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Chinese Proficiency Tests

(return to HSK - Table of Contents)

 

HSK Levels

 

HSK Level 1
HSK Level 2
HSK Level 3
HSK Level 4
HSK Level 5
HSK Level 6

 

HSK (Level 1)


HSK (Level I) assesses test takers’ abilities in the application of everyday Chinese. It is the counterpart of the Level I of the Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages and the A1 Level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEF). Test takers who are able to pass the HSK (Level I) can understand and use very simple Chinese phrases, meet basic needs for communication and possess the ability to further their Chinese language studies.

I. Test Target
The HSK (Level I) is intended for students who have studied Chinese for a semester (half an academic year), with 2-3 class hours in each week. These students have mastered 150 commonly used words and basic grammar patterns.

II. Test Content
HSK (Level I) test is made up of listening comprehension and reading comprehension sections and contains a total of 40 items.

Section

Number of Items

Duration (Min)

I. Listening

Part I

5

20

About 15

Part II

5

Part III

5

Part IV

5

Filling out the answer sheet (Mark your answers for listening comprehension on Answer Sheet)

3

II. Reading

Part I

5

20

17

Part II

5

Part III

5

Part IV

5

Total

/

40

About 35

The test will last for 40 minutes in total (including 5 minutes in which the test takers fill in personal information).

1. Listening Comprehension
There are 5 items in 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.
There are 5 items in Part II. The recording of each item will be played twice. A sentence and 3 pictures will be provided with each item. The test takers should choose corresponding pictures based on what they hear.
There are 5 items in 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.
There are 5 items in 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.

2. Reading Comprehension
There are 5 items in 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.
There are 5 items in 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.
There are 5 items in Part III. During this section, 5 questions and 5 answers will be provided. The test take should match the question with the appropriate answer.
There are 5 items in 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.

All items on the test paper are shown in pinyin.

III. Results Certificate
For the HSK (Level I), three results will be provided including listening, reading and total. The test taker must score at least 120 points total to be considered passing.

Category

Max Score

Listening

100

Reading

100

Total

200

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).

 

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HSK (Level 2)


The HSK (Level II) assesses test takers’ abilities in the application of everyday Chinese. It is the counterpart of the Level II of the Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages and the A2 Level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEF). Test takers who are able to pass the HSK (Level II) 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.

I. Test Target
The HSK (Level II) is intended for students who have studied Chinese for two semesters (an academic year), with 2-3 class hours in each week. These students have mastered 300 commonly used words and related grammar patterns.

II. Test Content
The HSK (Level II) test is made up of listening comprehension and reading comprehension sections and contains a total of 60 items.

Section

Number of Items

Duration (Min)

I. Listening

Part I

10

35

About 25

Part II

10

Part III

10

Part IV

5

Filling out the answer sheet (Mark your answers for listening comprehension on Answer Sheet)

3

II. Reading

Part I

5

25

22

Part II

5

Part III

5

Part IV

10

Total

/

60

About 50

The test will last for a total of 55 minutes (including 5 minutes in which the test takers fill in personal information).

1. Listening Comprehension
There are 10 items in Part I. The recording of each item will be played twice. A sentence and a picture will be provided with each item. The test takers should make a true-or-false judgment based on what they hear.
There are 10 items in 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.
There are 10 items in 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.
There are 5 items in 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.

2. Reading Comprehension
There are 5 items in 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.
There are 5 items in 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.
There are 5 items in 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.
There are 10 items in Part IV. In this section, 20 sentences will be provided. The test taker will be asked to find the correlations between the sentences.

All the items on the test paper are shown in pinyin.

III. Results Certificate
For the HSK (Level II), three results will be provided including listening, reading and total. The test taker must score at least 120 points total to be considered passing.

Category

Max Score

Listening

100

Reading

100

Total

200

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).

 

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HSK (Level 3)


The HSK (Level III) assesses test takers’ abilities in the application of everyday Chinese. It is the counterpart of the Level III of the Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages and the B1 Level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEF). Test takers who are able to pass the HSK (Level III) 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.

I. Test Target
The HSK (Level III) is intended for students who have studied Chinese for three semesters (one and a half academic years), with 2-3 class hours in each week. These students have mastered 600 commonly used words and related grammar patterns.

II. Test Content
The HSK (Level III) test is made up of listening comprehension, reading comprehension and writing sections and contains a total of 80 items.

Section

Number of Items

Duration (Min)

I. Listening

Part I

10

40

Approximately 35

Part II

10

Part III

10

Part IV

10

Filling out the answer sheet (Mark your answers for listening comprehension on Answer Sheet)

5

II. Reading

Part I

10

30

30

Part II

10

Part III

10

III. Writing

Part I

5

10

15

Part II

5

Total

/

80

Approximately 85

The test will last for 90 minutes in total (including 5 minutes in which the test takers fill in personal information).

1. Listening Comprehension
There are 10 items in 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.
There are 10 items in 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.
There are 10 items in 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.
There are 10 items in 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.

2. Reading Comprehension
There are 10 items in Part I. In this section, 20 sentences will be provided and the test taker will be asked to correlate them.
There are 10 items in 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.
There are 10 items in 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.

3. Writing
There are 5 items in Part I. Each item lists several words. The test taker should construct a sentence using the words provided.
There are 5 items in Part II. Each item provides a sentence with several blanks. The test taker should fill in the blanks with the appropriate characters.

