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Student’s guide of HSK Exam

Student's guide of HSK Exam

Tarek Floyd

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HSK stands for Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (汉语水平考试), meaning “Chinese Proficiency Test”. It’s the world’s most well-known and acknowledged test for Mandarin Chinese proficiency.

The organizer of HSK is Hanban (汉办), an affiliation of the Ministry of Education of China that also runs the Confucius Institutes worldwide.

HSK predominantly tests learners’ listening, reading, writing skills in Chinese, and has no speaking section. HSK is a 100% written exam.

Student's guide of HSK Exam

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Exam levels:

HSK (Level I)

Test takers can understand and use very simple Chinese phrases, meet basic needs for communication and possess the ability to further their Chinese language studies. (Details and Download)

HSK (Level II)

Test takers 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. (Details and Download)

HSK (Level III)

Test takers 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. (Details and Download)

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HSK (Level IV)

Test takers can converse in Chinese on a wide range of topics and are able to communicate fluently with native Chinese speakers. (Details and Download)

HSK (Level V)

Test takers can read Chinese newspapers and magazines, enjoy Chinese films and plays, and give a full-length speech in Chinese. (Details and Download)

HSK (Level VI)

Test takers can easily comprehend written and spoken information in Chinese and can effectively express themselves in Chinese, both orally and on paper.

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Who can apply:

  • HSK is designed for non-native Chinese speakers (foreigners and Chinese ethnic minorities) as a way of certifying their knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.
  • Typically, those who take the HSK want to attend university or graduate school in China.
  • But anyone who wants to assess their proficiency in Chinese or needs to demonstrate a mastery of Chinese for professional purposes can take the HSK. Test-takers that pass the HSK test will get an HSK certificate at their corresponding level.


You can register for the HSK test online: www.chinesetest.cn

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HSK Certificate Validity:

The HSK certificate has permanent validity. It’s like a diploma. Once you receive it, it becomes your property and is valid forever. However, if you wish to use your HSK scores to apply to a college or university in China, your HSK scores are valid for two years only from the date you take the test.

Student's guide of HSK Exam

Exam cost:

The HSK test fee differs according to the level and varies depending on which country you’ll be taking the test in. The cost typically falls into the 20-100 US dollar range.

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