If you’re a non-native Chinese student who’s learning Chinese, you’ve probably heard of the HSK exam.
With various levels of difficulty, the HSK Singapore exam is designed to test learners in 4 components of the language. It is not compulsory. But, taking the test and passing can help many Chinese companies, as well as educational institutions, come up with a more favorable assessment for non-native Chinese speakers. The HSK exam is usually taken after one has attended several Mandarin classes to master the Chinese language.
Think of the HSK as the ESL test, but for Chinese instead of English.
By preparing and taking up the HSK exam, you subject yourself to learn many common words and phrases that you’ll only encounter when living in a Chinese-speaking community.
Although, as mentioned earlier, the HSK Singapore exam is not compulsory, there are various legitimate reasons why non-native speakers would want to take the exam.
Here are just 5 of them:
1. Leaves a good impression
China’s English literacy level is high, especially compared to the rest of Asia. If you plan on visiting, whether, for personal or business purposes, you’re more likely to leave a good impression on Chinese people if you put in the time and effort to learn their language.
2. Educational purposes
China is also home to some of the world’s top universities. But, if you want to study in one, you’d have to pass the HSK exam first.
3. Employment reasons
Unless you’re working in a highly specialized and niche field, finding employment in Chinese without knowing how to speak Chinese will be difficult if not impossible.
Having taken the HSK exam proves to employers that you are serious about being in China.
When asked to choose between two candidates with similar resumes and experience, most Chinese employers will likely go with one that has passed the HSK exam.
Not to mention, it’s a great look on your resume and curriculum vitae.
4. Personal development
It’s never too late to learn a second language, but it’s hard to stay motivated when you don’t have a goal to work towards.
By making passing the HSK test of a particular level your goal, you motivate yourself, in the long run, to learn more than just a few words and take the time to sit down and try to be fluent in the Chinese language.
5. Why Not?
The HSK is not, by any means, a substantial measure of fluency in Chinese Mandarin, but it’s always better to have something useful.
China’s on the fast track to becoming one of the most influential countries, and that makes knowing how to speak Chinese fluently an excellent skill to have.
Already, there are plenty of people who are enjoying educational and employment opportunities by passing the HSK exam. That number is only expected to grow in the next couple of years as Chinese companies expand, while other multinational companies invest in the Chinese market.