My Chinese final is in a week and I need to get a decent grade on it but, the problem is, I'm not sure how to really study for it besides cramming the vocab. Flashcards don't seem to work for me...One of my main issues are remembering the vocab and the grammar patterns. Does anyone have any advice for studying for an exam that could help me?


closed as off-topic by Tom Au, deutschZuid, NS.X., user238264, Claw May 2 '14 at 1:33

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about how to effectively cram for exams. – deutschZuid May 1 '14 at 22:07

It's a bit difficult to answer without understanding the context of the material covered in the course. I had one teacher who would end each chapter by forcing me to read aloud an entire essay in Chinese. That was a good practice in that it enabled me to stumble over many characters (but knowing that this was coming I would re-read all of the previous material). Doing so with a native speaker is helpful if you can find one.

I always used snapshots, photos of lessons, and some online sites like the Canto-Dict forums (they also cover Mandarin). I have a Mac so I also use it's many built-in dictionaries (just searching for a space and working through the word lists can sometimes be helpful). There are also many other tools online at Chinese Tools. I am a personal fan of the idiomatic approach but it can be a bit esoteric if you want to focus on conversational phrases instead. So context is everything. If you want to look at Chinese idioms, there is a free iPhone app called Wise Talk (fair disclosure as I am the author).

A tried and true method that helped me through my MBA is simply to do a review of the chapter headings, then the summary paragraphs, and finally detailed paragraphs to be sure that I understood the material. If at any point, understanding is not clear proceed to delve a bit deeper. The ultimate study is to go, find a native speaker and be unafraid to make mistakes, then talk to them in their native language.

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