HSK Test Introduction

The HSK test was launched by Hanban in an effort to better serve Chinese language learners. It assesses non-native Chinese speakers’ abilities in using the Chinese language in their daily, academic and professional lives. There are six levels of writing tests, namely the HSK (level I), HSK (level II), HSK (level III), HSK (level IV), HSK (level V), and HSK (level VI).

Test Levels

Level Vocabulary Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages (CLPS) The Common European Framework Reference for Language (CEF)
Level1 150 Level I A1
Level2 300 Level II A2
Level3 600 Level III B1
Level4 1200 Level IV B2
Level5 2500 Level V
300/1800
C1
Level6 Over 5000 C2
  • Level 1: can understand and use very simple Chinese phrases, meet basic needs for communication and possess the ability to further their Chinese language studies.

    Test Structure and Content

    • Duration: 40 minutes in total (including 5 minutes in which the test takers fill in personal information).
    • Text: shown in Pinyin
    • Section Number of Items Duration (Min)
      I.
      Listening

      Part I

      The recording of each item will be played twice. A phrase and picture will be provided with each item. The test takers should make a true-or-false judgment based on what they hear.
      5 20 About 15

      Part II

      The recording of each item will be played twice. A phrase and picture will be provided with each item. The test takers should make a true-or-false judgment based on what they hear.
      5

      Part III

      The recording of each item will be played twice. A dialogue and several pictures will be provided with each item. The test takers should choose corresponding pictures based on what they hear.
      5

      Part IV

      The recording of each item will be played twice. For each item, a person will make a statement. Another person will then ask a question and provide three possible answers. The three possible answers will be listed on the test paper, and test takers can choose one of the answers based on what they hear.
      5
      Filling out the answer sheet(Mark your answers for listening comprehension on Answer Sheet) 3
      II.
      Reading

      Part I

      Each item will provide a picture and a phrase. The test taker should judge whether or not they are consistent with each other.
      5 17 20

      Part II

      The test paper will display several pictures. For each item, a sentence will be provided. The test taker needs to choose one of the corresponding pictures based on the content of the sentence.
      5

      Part III

      During this section, 5 questions and 5 answers will be provided. The test take should match the question with the appropriate answer.
      5

      Part IV

      Each item will display a sentence with one word missing. The test taker should select one of the words in the answer section to fill in the blank.
      5
      Total / 40 About 35

    Score and Result Certificate

    • Three results will be provided including listening, reading and total.
      Max Score Your Score
      Listening 100
      Reading 100
      Total 200
    • Passing Score: 120 points total to be considered passing.
    • As a Chinese language certificate for foreign students’ entry into Chinese colleges, the results of the HSK are valid for two years (beginning from the test date).
  • Level 2: 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 Structure and Content

    • Duration: 55 minutes in total (including 5 minutes in which the test takers fill in personal information).
    • Text: shown in Pinyin
    • Section Number of Items Duration (Min)
      I.
      Listening

      Part I

      The recording of each item will be played twice. A phrase and picture will be provided with each item. The test takers should make a true-or-false judgment based on what they hear.
      10 35 About 25

      Part II

      The recording of each item will be played twice. For each item, a dialogue and several pictures will be provided. The test takers should select the appropriate answer based on what they hear.
      10

      Part III

      The recording of each item will be played twice. Each item consists of a dialogue between two persons with a third person asking a question related to the content. There will be three possible answers on the test paper from which the test takers can select the correct one based on the passage.
      10

      Part IV

      The recording of each item will be played twice. Each item consists of a 4-5 sentence dialogue between two persons with a third person will asking a question at the end of the passage. There will be three possible answers on the test paper from which the test takers can select the correct one based on what they hear in the passage.
      5
      Filling out the answer sheet(Mark your answers for listening comprehension on Answer Sheet) 3
      II.
      Reading

      Part I

      Several pictures will be shown on the test paper. For each item, a sentence will be provided. The test taker should choose corresponding pictures based on the sentence.
      5 22 25

      Part II

      For each item, one or two sentences will be provided in which one word is missing. The test taker should select one of the words in the answer section to fill in the blank.
      5

