As my language learning has progressed I have finally entered the world of Chinese Characters. This world can be a mysterious forest of slashes, dots and slightly curved lines. Continued study, however, leads to finding patterns between the characters and the realization that some things make a lot of sense.
I searched the internet to find a Character test because I'm no longer sure how many Characters I know. It was easy at first. I knew about 5 characters... and then 10... and then 20... but now? Anyway, I found only one website with a good character test called Clavis Sinica. In addition to having a free test they also included Chinese studying materials for a variety of skill levels. Unfortunately, my internet was too slow to take the test. But there was another option: buy the test and the study materials.
As you may or may not know, my salary is not a huge sum. In fact, I find it difficult to afford something in the, say, $10 area. I was really frustrated because this was the only good character test online and I had no way of taking it.
So I did what I always do in these situations: I asked the website if they would give me the software for free, explaining that I am a Peace Corps Volunteer who is genuinely interested in learning the language. And they said yes.
From America you can probably take the character test for free because your internet connection is likely to be fast enough.