The HSK certificate is a wonderful thing. If you happen to have one, you will essentially have proof that you are capable to some degree in the Chinese language. For instance, if you apply for a job in China and display your hanyu shuiping kaoshi certificate aka HSK certificate, you’ll be more likely to gain acceptance to that position. The Chinese want you to learn Chinese.
So how to learn Chinese? One method is simply studying specifically for the Chinese proficiency test. Getting an HSK certificate of a high level also means that you can translate between Chinese and your native language. Yes, the advantages of an HSK certificate are numerous.
My recommendation is to simply take an HSK practice test at a level you think is reasonable. If your score is higher than 80, move up a level. If it’s lower than 50, move down a level. Only start to study for a specific level of the HSK Chinese test after you’ve gone through this process. The fastest way to get your level up to speed is to practice with a native Chinese language speaker, using her as your tutor. Be frequent with your studies. For example, reading Chinese articles at your level fifteen minutes a day per week is more effective reading a bunch of articles once a week. If you have the opportunity, submerge yourself completely in the Chinese language by moving to a Chinese speaking nation or even Chinatown (though most Chinatowns are full of Cantonese, not Mandarin speakers). Immersion is always remarkably helpful in helping you down the path of obtaining an HSK Certificate. You’ll find that your Chinese ability advance quickly through such a lifestyle. Of course, if you’re a beginner, you’ll probably want to start with Chinese Pinyin and fundamental grammar.
As mentioned above, tutors are absolutely helpful to any student of Chinese. A tutor can even be a substitute for a class. I estimate that a student learns six times as fast with a tutor than he does in a traditional classroom. That is, if you spend 60 lessons with a tutor, you’ll have the equivalent of 360 days, practically a year, of classroom experience. But when you look for a tutor, start by telling her your goals. Emphasize that your holy grail is the HSK certificate. Ask her to provide a course design, and talk about it with her. If you don’t have a set schedule and plan for your tutoring courses, you’ll progress slowly, especially if you’re targeting the more difficult-to-obtain levels of the HSK certificate. Having a one-on-one class with a tutor allows you to extra confident in your Chinese language ability. The result is so effective that you’ll shock people when they hear how long (or short) you’ve been studying Chinese.
Here at HSK online, we offer HSK Chinese tutors.
Online programs also provide for plenty of materials to help you strengthen yourself on the HSK basics. But few online tutors exist. And those that do exist tend to be of low quality. Most online tutors don’t have the background in teaching Chinese. Our tutors, however, have a background in helping students undergoing Chinese language learning.
With the importance of the HSK certificate and the advantages it brings, you shouldn’t risk wasting time with an online tutor. It’s best to find a face-to-face tutor that provides a syllabus, textbooks, and tutorials to you so that you can make stable progress on your way to obtaining the HSK certificate. Of course, our tutors are an exception to this “don’t hire online tutors” rule, as our tutors are trained in helping you obtain the HSK certificate suitable to your level. Remember, to pass the HSK, you’ll need a good command of Chinese and a good understand of Chinese testing. Learning the Chinese language isn’t easy, but a tutor makes it a hell of a lot easier!