      Part III

      For each item, two sentences will be provided. The test taker should judge whether or not the second sentence is consistent with the first one.
      5

      Part IV

      In this section, 20 sentences will be provided. The test taker will be asked to find the correlations between the sentences.
      10
      Total / 50 About 50

    Score and Result Certificate

    • Three results will be provided including listening, reading and total.
      Max Score Your Score
      Listening 100
      Reading 100
      Total 200
    • Passing Score: 120 points total to be considered passing.
    • As a Chinese language certificate for foreign students’ entry into Chinese colleges, the results of the HSK are valid for two years (beginning from the test date).
  • Level 3: 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 Structure and Content

    • Duration: 90 minutes in total (including 5 minutes in which the test takers fill in personal information)
    • Text: shown in Chinese characters
    • Section Number of Items Duration (Min)
      I.
      Listening

      Part I

      The recording of each item will be played twice. For each item, a dialogue and several pictures will be provided. The test takers should select corresponding pictures based on what they hear.
      10 40 Approximately 35

      Part II

      The recording of each item will be played twice. For each item, a short passage will be read out, followed by an assertion, which also appears on the paper. The test taker should decide whether the assertion made is true or false.
      10

      Part III

      The recording of each item will be played twice. Each item consists of a dialogue between two persons. A third person will then ask a question about the dialogue. There will be three possible answers on the test paper, from which the test takers can select the best answer based on what they hear.
      10

      Part IV

      The recording of each item will be played twice. Each item consists of a 4-5 sentence dialogue between two persons. A third person will then ask a question based on the dialogue. There will be three possible answers on the test paper, from which the test takers can choose best answer based on what they hear.
      10
      Filling out the answer sheet(Mark your answers for listening comprehension on Answer Sheet) 5
      II.
      Reading

      Part I

      In this section, 20 sentences will be provided and the test taker will be asked to correlate them.
      10 30 30

      Part II

      For each item, one or two sentences will be provided, in which one word/phrase is missing. The test taker should choose one of the suggested words/phrases to fill in the blank.
      10

      Part III

      This part consists of 10 short passages, each followed by a question. The test taker should choose the best answer from the 3 choices provided.
      10
      III.
      Writing

      Part I

      Each item lists several words. The test taker should construct a sentence using the words provided.
      5 10 15

      Part II

      Each item provides a sentence with several blanks. The test taker should fill in the blanks with the appropriate characters.
      5
      Total / 80 Approximately 85

    Score and Result Certificate

    • These results will be provided including listening, reading, writing and the total.
      Max Score Your Score
      Listening 100
      Reading 100
      Writing 100
      Total 300
    • Passing Score: 180 points total to be considered passing.
    • As a Chinese language certificate for foreign students’ entry into Chinese colleges, the results of the HSK are valid for two years (beginning from the test date).
  • Level 4: can converse in Chinese on a wide range of topics and are able to communicate fluently with native Chinese speakers.

    Test Structure and Content

    • Duration: 105 minutes in total (including 5 minutes in which the test takers fill in personal information)
    • Text: shown in Chinese characters
    • Section Number of Items Duration (Min)
      I.
      Listening

      Part I

      The recording of each item will be played only once. For each item, a short passage will read out, followed by an assertion which also appears on the test paper. The test taker should decide whether the assertion is true or false.
      10 45 Approximately 35

      Part II

      The recording of each item will be played only once. Each item consists of a dialogue between two persons. A third person will then ask a question based on the dialogue. There will be four possible answers on the test paper, from which test takers can choose the right one based on what they hear.
      15

      Part III

      The recording of each item will be played only once. This section consists of a 4-5 sentence dialogue or monologue followed by one or two questions. Four possible answers will be provided on the test paper, from which the test taker can choose the best one.
      20
      Filling out the answer sheet(Mark your answers for listening comprehension on Answer Sheet) 5
      II.
      Reading

      Part I

      One or two sentences will be provided for each item, in which one word/phrase is missing. The test taker should choose one of the suggested words/phrases to fill in the blank.
      10 40 40

      Part II

      Each item consists of three sentences that the test taker needs to arrange in the correct order.
      10

