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About HSK


The Chinese 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 scores.

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 University.

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 interview.

1Suitable Candidates 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.

2Function of the HSK Certificate

● 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
language proficiency.

3 Who We Are

 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 Culture University.

4Registration Procedures

 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.

5Pre-Test Preparation

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 Test Center

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
● pencils
● erasers

During the test, all other items should be placed out of sight.

: Recording, photographic, or other devices, note paper, books, mobile phones and/or pagers are not permitted in the testing room.

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.

6Important Points

 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 examination supervisors.
 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 properly.
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 cover).
 4) Country code: should be exactly as it is printed on the examinee's admission ticket.
 5) Test center number: should be exactly the same as the number printed on the examinee's entrance pass.

7Issuance 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 Records
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 two years.

8Period 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

9Obtaining 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.

10Information and Services

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.

11Examinees may contact the HSK Center in the Beijing Language and Culture University via:

Mailing Address:
HSK Center of Beijing Language and Culture University
No.15, Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
P.O. 100083
People's Republic of China
Telephone: (++8610) 82303672, 82303685
Fax: (++8610) 82303901
E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]
Homepage: http://www.hsk.org.cn

What's New ?
A special telephone service is now provided to give the most up-to-date information regarding HSK:


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