Going against grade inflation
My Chinese is hardly great. But my school keeps wanting to push me into the Advanced level class. My belief is that if I am in the Advanced level class, my HSK score had better be at the advanced level 9-11, or somewhere close. Sometimes level 8 is considered harder to achieve than level 9 because level 8 represents the very best performance at the Intermediate level, while level 9 is just passing at the Advanced level. My level is nowhere near that.
The school might be wanting to balance the classes based on number of students as well as based on level. A whole bunch of students want to come from the middle of the beginner class to the Intermediate class. I know of a few cases where that would work – some of the students were simply very weak in one particular area at the beginning of last semester.
However, given the fact that I feel like I am the absolute worst one can be at Chinese and still be at the Intermediate level, I feel it will really be a struggle for some other students. Particularly ones that speak mostly English outside of class. When it came to be final exam time, the students that were weaker than me returned to their home countries or simply did not sit the exams.
Also, I’d like to get to a point where I am the best in the class, and only competing against myself. I should build confidence, since that is really the most important thing when speaking Chinese, and that does not happen if you are the weakest/amongst the weakest in the group.