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I'm studying Chinese and would like to know if there are any metrics/studies around how many words I should be able to retain to get a high score.

The metrics I've seen, such as this Rosetta Stone Effectiveness Study, give comparison of semesters and scores (e.g.: 427+ = Semester 4):

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Likewise, this DuoLingo learner used the product for 3 months and got a WebCAPE score of 500. But what does this mean?

There is no indication of # words to learn and which words to learn per language indicated on their website.

Things like HSK Chinese exam give the words you should be learning, and vocab sets, etc to pass the exam. Or the AP exams give study guides to pass with recommended vocab sets.

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Not sure if this helps, but as you already know HSK exam, at level 6, requires a working knowledge of approximately 5,000 words and phrases. If you are looking to practice your Chinese vocabulary, surely it should not matter if its HSK, webcape or some AP exam. Chinese is Chinese.

To share, if you are looking for resources to practice or grow your vocabulary, I could recommend a flashcard app called HSK Locker https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shex.hsklocker thats pretty effective when used in my case.

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