I got my score on the HSK, a little sooner than I expected, actually. Anyway, I scored a solid level 3. If I'd done better on the listening section, I might have turned a level 4, but I didn't. I knew the "cloze" section was going to kill me.
Now, why should this be interesting to any Podie besides myself? Well, I have long been trying to understand what the Cpod levels correspond to in real life. I think my experience helps understand that some.
I don't think I can infer anything about how long one has to study Cpod to gain a certain level of proficiency, because I can't account for factors, such as, native ability, time available for study, motivation and effectiveness of study technique. In regard to duration of study, my experience is entirely annecdotal.
However, I think I can say some things about my level of proficiency with CPod versus real-life, that can be generalized. The Cpod lessons up through Intermediate are pretty easy for me, now. I listen to them once and pretty much get whatever is new in them. I can understand the advanced lessons after listening carefully a few times and studying the transcript. I no longer bother with reading the English translations of the dialogs, just the 汉字。And, I can write about 80% of the characters that occur in the average intermediate lesson by hand.
The significance of level 3 on the HSK is that it is an absolute minimum requirement for going to college in China and studying some subject not strongly related to Chinese language. When I think about foreign students that have just arrived in the U.S., and meet the minimum language requirements, someone who is very difficult to communicate with and marginally functional in daily life activities comes to mind. I think a Chinese person would probably have a similar view of me in regard to my ability to communicate in Chinese. I think the same would be true for other Podies, with a similar proficiency with the Cpod lessons.
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