HSK Exam in Chinese is Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (汉语水平考试) literally meaning “Mandarin Level Test”.
It is organized by Hanban (汉办) the part of the Chinese education ministry also in charge of the Confucius Institutes (孔子学院).
The HSK Exam is administered by testing centres around the world, including private language schools, universities and Confucius institutes.
Exam questions and dates are the same everywhere in the world, however not all testing centres choose to offer the HSK test every month.
Many students wish to take a HSK Exam in China for a number of reasons which range from finding their current level of Chinese, achieving a personal goal, or for future career progression.
At LTL we help students prepare and arrange the exam with a number of programs and packages. We are a registered HSK Testing Centre from HSK 1 through to HSK 6.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT – The HSK is changing in 2021 to nine levels instead of six! Find out more with our article that covers the New HSK extensively!
HSK TEST LEVELS
There are six HSK levels overall. HSK 1 covers basic Chinese language through to HSK 6 which is outright fluency in all circumstances. Let’s explain a little bit more about each level and what your expectations will be when taking the exam:
HSK 1 – The ability to understand basic Chinese words and phrases
HSK 2 – Can use basic Chinese and apply to complete simple tasks
HSK 3 – Can communicate daily for academic and professional purposes
HSK 4 – Converse fluently in various topics with native Chinese speakers
HSK 5 – Fluent speaking and ability to read a Chinese newspaper
HSK 6 – Ability to express whatever you wish either spoken or written.
Words To Learn
1 hour 25 minutes
1 hour 40 minutes
2 hours 15 minutes
NOTE – The HSK is changing to 9 levels from July 1st 2021. Although the full details are not known just yet we have collated what we know thus far…
THE NEW HSK / HSK 3.0
The HSK Exam is undergoing it’s biggest ever reform as the current 6 level structure is set to be changed to an even harder 9 level structure.
Whilst the details remain a little unclear, we have in the mean time answered all your FAQ’s in our regularly updated New HSK blog alongside this video.
The exam is either taken on computer or written format. There is no speaking involved. You can actually take a Chinese speaking test, this is referred to as the HSKK Exam (note the extra K). There are three of these tests in total. Feel free to contact us to talk more about HSKK Exams.
In terms of the computer and written exams, here are a few useful points about how the test works:
HSK 1 and HSK 2 are the two most basic HSK Exams, these involve pinyin and characters
HSK 1 and HSK 2 tests your listening and reading skills
The LTL HSK Exam Preparation Kit aims to guide you through the process of passing the HSK Exam. The key to the exam is learning specific vocabulary and grammar that we know will be tested. Thankfully we are experts in this field so look no further.
Our Preparation Kit will help create you a study plan, complete mock exams, prepare for the exam itself and help you through the payment process so you can get studying. The end goal is you passing your test.
Assessment – Your assigned HSK Specialist will get an understanding of your current level of Chinese and give you a HSK Level to attain, from one through to six.
Choose an Exam and Date – Once you are both comfortable with what level exam to take its time to pick a date and get preparing
Personalized study plan – Your plan will give you targets, strategies and mock papers so you have all the materials you need.
Take Mock Tests – It’s time to see how you fare with last year’s papers.
It’s time for your test – Good luck
HSK level assessment and study plan
HSK mock test and analysis
Five sets of past HSK Test papers including CD
HSK Test Syllabus
Sign up and staff support
Chinese classes are not included
COST – 980CNY
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I take a course entirely based on the HSK?
Yes you can. We provide HSK preparation courses (standard or intensive) as shown on this page or online HSK courses, of which we have five in total.
All the aforementioned courses are aimed about passing the HSK exam.
How many HSK levels are there in total?
Currently, as of 2020, there are 6 HSK levels, HSK 6 being the most advanced.
Where are HSK Exams taken?
Exams are taken at a nearby centre. We will provide you with the details when the test is booked.
Do I have to take a HSK Exam?
You are under no obligations to take any exam when you learn Chinese. An oral test or a speaking test is just a way of gaining a grade. If you need this on your CV for a potential job then yes, the HSK Exam is worth taking. If you have a personal goal and want to reach a certain level of Chinese proficiency, then yes why not take the test. Otherwise the choice is completely up to you.