      Part III

      Each item consists of a short passage, and one or two questions will be asked about the passage. The test taker needs to select the best answer out of the four answers provided.
      20
      III.
      Writing

      Part I

      Each item consists of several words. The test taker should construct a sentence using these words.
      10 15 25

      Part II

      Each item consists of a picture and a word. The test taker needs to write a sentence based on the picture and the word.
      5
      Total / 100 Approx 100

    Score and Result Certificate

    • These results will be provided including listening, reading, writing and the total.
      Max Score Your Score
      Listening 100
      Reading 100
      Writing 100
      Total 300
    • Passing Score: 180 points total to be considered passing.
    • As a Chinese language certificate for foreign students’ entry into Chinese colleges, the results of the HSK are valid for two years (beginning from the test date).
  • Level 5: can read Chinese newspapers and magazines, enjoy Chinese films and plays, and give a full-length speech in Chinese.

    Test Structure and Content

    • Duration: 125 minutes in total (including 5 minutes in which the test takers fill in personal information)
    • Text: shown in Chinese characters
    • Section Number of Items Duration (Min)
      I.
      Listening

      Part I

      The recording of each item will be played only once. Each item consists of a dialogue between two persons, with a third person then asking a question about the dialogue. There will be four possible answers provided on the test paper. Test takers must choose the best answer based on what they hear.
      20 45 About 30

      Part II

      The recording of each item will be played only once. This section consists of a 4-5 sentence dialogue or monologue followed by one or more questions. Four possible answers will be provided on the test paper. The test take must choose the best answer out of the four.
      25
      Filling out the answer sheet(Mark your answers for listening comprehension on Answer Sheet) 5
      II.
      Reading

      Part I

      This section consists of various passages, each with several blanks, which should be filled with a word or sentence. The test taker needs to choose the best answer out of four possible answers.
      15 45 45

      Part II

      Each item consists of a passage and four possible answers. The test taker needs to choose which of the four answers is most consistent with the passage.
      10

      Part III

      This section consists of several passages followed by some questions. The test taker should choose the best answer out of the 4 answers provided.
      20
      III.
      Writing

      Part I

      Each item consists of several words from which the test taker should construct a sentence.
      8 10 40

      Part II

      The first item consists of several words and requires the test taker to write an article about 80 characters long using the words provided. The second item consists of a picture and requires the test taker to write an article about 80 characters long based on the picture.
      2
      Total / 100 About 120

    Score and Result Certificate

    • These results will be provided including listening, reading, writing and the total.
      Max Score Your Score
      Listening 100
      Reading 100
      Writing 100
      Total 300
    • Passing Score: 180 points total to be considered passing.
    • As a Chinese language certificate for foreign students’ entry into Chinese colleges, the results of the HSK are valid for two years (beginning from the test date).
  • Level 6:can easily comprehend written and spoken information in Chinese and can effectively express themselves in Chinese, both orally and on paper.

    Test Structure and Content

    • Duration: 140 minutes in total (including 5 minutes in which the test takers fill in personal information)
    • Text: shown in Chinese characters
    • Section Number of Items Duration (Min)
      I.
      Listening

      Part I

      The recording of each item will be played only once. For each item, a short passage will be read and 4 possible answers will be provided on the test paper. The test taker needs to choose the answer that is most consistent with the passage.
      15 50 About 35

      Part II

      The recording of each item will be played only once. A recording of three interviews will be played followed by 5 questions. For each question, 4 possible answers will be provided, from which the test takers can choose the best answer based on what they hear in the passage.
      15

      Part III

      The recording of each item will be played only once. Several passages will be read, each of them followed by some questions. For each question, 4 possible answers will be provided, from which the test takers can choose the best answer based on what they hear in the passage.
      20
      Filling out the answer sheet(Mark your answers for listening comprehension on Answer Sheet) 5
      II.
      Reading

      Part I

      Each item consists of 4 sentences. The test taker needs to choose the sentence that is grammatically incorrect.
      10 50 50

      Part II

      Each item consists of a short passage with 3-5 blanks. The test taker needs to choose the best answer from 4 possible answers based on the context.
      10

