Finding the right graded readers for your level

Graded readers are a great tool for practicing Chinese. The trick is finding materials that are appropriate and fun to read, and a big part of that is using level-appropriate vocabulary. Nothing gets me to put the book down faster than having to look up every other word.

So if you’re picking books to read, you’re probably trying to answer a few questions, e.g.:

  • I know about 400 words (or however many) – which books can I handle?
  • I’m studying for the HSK Level 4 (or whatever) test – which books provide the best practice?
  • Which ones will be the most fun to read?
My answers to those questions for 100+ Chinese readers below... Read More

What I learned taking the HSK 4 and Intermediate HSKK

So I originally took the HSK4 in March of 2017, without studying at all. No mock tests, didn’t learn the vocab, etc. I was just taking it so I could tell roughly what level I was at, and then maybe use it as a benchmark for comparing how far I’d come later on. I failed, but I was kind of close to passing (156 total, 180 is passing, 300 is perfect). After learning the vocab from their list and practicing a bit, I took it again in May 2018, and this time I passed (274). Yay! Read More