Proficiency Test, also known as HSK, is the national standardized test
designed and developed by the HSK Center of Beijing Language and
Culture University to evaluate the Chinese proficiency of non-native
Chinese speakers (including foreigners, overseas Chinese and people
from Chinese national minorities). HSK is divided into three
categories: beginning level (HSK Basic), elementary to intermediate
level (HSK Elementary-Intermediate), and advanced level (HSK
Advanced). HSK is held regularly in China and in other countries each
year and HSK certificates are issued to those who meet required
Both the HSK and the issuing of HSK Certificates are supervised by the
State Commission of the Chinese Proficiency Test under the authority
of the Ministry of Education. HSK is jointly administered by the
Office of the State Commission of the Chinese Proficiency Test, under
the supervision of the State Commission of the Chinese Proficiency
Test, and by the HSK Center of Beijing Language and Culture
HSK Test Format
HSK Basic is a 140-item, 135 minute test. HSK Basic is divided into
three sections: listening, sentence structure and reading
comprehension. All questions are multiple-choice format.
HSK Elementary-Intermediate is a 170-item, 145 minute test divided
into four parts: listening, sentence structure, reading comprehension
and a cloze (fill in the blanks) section. Questions 1 to 154 are
multiple-choice while questions 155 to 170 are cloze format requiring
examinees to fill in blank spaces of a text at regular intervals with
the appropriate Chinese characters.
The HSK Advanced test is 2 hours 35 minutes in length. HSK Advanced
consists of three separately-timed subtests: a 120-item written test
(objective), a writing composition section and an oral test. The
120-item written test is further divided into three subsections:
listening, reading and cloze. A variety of objective-type questions
are used including multiple-choice, matching, fill in the blank and
writing Chinese characters. The oral test takes the form of an
for the HSK Test
HSK Basic is
appropriate for those who have 100-800 hours of formal classroom study
in Chinese language.
● HSK Elementary-
Intermediate is suitable for persons who have had 400-2000 hours of
classroom instruction in Chinese language.
● HSK Advanced is best suited to individuals with over 3000 hours of
classroom study in Chinese language.
2Function of the HSK
● As a language
requirement to be eligible to undertake a degree course at a
university in China or as proof of actual Chinese proficiency as a
requirement for students applying for graduate studies.
● To exempt the holder from taking certain language courses in China.
● As a basis for employers to evaluate job applicants' Chinese
HSK is sponsored by
the State Commission of the Chinese Proficiency Test.
HSK is jointly assessed and run by the State Commission of the
Chinese Proficiency Test and the HSK Center of Beijing Language and
1) Candidates should
proceed to the nearest test center to register.
2) Registrants must provide two recent 30 x 40 mm photos without head
wear and present a piece of photo identification such as a passport,
driving license or residence permit. In China, the registration fee is
￥200 RMB for HSK Basic, ￥250 RMB for HSK Elementary-Intermediate and
￥400 RMB for HSK Advanced. Fees may differ for tests administered in
different countries, so please contact your nearest test center for
details. Test and registration fees will not be refunded under any
circumstances. In the event that a candidate is unable to take a test
and makes a request to the test center where the candidate registered
before the test date, the
3) Candidates living where there are no local test centers may
register by mail. Applications must be sent to the test center by
registered mail at least one week before the final registration
deadline and include the following:
● a photocopy of an official piece of identification
● a separate document including the following personal data: name,
sex, nationality, date of birth and a detailed address
● two recent 30 x 40 photos without head wear
● payment for test and registration fees in the form of a money
4) Candidates will be given examination entrance passes and a copy of
the HSK Handbook. Candidates must report to the testing room at the
time and place written on the entrance pass.
As a test of general
language proficiency, the HSK is not based on any particular textbook
or course of study. Therefore candidates may refer to any textbook in
preparing for the test. Nevertheless, it is important that all
candidates familiarize themselves with the HSK Guide, which contains
complete information about test taking, a sample test paper and answer
key, accompanied by a cassette tape recording of the listening section
of the sample test and a glossary of HSK vocabulary.
