What is HSK?


Brief Introduction

HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi in Chinese Pinyin ) is the Official Chinese Proficiency Test.

It’s an international standardized exam which tests and rates Chinese language proficiency.

It assesses non-native Chinese speakers’ abilities in using the Chinese language in their daily, academic and professional lives.


HSK test was launched in 1984. In 1991, the first HSK test was held outside of China. Since then, the HSK test centers have set up in China and countries all over the world. It began to be designed by Beijing Language Institute at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU).

In March 2010, the new HSK test was introduced. The new HSK test was launched by Hanban in an effort to better serve Chinese language learners. The test is the result of coordinated efforts by experts from different disciplines including Chinese language teaching, linguistics, psychology and educational measurement. The new HSK test combines the advantages of the original HSK while taking into consideration recent trends in Chinese language training by conducting surveys and making use of the latest findings in international language testing.

The new HSK test has a new test structure and style of language tested. The old HSK test structure was often criticized for assessing the formal and impractical language& abilities. The new HSK test format is designed to assess usage of more daily and practical language. Both old and new HSK test had held for a while, but now international students can only take the new HSK test.


The new HSK test consists of a writing test and a speaking test, which are independent of each other. 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). There are three levels of speaking tests, namely the HSK (beginner level), HSK (intermediate level), and HSK (advanced level). During the speaking test, test takers; speeches will be recorded.

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.

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.

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.

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.

HSK (Level V)

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

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.

HSK Test Fees

Test fees might differ due to exchange rates of different countries. You need to contact with the test center you wish to take the test for test fees. The following is the HSK test fees for test centers in Beijing and Shanghai in RMB(Chinese Yuan):

To register fast and safely, please check out the HSK Registration Tutorial by expatstips.com

The only offical registration website—www.chinesetest.cn


Test Principles

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 the 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.

Testing Purposes

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 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 giving student 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.

Results Certificate

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

Functions of HSK Certificate

– Offers a reference for educational institutions to recruit students, classify students, exempt students from some courses and grant credits;

– Offers a reference for employers to employ, train and promote employees;

– Offers a reference for Chinese language learners to understand and improve their ability to apply Chinese;

– Offers a reference for related Chinese teaching institutions or training organizations to evaluate teaching standards and the effectiveness of different training.

HSK Test is held by Hanban, the Confucius Institute Headquarters. Hanban is a public institution affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education. It is committed to providing Chinese language and cultural teaching resources and services worldwide, it goes all out in meeting the demands of foreign Chinese learners and contributing to the development of multiculturalism and the building of a harmonious world.

(Contribution Source: www.chinesetest.cn)


How to register HSK test online

HSK Test Regulations

2014 HSK Test dates

2015 HSK Test dates

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