Introduction

Brief introduction to New HSK Test

The test is designed for Chinese language learners who are based overseas. The new HSK is a standardized international Chinese proficiency test targeted at non-native speakers, and examines learners' ability to use Chinese language in their studies, personal life and work. The new examination type consists of two independent parts: a written test and an oral test. During the oral test, sound-recording devices are used. The table below sets out the expected number of vocabulary items a learner will have acquired for each of the levels of HSK.

HSK
Written Test Oral Test Expected Vocabulary Acquisition
Level 6 Advanced Over 5000
Level 5 2500
Level 4 Intermediate 1200
Level 3 600
Level 2 Elementary 300
Level 1 150

The new HSK test is aimed primarily at adult learners of Chinese. The test scores meet the various demands of different organizations and groups. It offers a reliable reference for:

  • Educational institutions in recruitment, classification, granting credits, exempting students from certain courses, etc.
  • Employers in selection, training and promotion of employees
  • Learners of Chinese to understand, assess and improve their Chinese proficiency
  • Chinese teacher training bodies to evaluate their teaching standards and the effectiveness of their training provision

Brief introduction to New YCT Test

The Younth Learners Chinese Test (YCT) is designed for non-native primary and secondary school students to encourage them to learn and improve their Chinese. It is a standardized international Chinese proficiency test which examines young learners' competence in use of the Chinese language for their studies, personal lives and work. It consists of two independent parts: a written test and an oral test. There are four levels to the written test: YCT-Level 1, YCT -Level 2, YCT - Level 3, YCT - Level 4, while the oral test comprises two: YCT (Elementary) and YCT (Intermediate). During the oral test, sound-recording devices are used. A comparison of YCT with HSK in terms of the number of vocabulary items each level requires is set out below.

New HSK New YCT Expected Vocabulary Acquisition
Level 3 Level 4 600
Level 2 Level 3 300
Level 1 Level 2 150
  Level 1 80

Descriptors of the 4 YCT levels of proficiency are set out as follows:

  • Level 1: can understand and use some of the most frequently used Chinese words and sentences, and prepare themselves for continuing their Chinese studies;
  • Level 2: can understand and use some simple Chinese words and sentences to communicate;
  • Level 3: can use Chinese in a simple and direct way, applying it to basic topics in their daily lives;
  • Level 4: can use Chinese to serve the demands of their personal lives and studies, and are able to complete most communicative tasks they experience during a visit to China.

YCT results offer a reliable reference for:

  • Learners of Chinese to assess their progress and needs
  • Teachers, schools and teacher training bodies to evaluate teaching standards and training effectiveness
  • Learners of Chinese interested in taking the HSK test

Brief introduction to BCT Test

The Business Chinese Test (BCT) is a standardized test for non-native Chinese speakers, and is designed to assess their Mandarin Chinese language proficiency in business-related communication and activities. BCT is suitable for non-native Chinese speakers engaged in a wide range of professional pursuits, with application to daily communication in the working environment. Key features of BCT are that its content is practically applicable and communicable.

BCT test takers receive a report of their score and successful candidates receive a BCT Certificate. The BCT is held in China and many other countries around the world, including Ireland. There are two independent tests in the BCT: BCT (Listening-Reading) and BCT (Speaking-Writing). Candidates can choose one or both tests. Each skill of listening, speaking, reading and writing scores from 0 to 500 points respectively, and each 100 points represents a grade (or level). The total score for BCT Listening-Reading is the sum of the points scored for the two skills of listening and reading, and that of BCT Speaking-Writing is the sum of the points scored for the two skills of speaking and writing. Thus total scores range from 0 to 1000 points. There is no Level 1 Certificate awarded. If a candidate's total score for BCT Listening-Reading (or BCT Speaking-Writing) reaches 201-400, a BCT Level 2 Certificate (for either Listening-Reading or Speaking-Writing) will be awarded, and 401-600 will gain a Level 3 Certificate, and so forth. Mapping of levels (and certificate awarded) to scores is set out below. Certificates are valid for two years (from the date of examination).

Certificate Single Score Total Scores
- 0-100 0-200
Level 2 101-200 201-400
Level 3 201-300 401-600
Level 4 301-400 601-800
Level 5 401-500 801-1000

Descriptors for the 5 levels that BCT applies to assess test-takers' Chinese language proficiency are set out as follows:

  • Level 1: Generally unable to apply Chinese in their business activities.
  • Level 2: Can use Chinese to serve the basic communication needs of their business activities.
  • Level 3: Can use Chinese effectively in their business activities.
  • Level 4: Can use Chinese skillfully in their business activities.
  • Level 5: Can use Chinese freely and appropriately in their business activities.

BCT results are used for:

  • Evaluating business Chinese proficiency for recruitment, selection, employment, task allocation, and promotion purposes
  • Learners' self-assessment of progress and needs
  • Evaluating teaching standards and effectiveness
  • Supporting teacher training provision
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