What To Take To The
To be admitted to the test center, every examinee will be required to
present his/her examination pass and an official piece of
identification such as a citizenship card, a passport or a residence
permit bearing a recognizable photograph. Before the distributing of
test books, examinees should only have the following on their
● an entrance pass
● official identification
During the test, all other items should be placed out of sight.
Note: Recording, photographic, or other devices, note paper,
books, mobile phones and/or pagers are not permitted in the testing
Candidates arriving five minutes late may be admitted to the testing
room provided they do not disturb other examinees. No extra testing
time is to be allowed for late arrivals. Thirty-five minutes after the
commencement of testing, candidates who have still not arrived to take
the test will not be allowed to enter the examination room.
1) Seat examinees
randomly so that friends are not seated near each other. Once seated,
examinees may not change their seats without the consent of
2) Examinees should only have entrance passes and official
identification on their desks.
3) With the exception of illness or other exceptional
circumstances, no one may leave the testing room before the supervisor
dismisses the entire group upon the conclusion of the administering of
the test. In an exceptional situation, the supervisor may permit an
examinee to leave early. In this case, the supervisor must compare the
examinee's name on the answer sheet with the name on his or her
identification document(s) for verification.
4) Each section of the test has a time limit. During the time
allowed for each section, examinees must work on that section only,
and are not permitted to work beyond the time limit for the section.
Examinees are also not permitted to turn to a section that has not
been announced or go back to a previous section.
5) Test materials are the property of the HSK Center of Beijing
Language and Culture University. At the end of the test, all test
materials must be collected and accounted for.
6) Examinees may be dismissed from the testing room or have their
scores invalidated if they fail to abide by any of the testing
regulations and instructions given by the test supervisor.
7) Examinees themselves are responsible for marking the answer sheet
To ensure accurate scoring, please follow these useful instructions:
● Use a medium-soft (2B) black lead pencil.
● Mark only one answer for each question.
● Carefully fill in each set of square brackets completely until you
can no longer see the letter inside the brackets. Light or incomplete
pencil marks may not be read properly by the scoring machine and this,
in turn, may affect the examinee's test score.
● Completely erase any other unnecessary pencil marks.
● Fill in the following items on the answer sheet:
1) Name: should be spelled exactly as it is printed on the examinee's
entrance pass and identification document.
2) Registration number: printed on the examinee's entrance pass.
3) The test version number (in the top right-hand corner of the
4) Country code: should be exactly as it is printed on the examinee's
5) Test center number: should be exactly the same as the number
printed on the examinee's entrance pass.
7Issuance of HSK
Certificates and Results
The HSK certificate and
score report will be mailed to HSK centers by the sponsoring
institution within two months after the test date. Candidates may
obtain certificates and score reports either by collecting them in
person at the appropriate test center or by mail from the test center.
Test Score Data
Because language proficiency can change considerably in a relatively
short period, the HSK center will neither report nor verify scores
that are more than two years old. In addition, individually
identifiable test score records are kept for a period of no more than
8Period of Validity
for HSK Certificates
The HSK certificate has
permanent validity, whereas the period of validity of the accompanying
score report, as certification for foreign students to enter a college
or university in China, is two years (beginning from the date when the
test session is
9Obtaining copies of
Certificates and/or Score Reports
Neither the HSK
certificate nor the accompanying score report will be provided with a
duplicate if lost. However, within the period of validity of the test
score, proof of the lost Certificate and/or Score Report will be
issued upon payment of the required processing fee. Such payment must
be made in RMB.
The HSK Guide, sample
test papers and answer key, accompanied by a cassette tape recording
of the listening section of the sample test are available at all test
centers and HSK agencies. Candidates are responsible for purchasing
them directly from the test centers.
contact the HSK Center in the Beijing Language and Culture
HSK Center of Beijing Language and Culture University
No.15, Xueyuan Road
People's Republic of China
Telephone: (++8610) 82303672, 82303685
Fax: (++8610) 82303901
E-mail: HSKemail@example.com or
What's New ?
A special telephone service is now provided to give the most
up-to-date information regarding HSK: