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Some HSK test centres give the option of taking an online test (albeit supervised under exam conditions).

What format does this take? Is the audio played on a CD player to the whole room or do you get headphones connected to the computer?

(The audio quality of some of the downloadable mock tests is very low — the ones I have are 11kHz MP3, and this makes comprehension unnecessarily harder.)

  • I have never heard of this. Is this a mock test or a fully official test for which you get a certificate from Hanban? – IkWeetHetOokNiet Sep 7 '17 at 9:01
  • @ChristopheStrobbe The HSK online test is a full, official test. The test being online doesn't mean you can just take it at home, though. You still go to a test center and take the test on a computer there, as opposed to doing the test on paper. See this link for further info: fluentu.com/blog/chinese/2014/10/23/… – Jimmy S Sep 8 '17 at 1:38
  • @ChristopeStrobbe this is what I meant by "albeit supervised under exam conditions"... you are in the examination centre. – mungouk Sep 8 '17 at 9:35
5

I took the computer version HSK4 test. Audio was only played once as standard for levels 4-6. You get some small headphones which did cut out the exam room background noise a bit. (If all the levels are being held in the same room then there can be chatter as the lower level test finish earlier.)

Pros:

  • Don't have to write characters (this is probably only a pro for levels 4-6 because the testable characters in HSK3 are usually very simple, 米, 大, 小, etc.).

  • Can mark reading questions you're not sure on and quickly click back to them when you have some time at the end. (You might be able to do this on paper anyway.)

  • Also if you can't remember the pinyin for a character but you know what it means this can be frustrating. But you can cycle through all of your guesses to try and find it in the entry system.

Cons:

  • Reading font was not the one I was used to and took a little longer than normal (for all parts).

  • You can not skip ahead on the listening part and read all of the questions if you answer one quickly, you must wait. This is especially annoying for the two part audio questions, as you have to remember the whole audio snippet and wait for the second question to come.

  • The writing entry system for typed pinyin was not the one I was used to and would struggle to automatically generate words.

  • There is a character limit on the written test which is not mentioned on the mocks for written exercises.

Extra:

  • The test centre I was in had a technical failure and the tests wouldn't start. When they did start the audio had already played for the first 2 questions and wouldn't replay, which wasted time and stressed me out for the 3rd question etc. The staff said they couldn't do anything to adjust the marks or retest the questions because it's a centralised test.
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We got headphones connected to the computers but this may depend on your test center. The quality was decent, but i think the tracks would only play once so you have to pay extra attention (i'm not sure though, maybe someone who took the test more recently can confirm).

  • 1
    According to chinesetest.cn/gosign.do?id=1&lid=0# playing the track once is part of the format for levels 4-6. For levels 1-3 the audio is played twice. – mungouk Sep 8 '17 at 9:32
  • — Since you were at this level I expect you were "wrtiing" on the computer as well. In asking about the format I would also like to know what the input method is for writing characters... presumably one would need to be familiar with it to avoid being disadvantaged. Do they use the standard Windows/Mac one or something proprietary? – mungouk Sep 8 '17 at 9:37
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OK I found out some more about the "online" tests.

First there's a mock test here: http://mnks.chinesebridge.com.cn/Mnks/Simulate/DefaultNew.aspx

You choose the level and at the login screen just hit the blue "我要考试" button to enter as an anonymous user.

Secondly it seems that there is no standardised input method for entering Hanzi via Pinyin, although some centres have been reported to use Sogou https://pinyin.sogou.com/

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I took the online exam mock test, but for me is really different. Because my method is to read the options before audio start, on that way I can pay attention on the key Words . But when I started online it is not the same, is as following: first question, first audio and then I have to wait too long, the second auido start but I can see the sentence to read and mark if is correct or not. Last year I passed HSK3 but it was on paper based. This mock exam HSK4 level I didn't passed, although if I practice as paper exam my score is enough to pass. In conclusion I don't like computer based exam.

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