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Placement test / Level test way over my head?

Hi @YuQinCai, @Constance_Fang @Fiona and the ChinesePod team, my question is this:

I have done a couple level tests followed by a single placement test today (I did another one when I joined this site which placed me on Elementary). But I have noticed that the tests that I have done today do not always register my answers so they come out at 0% correct (hence newbie level). Also, I have this feeling where the questions on an Elementary level test are way out of my league. Maybe the test feature on this site is just an experimental feature that needs improving? I am quite sure that I would not be able to answer one of your Level tests after 80 Elementary lessons (as suggested before moving on).

This question comes after having studied 39 Elementary lessons on your site where I got the feeling that I was doing well (except for new words that I did not know previously, which I am adding to Pleco to review in SRS mode).

So another question of mine is, am I studying your lessons the wrong way or perhaps am I misinterpreting the results that I get from your tests? I get this feeling of having learned something right after finishing one of your Elementary lessons, but your tests are rapidly demoralizing me.

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Just wanted to chime in that I also tried to take a Newbie level test yesterday, and I effectively couldn’t answer any of the questions. While I’ve not discounted the possibility that I know nothing, I have gone through about sixty Newbie lessons so far (more than once each), and finished the exercises on about ten of them. I have also been using a couple of resources outside of ChinesePod, so I would have overall expected somewhat better results.

There could be a problem here.

You guys aren’t wrong those tests are overly difficult and demoralizing.

Forget they exist and keep plowing through content.

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I just took the test again to see how tough it was. Its pretty tough still. Did the 45 questions, as that was the highest amount you can take. Got 17 out of 30 of the fill in the blanks, marked me as elementary. There was this one question where I knew all the words in the sentence and the answers and I still couldn’t make sense of what word to actually select, they all seemed awkward in that sentence. Should have copied that to post here -shrugs-.

The one thing I realized though it marked all my dictation questions as wrong and I know for fact some of them were right, i.e. 不好意思 <---- no way I got that wrong. I did skip a couple where I knew I didn’t know a couple words they were saying. And also if the speaker speaks with the 兒 , are we supposed to add that character too? Cause when you watch shows with subs they usually omit the 兒 in the subtitles. I’m also wondering if you skip a couple questions in the dictation do they automatically count the whole set of questions wrong or is that a bug??? I know I had at least 5 of the 15 that I was 100% for sure confident I got, wtf!

I’ve been stripped of all my intermediate glory… back to elementary… matter fact… I quit. lol. the test defeated me.

Don’t quit! lol

Here is a smattering of questions I was given as a Newbie (sorry, didn’t copy the answers):




All my dictation questions were like 10-20 characters long…definitely no 不好意思!

lol, I was joking!

Here’s the thing, the tests are randomly drawing questions from (I’m assuming) the exercises in the lessons. There’s so many lessons that there bound to be words that are unknown even if your level is much higher. Also, since ChinesePod likes to focus on colloquial and “cool” talk then that makes things even trickier. A good example is in the post above “蛇髮女妖美杜莎” , I mean seriously, after you see this in a lesson (which I can’t remember I have) you won’t see this again for who knows how long. I had to stare at this sentence for a few minutes and read it out loud before I finally understood it " snake haired medusa" lol. I mean nothing I read or listen to would probably have this in it.

So unless your going to do a clean sweep of all said levels lessons and on top of that force yourself to remember some very obscure vocabulary, then these tests for the most part won’t help much.

I did the newbie test after making that post last night and was able to answer all the dictation questions and it still scored it as all wrong. Test was in fanti and I answered in fanti, so there’s definitely something broken with the code.

Anyways, it’s safe to say that the tests aren’t a good way to gauge if you should move forward or not. Better to just trust your instincts and study what you feel comfortable with.


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That makes sense, @Nabeshima120. I suppose they could theoretically flag each exercise sentence as appropriate for the level test or not, but I understand that would probably entail a ton of work on their end. I’ll just move on to other ways of assessing my skills. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your input and explanation!