I. What is HSK?
The Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì (HSK), (Chinese: 汉语水平考试), translated as Chinese Proficiency Test, is China's only standardized test of Standard Chinese language proficiency for non-native speakers such as foreign students and overseas Chinese. The HSK test approximates the English TOEFL, and an HSK certificate is valid without any limitation in China. The test aims to be a certificate of language proficiency for higher educational and professional purposes.
II.Current Test Structure (since 2010, revised in 2012)
The current format was introduced in 2012, with a philosophy of testing "comprehensive language and communication ability". Most notable is the inclusion of spoken and written segments at all levels (not just Advanced), reformation of the ranking system, and use of new question structures.
The HSK consists of a written test and an oral test, which are taken separately:
|Level||Vocabulary||Written test||Oral test||Description|
(cumulative / new)
(cumulative / new)
|1||150||150||174||174||20 questions, 15 min||20 questions, 17 min||Not tested||17 min||Designed for learners who can understand and use some simple Chinese characters and sentences to communicate, and prepares them for continuing their Chinese studies. In HSK 1 all characters are provided along with Pinyin.|
|2||300||150||347||173||35 questions, 25 min||25 questions, 22 min||Designed for learners who can use Chinese in a simple and direct manner, applying it in a basic fashion to their daily lives. In HSK 2 all characters are provided along with Pinyin as well.|
|3||600||300||617||270||40 questions||30 questions||10 items||21 min||Designed for learners who can use Chinese to serve the demands of their personal lives, studies and work, and are capable of completing most of the communicative tasks they experience during their Chinese tour.|
|4||1200||600||1064||447||45 questions||40 questions||15 items||Designed for learners who can discuss a relatively wide range of topics in Chinese and are capable of communicating with Chinese speakers at a high standard.|
|5||2500||1300||1685||621||45 questions||45 questions||10 items||24 min||Designed for learners who can read Chinese newspapers and magazines, watch Chinese films and are capable of writing and delivering a lengthy speech in Chinese.|
|6||5000||2500||2663||978||50 questions||50 questions||1 composition||Designed for learners who can easily understand any information communicated in Chinese and are capable of smoothly expressing themselves in written or oral form.|