Learning Chinese can seem like one of the toughest things for anyone to do while they’re still schooling. It doesn’t have a phonetic system like English, and more often than not, we do not use it as regularly as English when we converse with our friends and family. Yet, Chinese still remains one of the most fulfilling and rewarding subjects to score well in because of the number of applications it can have and the doors it can open. Moreover, it is no secret that Chinese language proficiency is vital in Singapore.

Still, there are many ways to make your Chinese learning journey much smoother if you find yourself feeling drained or find that the challenges seem a little too much. It’s not just about “putting in more effort” or “having more willpower”. There are mindsets and tips to adopt, and we share some of them here!

Ask why you started in the first place

No, it’s more than just a cliché. Knowing the goals you’ve set realistically for yourself determines how much hard work, commitment and effort you are willing to put in while learning the language. And there is no right or wrong here – it is purely up to you what goal you are eventually trying to aim for.

Not only is it a goal to aim for, but knowing the steps needed to reach it makes learning meaningful and worthwhile. Students who meaninglessly strive for A’s with reasons such as “my parents want me to do it” or “because my friends are doing so” often feel unhappy despite reaching their goals. So why not ask yourself what you really want to achieve and make the most out of it?

Keep track of everything you’ve learned – and how much you’ve grown

Yes, it’s for a practical reason – you will likely have to revise through years of the syllabus to score the best for your exams. But it is also very meaningful to chart your progress, the skills you’ve attained and the problems you’ve overcome. Many students tend to feel like they are lacking when comparing themselves to the best in their class or cohort. While we do understand why students aim to compare themselves with their peers, we find that it causes needless stress, and they often feel like they are not able to match up to their peer’s mastery of the language.

We still encourage students to know how they measure up when compared with their peers. But we hope that they see how far they’ve come along since they first started their journey in learning Chinese. Inevitably, students that set up better learning habits and put in their due diligence will polish various skillsets and the mastery of the language. Increasing their range of vocabulary, better oral and conversational skills, greater accuracy in answering comprehensions and having an improved overall understanding of the Chinese language – imagine seeing all these; you’ll surely feel motivated at how far you’ve come and how far you’ll go!

Mitigate any potential distractions

People tend to get distracted when they are doing something they dread – what more if they are dragging their feet to Chinese tuition. But yet, they don’t see the vicious cycle this causes them to fall into. Distraction, while cathartic in the short term, results in them falling behind while studying and revising for their next chapter, test or paper. All the time they put in starts to become inefficient and ineffective. Students start to wonder why they aren’t gaining progress while allocating precious time and mental space to improve and they start to give up and study other subjects they feel they can see better improvement in.

Thus, like all other teachers, we always say to keep distractions away. Prepare everything you need for your study sessions, and make them a good one for yourself. Study sessions don’t have to be the longest to be the most effective. Short and efficient sessions are the most effective in the long run. It doesn’t drain the student needlessly while being effective in learning new concepts and memorising new keywords and phrases.

Don’t burn yourself out

This applies to both students burning the midnight oil for last-minute studying and zealous students who want to make the biggest improvements and see jumps in their grades. It can be rewarding – but it is also extremely taxing on both your motivation and mental strength. We encourage our students to see this as a long marathon rather than a short sprint. Good habits tend to make the journey much more enjoyable, while bad short-term habits tend to make it frustrating and ineffective to learn Chinese.


The challenge that comes with trying to score well in Chinese can sometimes feel challenging, so much so that you might not anticipate the sense of loss and lack of motivation. But if you just remind yourself why you wanted to do it in the first place, the progress you’ve made so far, keep distractions at bay, and make constant progress, you’ll help fuel your motivation to keep your proficiency journey going.

Still, Chinese can be much easier if you have someone to guide you too. If that is what you are looking for, then learn with Chinese tutors who are not only proficient in the language but also know countless tips and tricks to save you time in making the most progress you can.

Learn Chinese online in Singapore with Connected Learning. We offer effective tuition lessons with professional and qualified teachers who are passionate about what they do. Sign up for Chinese Oral and Composition tuition with us and see your grades improve in no time!