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Chinese HSK exam

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Chinese HSK exam

China's Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) is an international exam that assesses the level of knowledge of the Chinese language in different situations: at work, at home or at school. The exam is intended for people for whom Chinese is a foreign language.

The exam consists of 2 parts: oral and written:

  • Written HSK is divided into 6 levels of difficulty - the first three confirm language proficiency at a basic level, the remaining 3 make it possible to apply for university studies in China for undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate studies.
  • Oral HSK is divided into 3 difficulty levels: the second is already enough for admission to the university.

HSK Exam Overview

Official site


Results are available through

30 days

Certificate Validity

2 years

Exam cost

19-32 $, 17-30 .


120 countries

What is it needed for?

  1. University entrance in China
  2. Employment in China.

Students can prepare for the exam using materials on the official website and other online resources (Learningchinese, Magazeta, Mandarinhouse, Chinaeducenter).

HSK exam structure

Before passing the exam, the student must decide at what level he can pass the exam (1-6). The exam can both confirm this level and show that knowledge is not enough for him. To pass the exam you need to score at least 60%.

  1. Level 1 (basic):

  • Minimum vocabulary: 150 words
  • Number of tasks: 40 (reading and listening)
  • Exam Duration: 40 minutes
  • Passing score: 120 out of 200.
  1. Level 2

  • Minimum vocabulary: 300 words
  • Number of tasks: 60 (reading, listening)
  • Exam Duration: 55 minutes
  • Passing score: 120 out of 200.
  1. Level 3 (Intermediate):

  • Minimum vocabulary: 600 words
  • Number of tasks: 80 (reading, listening, writing)
  • Exam Duration: 90 minutes
  • Passing score: 180 out of 300.
  1. Level 4:

  • Minimum vocabulary: 1200 words
  • Number of tasks: 100 (reading, listening, writing)
  • Exam Duration: 105 minutes
  • Passing score: 180 out of 300.
  1. Level 5:

  • Minimum vocabulary: 2500 words
  • Tasks: reading, listening, writing
  • Exam Duration: 125 minutes
  • Passing score: 180 out of 300.
  1. Level 6 (the most difficult):

  • Minimum vocabulary: 5000 words
  • Number of tasks: 101 (reading, listening, writing - presentation)
  • Exam Duration: 140 minutes
  • Passing score: 180 out of 300.

During the reading part, it is important to show the ability to make sentences, the ability to select a separate necessary part in the text and convey the idea in other words. In terms of listening, you need to demonstrate the ability to understand the meaning of individual sentences or text, the capability to highlight the main idea and convey it in your own words. In the written part, the candidate’s ability to express his own thoughts on a particular topic and the grammar of the proposals made are tested.

HSKK Oral Exam

The HSKK Oral Exam is for people who are learning Chinese and want to test their proficiency. The test determines the candidate’s ability to communicate with native speakers on everyday topics.

The oral part of the exam has 3 levels of difficulty (elementary, intermediate, and higher). The tasks that are given on the exam are the same, they are distinguished only by the level of difficulty.


Exam Information

First level

  • Language learning period: less than 1 year
  • Minimum vocabulary:
  • 200-300 words
  • Duration: 17 minutes.

The first part is to repeat 15 simple sentences (7 seconds).

The second part is the answer to 10 questions (10 seconds per task).

The third part is a detailed answer to 2 questions, each answer has at least 5 phrases (1.5 minutes for each question).

Average level

  • Language learning period: 1-2 years
  • Minimum vocabulary: at least 900 words.

The first part is to repeat 10 sentences (8 seconds for each phrase), after it is given 10 minutes to prepare for the remaining parts.

The second part is a description of the proposed pictures (4 minutes, 2 for each picture).

The third part - clear answers to 2 questions (4 minutes).

Highest level

  • Language learning period: more than 2 years
  • Minimum vocabulary: more than 3000 words
  • Duration: 24 minutes.

The first part is a retelling of the text (reasoning, plot text or explanation of certain words), which contains about 100 characters (2 minutes).

The second part - reading 2 texts (250 characters) with the correct pronunciation (2 minutes + preparation time).

The third part - answers to 2 questions (5 minutes).

HSK Rules

  1. Arrival at the test center 15-20 minutes before the exam.
  2. You must have an identification document with you, an invitation to the exam, a few soft pencils (2B), an eraser and a sharpener.
  3. It is forbidden to have any electronic devices and educational materials with you. It is allowed to bring medicines with you (if you need them), but you need to warn the observers about this.
  4. Test participants are given answer forms, which are subsequently checked by computers: firstly, fields are filled with personal data, and then the participants proceed to the examination tasks. The first is listening, then reading and writing.

HSKK Rules

The exam is held in computer classrooms, each participant’s place is equipped with a microphone and headphones. The entire oral part runs completely at the computer. At the beginning of the exam into the microphone, you need to dictate your personal data.

HSK Exam Registration

To register for the HSK exam, you need to register on the official site of the exam, select a location and sign up for a suitable test date. Payment is made by bank payment. You can also register for an exam at the exam site itself.

HSK preparation

  1. Time Tasks

One reason for poor exam results is a lack of time. To improve the result, you need to regularly practice in solving tasks on time. It is better to do it with the help of official website, materials and a timer.

  1. Hieroglyphs

Candidates need to constantly practice memory, associative thinking and writing hieroglyphs. The best way is to associate the hieroglyphs with something familiar. It will be easier to remember them.

  1. New words

The official website has published lists of the most used Chinese words that are necessary for passing the test at each level. It is better to remember them in the context of some sentences, which is more effective than simple memorization. Reading new texts on various topics helps a lot in learning new words.

  1. Writing assignments

For successful writing of the essay and other written tasks in the exam, constant practice is required: candidates in the preparation process must write a large number of texts, preferably without unnecessary complicated phrases, and repeat the grammar.

  1. Listening

While listening to text you need to take notes on paper. The most important thing is to focus on what the announcer says, not to be distracted by extraneous sounds.

During the exam, it is important not to worry and not be afraid, to correctly allocate time and tune in to a good result.

For an excellent exam result, it is possible to receive a scholarship to study at one of the universities in China (for a month, semester or year). Scholarship holders can enter the leading universities of the country .

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