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WHAT IS THE YCT?
The YCT or Youth Chinese Test is similar to the HSK exam but is specifically designed for children under the age of 16 whose first language is not Chinese.
The Chinese name for the YCT is 中小学生汉语考试 (zhōng xiǎo xué shēng hàn yǔ kǎo shì) which stands for ‘Middle and Primary School Students’ Chinese Language Exam’.
There are 4 levels for writing, getting slightly more difficult with each level, and 2 for speaking (primary and intermediate levels).
Like the HSK, none of the exams has to be taken at the same time, and lists of vocabulary are available in advance so student’s know what to learn.
WHY TAKE A YCT EXAM?
If you enjoy studying Chinese, or you’re studying Chinese at school, the YCT is a great way to see what level you’re at. The YCT will also help with the following:
- To communicate if you take a trip to China
- To apply for a scholarship to study in China
- It’ll look good when you apply for college/university
- Learning Chinese has been proven to help with other subjects and taking exams in general!
So if you’ve decided to take a YCT exam, let’s see what to do next:
LEARN THE VOCABULARY
Each level of the YCT has a different amount of vocabulary to learn. The vocabulary addresses everyday words from numbers to body parts.
The great thing is if you’re going to take another test, you’ll have already learned over half the vocabulary for the test! Each level builds on the existing words you know, for example, YCT has 159 words, but in fact, it’s only 76!
View and study the YCT vocabulary by tapping the HSK folder under FLASHCARDS and choose a level to study!
You can also set a date to help you learn all the words on time.
LEVELS AND EXAM BREAKDOWNS
For each YCT exam, your knowledge of Chinese should improve gradually.
For YCT 1, you should have a basic knowledge of Chinese language and know how to use a few phrases.
To pass YCT 2, you should be able to communicate on a basic level using phrases and sentences.
YCT 3 requires the test taker to have an excellent level of basic Chinese and be able to talk about day-to-day topics.
YCT 4 test-takers can communicate on a basic level in several different aspects of life and would be able to communicate if taking a trip to China.
|LEVEL||VOCAB||TEST TIME||LISTENING||READING||WRITING||SCORE||PASS SCORE|
|YCT 1||83||30 MINS||X||X||200||120|
|YCT 2||159||45 MINS||X||X||200||120|
|YCT 3||303||55 MINS||X||X||200||120|
|YCT 4||429||80 MINS||X||X||X||300||180|
All levels include pinyin except for PART 2 of YCT 4.
Before a student takes an oral test they should know at least 200 – 400 vocabulary words and basic grammar patterns.
|LEVEL||VOCAB||TEST TIME||SCORE||PASS SCORE|
|YCT PRIMARY||200||17 MINS + PREP||100||60|
|YCT INTERMEDIATE||400||19 MINS + PREP||100||60|
Oral tests are broken up into 3 parts:
|LEVEL||PART 1||PART 2||PART 3|
|YCT PRIMARY||LISTEN & REPEAT||LISTEN & REPLY||DESCRIBE PICTURES|
|YCT INTERMEDIATE||LISTEN & REPEAT||DESCRIBE PICTURES||ANSWER QUESTIONS|
TAKE A PRACTICE TEST!
Before you take your YCT exam, why not practice first? It’ll take some of the pressure off, and make sure you know the timings for each part of the test.
|LEVEL||SAMPLE PAPER||SAMPLE AUDIO|
|YCT 1||YCT 1 PAPER||YCT 1 AUDIO|
|YCT 2||YCT 2 PAPER||YCT 2 AUDIO|
|YCT 3||YCT 3 PAPER||YCT 3 AUDIO|
|YCT 4||YCT 4 PAPER||YCT 4 AUDIO|
|YCT PRIMARY||YCT PRIMARY PAPER||YCT PRIMARY AUDIO|
|YCT INTERMEDIATE||YCT INTERMEDIATE PAPER||YCT INTERMEDIATE AUDIO|
You can download sample tests for each level, as well as for the oral tests. The answers are at the end of each exam, so you can check your results afterwards. Additionally, you can get simulation test books online.
If your school isn’t running the YCT exam, you can take the test online by applying here.
YCT Exam Resources
Have you taken a YCT exam? We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below with your experiences!