All About HSK Test: What You Need to know

Taking the HSK test is a very important part of your journey to studying in a Chinese-speaking country or program. Here’s a basic overview to help you learn more about the HSK test.

The basics of the HSK test

The HSK test measures your ability to use and understand the Chinese language as it’s read, written, heard and spoken with Chinese people. It`s the most accepted Chinese language test in the world.

In order for the HSK test to measure how well you read, listen, speak and write in Chinese, and how well you use these skills together, you’ll be asked to integrate these skills for the test. For example, you may read a passage or listen to a dialogue, and to write about what you learned. The HSK test measures your ability to integrate the four Chinese skills you need in an Chinese related setting.

HSK test is held regularly in China and other countries each year. Certificates of HSK will be issued to those who have secured the required scores.

Non-native speakers (foreigners, overseas Chinese and students of Chinese national minorities).

The new HSK test retains the former HSK’s orientation as a general (or universal) Chinese language abilities test for adult learners. The results of the HSK test can serve several purposes:

1. A reference for an educational institution’s decision-making concerning recruiting students, assigning students to different classes, allowing students to skip certain courses and granting students academic credits.

2. A reference for employers’ decision-making concerning the recruitment, training and promotion of test takers.

3. A method for Chinese language learners to assess and improve their proficiency in Chinese.

4. A method for Chinese language training institutions to evaluate training results.

The Chinese Ministry of Education has established China National Committee for Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK)(CNCCPT). The Committee is the supervisor of HSK and the issuer of the Chinese proficiency certificates. CNCCPT has an office called Office of China National Committee for Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK), which takes care of the HSK affairs together with the HSK Center of BLCU.

The new HSK test follows the principle of “test-teaching correlation”, bases the design of the test on the current trends in international Chinese language training, and is closely related to textbooks. The purpose of HSK test is to “promote training through testing” and “promote learning through testing”.

The new HSK test emphasizes the objectivity and accuracy of the evaluation and stresses the learners’ actual Chinese language abilities.

The new HSK test sets clear test objectives to allow the test takers to be able to improve their Chinese language abilities in a systematic and efficient way.

The following is a comparison between the new HSK test and the Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages and The Common European Framework Reference for Language (CEF).

New HSKVocabularyChinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages(CLPS)The Common European Framework Reference for Language (CEF)
HSK Level VIOver 5,000Level VC2
HSK Level V2500Level VC1
HSK Level IV1200Level IVB2
HSK (Level III)600Level IIIB1
HSK Level II300Level IIA2
HSK Level I150Level IA1

Currently, there are three ways to register for the HSK test. Read the notice in the Test Information column to find out when you should register for your HSK test.

  • On-line registration
  • Register on the spot
  • Register by mail

For those who take HSK tests in Mainland China:

New HSKPrice
HSK Level 1150 RMB
HSK Level 2250 RMB
HSK Level 3350 RMB
HSK Level 4450 RMB
HSK Level 5550 RMB
HSK Level 6650 RMB

(Fees for candidates in foreign countries or ethnic minorities will be announced by each test center. )

Warning: Fees for the test and registration are non-refundable

Test takers who are able to pass the HSK Level I can understand and use very simple Chinese words and phrases, meet basic needs for communication and possess the ability to further their Chinese language studies.

Test takers who are able to pass the HSK Level II have an excellent grasp of basic Chinese and can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.

Test takers who are able to pass the HSK Level III can communicate in Chinese at a basic level in their daily, academic and professional lives. They can manage most communication in Chinese when travelling in China.

Test takers who are able to pass the HSK Level IV can converse in Chinese on a wide range of topics and are able to communicate fluently with native Chinese speakers.

Test takers who are able to pass the HSK Level V can read Chinese newspapers and magazines, enjoy Chinese films and plays, and give a full-length speech in Chinese.

Test takers who are able to pass the HSK Level VI can easily comprehend written and spoken information in Chinese and can effectively express themselves in Chinese, both orally and on paper.

The HSK certificate and test report form will be mailed to the HSK test centers by the organizer within two months after the test. Candidates may obtain certificates and test report forms either by collecting them in person at the test center or by mail from the test center.

The retention period of the certificate and the test report form is 2 years. If the candidate does still not claim them after 2 years, the organizer will not keep them any longer.

Regulations on reissuing test report forms

Candidates may come to the HSK Center of BLCU and can require a reissue of the test report form for the purpose of employment or application for study in a university within the valid period of the test result. There are handling and cost charges for it.

The HSK certificate has a permanent validity, whereas the accompanying test report will only be valid for two years (beginning from the date of the test session) as the certification for foreign students to enter a college or university in China.

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