III. Results Certificate
For the HSK (Level III), four results will be provided including listening, reading, writing and the total. The test taker must score at least 180 points to be considered passing.

Category

Max Score

Listening

100

Reading

100

Writing

100

Total

300

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).

 

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HSK (Level 4)


The HSK (Level IV) assesses test takers’ abilities in the application of everyday Chinese. It is the counterpart of the Level IV of the Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages and the B2 Level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEF). Test takers who are able to pass the HSK (Level IV) can converse in Chinese on a wide range of topics and are able to communicate fluently with native Chinese speakers.

I. Test Target
The HSK (Level IV) is intended for students who have studied Chinese2-4 class hours per week for four semesters (two academic years). These students have mastered 1,200 commonly used words and related grammar patterns.

II. Test Content
The HSK (Level IV) test is made up of listening comprehension, reading comprehension and writing and contains a total of 100 test items.

Section

Number of Items

Duration (Min)

I. Listening

Part I

10

45

Approximately 30

Part II

15

Part III

20

Filling out the answer sheet (Mark your answers for listening comprehension on Answer Sheet)

5

II. Reading

Part I

10

40

40

Part II

10

Part III

20

III. Writing

Part I

10

15

25

Part II

5

Total

/

100

~ 100

The test will last for 105 minutes in total (including 5 minutes in which the test takers fill in personal information).

 

1. Listening Comprehension
There are 10 items in 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.
There are 15 items in 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.
There are 20 items in 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.

2. Reading Comprehension
There are 10 items in 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.
There are 10 items in Part II. Each item consists of three sentences that the test taker needs to arrange in the correct order.
There are 20 items in 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.

3. Writing
There are 10 items in Part I. Each item consists of several words. The test taker should construct a sentence using these words.
There are 5 items in 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.

III. Results Certificate
For the HSK (Level III), four results will be provided including listening, reading, writing and the total. The test taker must score at least 180 points to be considered passing.

 

Category

Max Score

Listening

100

Reading

100

Writing

100

Total

300

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).

 

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HSK (Level 5)


The HSK (Level V) assesses test takers’ abilities in the application of everyday Chinese. It is the counterpart of the Level V of the Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages and the C1 Level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEF). Test takers who are able to pass the HSK (Level V) can read Chinese newspapers and magazines, enjoy Chinese films and plays and give a full-length speech in Chinese.

I. Test Target
The HSK (Level V) is intended for students who have studied Chinese 2-4 class hours per week for more than two academic years. These students have mastered 2,500 commonly used words and related grammar patterns.

II. Test Content
The HSK (Level V) test is made up of listening comprehension, reading comprehension and writing sections and contains a total of 100 items.

Section

Number of Items

Duration (Min)

I. Listening

Part I

20

45

About 30

Part II

25

Filling out the answer sheet (Mark your answers for listening comprehension on Answer Sheet)

5

II. Reading

Part I

15

45

45

Part II

10

Part III

20

III. Writing

Part I

8

10

40

Part II

2

Total

/

100

About 120

The test will last for 125 minutes in total (including 5 minutes in which the test takers fill in personal information).

 

1. Listening Comprehension
There are 20 items in 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.
There are 25 items in 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.

2. Reading Comprehension
There are 15 items in 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.
There are 10 items in 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.
There are 20 items in 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.

3. Writing
There are 8 items in Part I. Each item consists of several words from which the test taker should construct a sentence.
There are 2 items in 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.

III. Results Certificate
For the HSK (Level III), four results will be provided including listening, reading, writing and the total.

 

 

Category

Max Score

Listening

100

Reading

100

Writing

100

Total

300

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).

 

(return to top of page)

 


HSK (Level 6)


The HSK (Level VI) assesses test takers’ abilities in the application of everyday Chinese. It is the counterpart of the Level V of the Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages and the C2 Level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEF). Test takers who are able to pass the HSK (Level VI) can easily comprehend written and spoken information in Chinese and can effectively express themselves in Chinese, both orally and on paper.

I. Test Target
HSK (Level VI) is intended for students who have mastered 5,000 or more commonly used words.

II. Test Content
The HSK (Level VI) test is made up of listening comprehension, reading comprehension and writing sections and contains a total of 101 items.

Section

Number of Items

Duration (Min)

I. Listening

Part I

15

50

About 35

Part II

15

Part III

20

Filling out the answer sheet (Mark your answers for listening comprehension on Answer Sheet)

5

II. Reading

Part I

10

50

50

Part II

10

Part III

10

Part IV

20

III. Writing

Prose Writing

1

45

Total

/

101

~ 135

The test will last for 140 minutes in total (including 5 minutes in which the test takers fill in personal information).

 

1. Listening Comprehension
There are 15 items in 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.
There are 15 items in 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.
There are 20 items in 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.

2. Reading Comprehension
There are 10 items in Part I. Each item consists of 4 sentences. The test taker needs to choose the sentence that is grammatically incorrect.
There are 10 items in 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.
There are 10 items in 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.
There are 20 items in Part IV. This section consists of several passages followed by some questions. The test taker should choose the right answer from 4 possible answers.

3. 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.

III. Results Certificate
For the HSK (Level III), four results will be provided including listening, reading, writing and the total.

 

Category

Max Score

Listening

100

Reading

100

Writing

100

Total

300

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).

 

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