      Part III

      There are two passages, each with 5 blanks. The test taker needs to choose the best answer out of 5 sentences based on the context.
      10

      Part IV

      This section consists of several passages followed by some questions. The test taker should choose the right answer from 4 possible answers.
      20
      III.
      Writing

      Part I

      Prose Writing The test taker will be required to read a narrative article of about 1,000 characters within 10 minutes, and then rewrite it into a shorter article of about 400 characters within 35 minutes. The test taker should also create a title for the article. The test taker should recount the article and is not required to express personal opinions.
      1 1 45
      Total / 101 Approx 135

    Score and Result Certificate

    • These results will be provided including listening, reading, writing and the total.
      Max Score Your Score
      Listening 100
      Reading 100
      Writing 100
      Total 300
    • Passing Score: 180 points total to be considered passing.
    • As a Chinese language certificate for foreign students’ entry into Chinese colleges, the results of the HSK are valid for two years (beginning from the test date).

The New HSK Updates

The New HSK will now launch its new HSK 7, 8 and 9 levels and exams in March 2022, with the same exams to be tested in December 2021. The HSK 1-6 exams will remain unchanged so far.

Level Syllable Chinese characters Vocabulary Grammar
Elementary Level 1 269 300 500 48
Level 2 199/468 300/600 772/1272 81/129
Level 3 140/608 300/900 973/2245 81/210
Intermediate Level 4 116/24 300/1200 1000/3245 76/286
Level 5 98/822 300/1500 1071/4316 71/357
Level 6 86/908 300/1800 1140/5456 67/424
Advance Level 7-9 202/1110 1200/1300 5636/11092 148/572
Total 1110 1300 11092 572

The advanced level of the new HSK from Band 7 to Band 9 is designed for learners who major in Chinese language and literature or sinologists. You will also be tested on your translation ability then.

What for (test purpose)

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

  • A reference for an educational institution’s decision-making concerning recruiting students, assigning students to different classes, allowing students to skip certain courses and giving students academic credits. Usually university entrance requirement is HSK 4. Require more information about university application.   
  • A reference for employers’ decision-making concerning the recruitment, training and promotion of test takers.
  • A method for Chinese language learners to assess and improve their proficiency in Chinese.
  • A method for Chinese language training institutions to evaluate training results.

Results Certificate

Test takers will receive the results for the new HSK issued by Hanban within three weeks after the test.

Test Sample & Mock Test

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  • Same format and time limit with the official online test
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  • Review questions with the correct answers

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Test Dates and Registration

2021 HSK
Test Dates
Deadline for Registration Date of Results Announced
Paper-based Internet-based Paper-based Internet-based
Jan 9 (Sat) Dec 13, 2020 Dec 30 , 2020 Feb 9 Jan 25
Feb 6 (Sat) Jan 10 Jan 27 Mar 13 Mar 1
Mar 7 (Sun) - Feb 25 - Mar 22
Mar 20 (Sat) Feb 21 Mar 10 Apr 20 Apr 5
Apr 10 (Sat) Mar 14 Mar 31 May 17 Apr 26
May 15 (Sat) Apr 18 May 5 June 15 May 31
June 19 (Sat) May 23 June 9 July 19 July 5
July 18 (Sun) June 21 July 8 Aug 18 Aug 2
Aug 22 (Sun) July 26 Aug 12 Sept 22 Sept 6
Sept 11 (Sat) Aug 15 Sept 1 Oct 18 Sept 27
Oct 17 (Sun) Sept 20 Oct 7 Nov 17 Nov 1
Nov 6 (Sat) - Oct 27 - Nov 22
Nov 20 (Sat) Oct 24 Nov 10 Dec 20 Dec 6
Dec 5 (Sun) Nov 8 Nov 25 Jan 5, 2022 Dec 20

※ The release date of the results will be postponed by one week because of the holiday.

How to Register HSK

You can register for the HSK test either online through the Hanban official website or offline at a HSK center.

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  • Duration:Approx. 24 hours (3 months)
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    • HSK test skills and strategies
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    • Week 11: HSK key vocabulary and grammar practice
    • Week 12: HSK test analysis and mock test
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