Do you have any way I can practice the HSK right now?
Your teacher will guide and assess your Chinese language level throughout your course with LTL. They will tell you what your level is and what exam you should be aiming to take. You can then prepare for this accordingly.
Can I take an online HSK course?
Absolutely, if you want to take an Online HSK course check out our dedicated course page by visiting the link.
How many words do I need to know to pass HSK?
HSK 1 – 150 words
HSK 2 – 300 words
HSK 3 – 600 words
HSK 4 – 1,200 words
HSK 5 – 2,500 words
HSK 6 – 5,000 words
Why is the written test harder than the computer test?
We believe the computer test is a favourable choice because it cuts down the chance of losing marks and points on your exam paper. If you take the written test you must physically write down every character. If you slip up, you lose marks. With the computer exam you type the pinyin and the characters will appear on the computer. Although you still need to know which character to apply you cannot get the script of the character wrong this way. If you don’t know the answer you can make an educated guess which can often lead to you getting certain questions correct where you may have otherwise failed.
Do all HSK tests include Pinyin?
No, only HSK 1 and HSK 2 have pinyin, after this the exams are solely using Chinese characters.
What is the HSKK?
The HSKK is the spoke version of the HSK exam. There are 3 levels in total, beginner, intermediate and advanced
What Our Students Say
This was my fourth time in China and I could not ask for a better experience. Overall I felt the teaching was excellent and I would highly recommend this school to anyone looking to improve their Chinese.
I really enjoyed my lessons at LTL Shanghai. I thought the learning environment was well tailored to my needs. All of the teachers I met were very good and I would recommend all of them to any students.
This was my fourth time in China and I could not ask for a better experience. The program I choose to do was one to one for six weeks.
Juliette in Beijing
I had three different teachers and this gave me a chance to experience difference teaching techniques. Although we did have breaks in between the classes, the course was intense.
The school’s location was ideal as there were lots of coffee places and restaurants nearby and gyms too which students could sign up to.
The classes were mainly taught in Chinese and I felt my language progressed. One area of improvement I would say is that at times due to peak season for two weeks I had to relocate my classes to coffee shops in the nearby area. Although I did not mind this, it was not ideal.
Overall I felt the teaching was excellent and I would highly recommend this school to anyone looking to improve their Chinese.
I fully intend in continuing in learning Chinese. I’m soon entering a Master’s in Advanced Chinese studies.
If I have the opportunity to return to LTL then, yes, I would like to go back.
I really enjoyed my lessons at LTL Shanghai. I thought the learning environment was well tailored to my needs. I prefer cramming a lot of lessons in a short amount of time and LTL was able to provide me with a schedule that really suited my needs. I was taking classes 7 days a week, which was really great for what I wanted to achieve. They are truly adaptable.
All of the teachers I met were very good and I would recommend all of them to any students. I do plan on continuing my studies with LTL in the future. If not Shanghai, I may want to explore Taiwan, as I have never been there before and am interested in seeing what it looks like. Thanks for all your help and thanks to the teachers and staff.
This was my 2nd visit to LTL after coming the previous year. I originally found LTL on the Internet, took a look at the website and a few videos of ex-students and after talking to my student advisor, Irene, I was pretty convinced to come to LTL!
I already knew the school and some of the teachers also so I felt my transition to China was a comfortable one. It helped being familiar.
This year I took 1-on-1 classes to prepare for the HSK 2 exam. I found the program was good, especially my 2nd week when I prepared with mock exams and tried to improve my listening.
The teachers were very professional, kind and helped me reach my objective and had no issues repeating any grammar if I needed.
My homestay was as good as perfect also. The first few days were incredible. They helped pass the time by helping me with homework and talking about various topics in Chinese.
Hopefully I will come back to Beijing again for more 1-on-1 lessons.
List of HSK Vocabulary
HSK 1 Vocabulary
The HSK 1 exam tests your ability to understand the basic Mandarin words and phrases. In the exam both Pinyin and Hanzi will be used.