We’re having a test today!
In school, those words probably struck fear in your heart.
After all, even if you really know your stuff, there’s always a chance you’ll completely blank, bubble in the form incorrectly or end up sobbing over a pile of broken number two pencils and shattered dreams.
But tests don’t need to be the enemy. In fact, if you’re studying Chinese, a good vocabulary test can be just what you need to kick your learning into gear.
Because while you might have enough Chinese vocabulary cards to paper your walls, you might not actually know what you do and don’t know.
Sure, you’ve studied Chinese business vocabulary, but do you know enough to conduct business in China? You may know all the best Chinese medical terms, but will you actually be ready in an emergency?
Even if you know plenty of Chinese weather words and friends and family vocabulary, will you really know enough vocabulary to cancel your Galentine’s picnic due to rain?
Without a proper vocabulary test, it’s hard to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses. Luckily, these six free online Chinese vocabulary tests will help illuminate your skills.
Why Take a Chinese Vocabulary Test?
First, taking a Chinese vocabulary test can give you a clearer idea of what you know. Some people underestimate their skills. After all, actually communicating in Chinese can be tricky. However, you may know more than you think! Taking a Chinese vocabulary test will help you see how far you’ve come and give you a better idea of what you’ve actually learned.
Chinese vocabulary tests can also give you a clearer idea of what you don’t know. Just as important as knowing what you know, it’s valuable to know what you don’t know. Chinese vocabulary tests could uncover any gaps in your vocabulary or anything you may have missed in your studying.
Finally, taking a Chinese vocabulary test will give you direction for future learning. By seeing your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll have a better idea of what you should work on. For independent learners, this is particularly helpful. After all, you need to study the right stuff!
After taking one of these tests and seeing where your vocabulary skills stand, check out FluentU for future learning.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
You'll find a wide range of contemporary videos that cover all different interests and levels, as you can see here:
FluentU brings these native Chinese videos within reach via interactive captions. You can tap on any word to instantly look it up.
All words have carefully written definitions and examples that will help you understand how a word is used. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.
From the description page, you can access interactive transcripts under the Dialogue tab, or review words and phrases under Vocab.
FluentU's quizzes turn every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you're learning.
The best part is that FluentU always keeps track of your learning. It customizes quizzes to focus on areas that need attention and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. In other words, you get a 100% personalized experience.
Try FluentU in your browser or, better yet, download the FluentU iOS or Android app today!
Chinese Vocabulary Tests: 6 Free Resources to Put Your Skills to the Test
While this test is designed to help students decide which EasyMandarin class level to take, it’s also helpful for seeing where you’re at vocabulary-wise. The test comes in three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. You select your approximate level, then the test gives you a more precise idea of your skill set.
While this is technically just an overall Chinese test and not a specific vocabulary test, the focus is almost entirely on vocabulary. You’re asked to select the right word to complete sentences or simply to translate words. Once you’re done, the test approximates your level and tells you what percentage of questions you got correct. Best of all, you can open up the list of questions to see which answer you selected and what the correct answers were to get a clearer idea of where you’re going astray.
A Real Me
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could tell people how many Chinese words you knew? Well, A Real Me might give you an idea!
A Real Me’s vocabulary test focuses on approximating the size of your vocabulary, which is helpful for seeing how much you’ve learned (with the added bonus of bragging rights).
You’ll see prompts in Chinese and select the correct word or phrase. For example, A Real Me would ask you in Chinese, “What’s the opposite of smiling?” and you’d select the Mandarin word for “frowning.” Obviously, this requires a good amount of vocabulary knowledge, because you need to be able to understand the prompt and the possible choices.
Once you’ve completed the quiz, the site will approximate how many words are in your vocabulary. It also lets you know how this compares to the vocabulary of a native speaker. In other words, unless you’re really advanced, you’ll find out that your vocabulary matches that of a child of a certain age.
HSK Level Check
If you’re not already familiar with “HSK,” it’s an international, standardized Chinese proficiency test. While this vocabulary test isn’t official, it aims to give you an approximation of your HSK level by testing your vocabulary.
However, this test is a little different (and less stressful) than most. Rather than quizzing you to see if you can find the right answer, HSK Level Check asks you to put a check mark next to the words you know. The test is multifaceted, so you’ll check off words in a variety of categories. For instance, you’ll check off the Chinese words that you know the English meanings of, Chinese words you know how to pronounce and more. How easy is that?
Then, you’ll see a handy dandy pie chart that shows approximately what percentage of words from the test you knew and didn’t know. Based on this, it will also give you an estimate of how many total vocabulary words you know. Keep taking the test over time to watch your vocabulary grow.
The Internet TESL Journal
The Internet TESL Journal offers not one vocabulary quiz, not two vocabulary quizzes but literally dozens of different vocabulary quizzes. If you can’t get enough Chinese vocabulary quizzes, The Internet TESL Journal is your go-to source.
These include a variety of HSK levels and word groups, including adjectives, adverbs, nouns, verbs and miscellaneous vocabulary sets. However, there’s also a number of different quizzes to test you on more specific word sets, such as countries, continents, animals, food, colors and clothing. This way, you can quiz yourself on these specific word sets as you study them.
17 Minute Languages
If you need a quick vocabulary check, 17 Minute Languages can hook you up. It doesn’t even take 17 minutes! It actually takes just three.
This placement test is designed to give you a general idea of your overall proficiency level. All you have to do is mark the vocabulary words you know. Vocabulary words are divided into several different levels to give a clearer snapshot of your ability. Plus, if you’re not sure whether or not you know a word, no need to guess! All you have to do is hover over the black box to the right to see its meaning.
After you complete the first set of words, the test will give you a broad estimate of how many words you know. Then, it will offer up another set of words to fine tune this estimate and pinpoint what level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (A1-C2) you’re currently at.
Need to take your Chinese vocabulary quiz with you on the go? If you have an Android device, you can do just that with the HSK Locker app.
This free app pulls double duty as both a vocabulary quiz and a trainer. The level of words automatically begins with HSK level 1 but goes onto higher levels as you continue to take the quiz. Once you’ve gotten a word right four times, it’s tucked away in your “locker,” giving you a convenient list of words you already know while allowing you to focus more fully on less familiar words.
And with over 5,000 Chinese characters, there should be plenty of material to keep you learning.
It’s time to find out what you know. Give these Chinese vocabulary tests a try and keep learning!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Chinese with real-world videos.