Kicking Failure in the Ass!
I just failed my HSK test. I am a little disappointed but honestly speaking I knew it couldn’t be that easy. It has now become one of my biggest regrets; there were three opportune moments I had to take this particular exam. The first time was when I had just finished my year abroad in China and my Chinese level has seriously been boosted by daily lessons, and endless speaking and reading practice. It just didn’t cross my mind at that point to take the exam. My only priority at that point was advancing to the next year of university.
The second chance I had to take this exam would have been in my final year of university, between translating my own original sources for my dissertation, preparing for my interpreting exam as a liaison officer with my school’s Taiwanese society, I felt that my mandarin definitely was good enough to give the highest level a good go. The only thing which held me back then was the fact that a proficiency exam only lasts two years and I didn’t think I could get use out of it before then.
Finally the last time I was ready for this exam was when I had just gotten back to London from Taiwan in September 2015 having studied there on a one year scholarship. I was so exhausted with studying every single day for a year with no holidays I couldn’t even comprehend sitting an exam willingly. Which brings me to now. When I actually need the grade.
With only a few weeks to prepare and minimal practice I knew I would be scraping by. I haven’t been in any formal Chinese classes in a year and I live in South Korea where they speak a different language.
I failed with five points off a pass though. That was what reassured me. I can do it again and I know I can pass this next time. I will study harder and study smarter. This next time Korean will be on the back burner so I can focus more. This failure actually was quite awakening. I know what I have to do to improve on my score. I am actually more inspired than dispirited. Studying for two exams while working full time is not easy. I need to motivate myself and there isn’t really anyone around to practice with. But I am optimistic. I will do it again and I will do better. Sometimes you need failures in life to remind you to pull your socks up. I will try again and again until I pass. I know I have it in me.