
The HSK Speaking Tests are optional. They tend to be easier than the written tests though. For example, the beginners’ levels are intended for the students who have studied Chinese for 2-3 hours per week for about a year. These students only need have a vocabulary of about 200 commonly used words.