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Need help with SL Chinese B... can't understand anything! :/

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Hey all. My package is: HL Math, HL Physics, HL Computer Science, SL Philosophy, SL English LangLit, SL Chinese B.

So far we've had two assessments/reports and I've maintained a 41/42 across all subjects. I have achieved a 6 in SL Chinese B, which I want to maintain, but now I am practicing for our internal exams/mocks using past papers and I am just so confused.

It goes like this: I find a past Chinese paper, I pick it up, I start with the first passage, and I can't understand ANYTHING. First of all, I will only know 50% of the characters. And most of the time, I can't even begin to guess what the entire passage is trying to say.... I don't even know how to answer a single question (I don't even understand the questions as they are written in full Chinese most of the time, and usually with MCQ I can't understand the answers). It's honestly guessing and matching the words.

With IGCSE (the past two years), I achieved an A* because it was way easier compared to this! I just can't even begin to understand these past papers.

How did I get a 6 thus far in my year 1? Well, put simply, we had tests on certain units we learned and so I memorized the vocab/idioms we learned, practiced a bunch & practiced reading on essays. I did well on writing essays, oral, and reading comprehension to get a 6.

Now I'm trying IB past papers and I don't get it. There's basically no units with set vocab, just random passages on random topics. I seriously can't understand anything.

I've just never had this happen to me and I'm so confused. Can anyone offer advice? I'm a native English speaker, and have been studying Chinese since grade 5.


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As a native Chinese speaker who takes Chinese A Language and Literature, IGCSE is nothing compared to IB. (Sorry!) 

I would recommend you to start go over your vocabularies and do some practice, or even asking native Chinese speakers to help you. There are key words in the Chinese B Exam and all you do is to identify it. For example, reading comprehension, the title means everything. e.g: I saw a paper in 2007 Mandarin B SL: It was a piece of diary, and "Diary 日記“ was written clearly on the title.  Then, the next step for you is to look at the questions before immerse into the long and difficult passage, the questions can give you a tip or hint on what the passage is about. 

Memorizing vocabularies do not help so much in Chinese,  I would suggest you to do some practices, if you see words you don't understand, find the meaning and try to write it down in a notebook (That's what I have suggested to my roommate who is taking Chinese B too) 

Edited by inriya

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