The Chinese equivalent of the TOFEL, the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK), was held in more than 40 cities across China on April 21 and 22. A total of 35,000 foreigners took the exam, 11% more than last year and a new record high.
Another group of nearly 6000 candidates took the first free improved HSK exam. A representative of the Chinese Proficiency Test Center at Beijing Language and Culture University said that one of the important characteristics of the improved HSK is its three levels �C primary, intermediate and advanced. In addition to an objective paper to examine listening and reading abilities, there is a more subjective component to judge conversation and writing ability. The improved HSK has been well received by most candidates. They believe that it is a good way to test their Chinese level.
In December 2006, the Chinese Proficiency Test Center of Beijing Language and Culture University released an improved HSK and announced a timetable for its implementation.
The free trial exam is one of the timetabled steps. Its purpose is to give candidates an understanding of the overall structure and content of the exam before they take it for real.
The trial will provide data for a comparison of the old and new HSK exams and ensure that the transition goes smoothly. In 2008, the updated HSK exam will be used.
By People's Daily Online