I passed my HSK 1 test!!! Only 1 mistake. 195/200 Wohooo! Some might say HSK 1 is easy, no big deal. However, it’s quite an achievement for a non-native speaker like me who only started 3 months ago (December 2020). The most difficult part of it starts from learning to pronounce the four tones. Yes, one word can have four different tones with different meanings. I thought I would never be able to pronounce them but with practice, I was able to do it.
So, what does my study routine looks like?
- I speak with an online native Mandarin teacher few times a week.
- I review Quizlet flash cards of new words daily (read them aloud with correct tones)
- I practice writing Chinese characters and familiarize myself with the strokes.
- I subscribed to DuChinese app. It provides reading articles ranging from HSK 1 – 6. It has pinyin for your convenience.
- I listen to Chinese songs, watch Chinese movies/drama/cartoons. Sometimes repeating after the dialogues.
- I listen to Chinese FM kid’s station (set the speed to slow). It enhances my listening skills.
- I apply what I learned by translating (writing) simple English sentences into Mandarin.
- I also purchased HSK Online. It’s available on iOS and Android. It’s an online learning platform for people who are preparing for the Chinese Proficiency Test. This allowed me to do mock exams and I believed it really helped.
What worked for me were consistency, practice and repetition. You’ll need to talk to yourself… a lot. Don’t worry if your family members think you’re going crazy, 哈哈哈。It’s the best way to practice.
So, what’s next? I’m preparing for the HSK 2 exam that I plan to take on July or August 2021.