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New Chinese test debuts in 7 regions

(Global Times)

08:16, December 16, 2011

The first comprehensive Chinese language test for both native Chinese speakers and foreigners started accepting applications on Thursday in seven regions throughout China, according to the Jiangsu Language Commission on Wednesday.

Applicants will sit for the test on December 24 in seven regions which will include the provinces of Jiangsu and Yunnan, along with Shanghai and the Mongolia Autonomous Region, in what will be a trial run for the exam.

The test, which will assess native speakers and foreigners' language abilities, will evaluate reading, writing, listening and speaking skills at six different levels, with level one designed for beginners and level six for those with a higher and more professional command of the Chinese language.

"Both Chinese and foreigners are welcome to take the test," said an official with the Jiangsu Language Commission.

"Unlike the Test of Proficiency in Putonghua, which is compulsory for some specific professionals, this test is not mandatory," said the official.

The commission explained that the test focuses on the overall application of the language while the Test of Proficiency in Putonghua merely concentrates on the pronunciation of Chinese characters.

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