May 2015 saw the number of the Youth Chinese Test (YCT) takers having exceeded 500 at London South Bank University’s Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine (CITCM), a new high for the CITCM’s YCT Testing Centre.
The youngest candidate was only six years old. Despite the young age, the candidate was as rigorous and calm as the older students.
One of the questions in relation to the expression ‘see you tomorrow’ posed an unexpected challenge for some students as they had to date only learned ‘tomorrow’ and ‘goodbye’ separately in class. After a little hesitation, most of the students were able to choose the correct answer. Mr Hu, Mandarin teacher of the Confucius Classroom at Harris Academy Battersea, said during the interview, “The content of the Youth Chinese Test fits in well with the physical and mental development of young children and teenagers. At adequate levels of difficulty, the tests are conducive to Chinese teaching at overseas primary and secondary schools.”
After the exam, Telma, a Year-8 student, was eager to find out from the teacher as to when she would receive her exam report. She said, “I’m quite confident in passing YCT-1 with about 6 months of learning. I hope to get my report as soon as possible to share my happiness with my family.”
The YCT, as a tool to assess primary and secondary school students’ Chinese proficiency, has been widely promoted at CITCM. It integrates the knowledge of language with fun and is popular among the students. With Chinese keeping on gaining popularity at London schools, the number of test-takers is expected to increase further next year.