Home > Educational Exchange & Cooperation
Introduction to HSK

2003-11-18
China's Hanyu Shuiping kaoshi, also known as HSK or the Chinese Proficiency Test, is the national standardized test designed and developed by the HSK Center of Beijing Language and Culture  University to assess the Chinese language proficiency of non-native speakers (including foreigners, overseas Chinese and the Chinese students of ethnic groups). According to levels of difficulty, HSK is divided into three categories: 
These three categories of the test form a comprehensive testing system, ranging from beginning to advanced level. As tests of general language proficiency, HSK is not based on any particular textbook or course of study. Therefore candidates may refer to any textbook in preparing for the test.

In order to be thoroughly familiar with the test, candidates are expected to read the HSK Guide for Basic, Elementary-Intermediate and Advanced level and the User Handbook which describes the organization and content of the test. HSK is held regularly in China and other countries each year. Certificates of HSK will be issued to those who have secured the required scores.

HSK and the issuing of HSK Certificates are supervised by the State Commission of Chinese Proficiency Test under the Ministry of Education. HSK is jointly administered by the Office of the State Commission of Chinese Proficiency Test under the State Commission of Chinese Proficiency Test and the HSK Center of Beijing Language and Culture University.


                                               

back to top

HSK Basic

HSK Basic is a standardized test designed for the beginners. It is most appropriate for those who have acquired 400--3000 basic Chinese words and the corresponding rules of grammar (according to the outline of HSK Vocabulary and Grammar)

1. Function of the Certificate of HSK Basic:

The certificate of HSK basic serves

  • as a requirement to enter a college or university in China as an undergraduate student in the   field   of science, engineering, agriculture and western medicine.

  • to exempt students from taking certain language courses in China.

  • as a reference for employers to assess job applicants'Chinese language proficiency.

2. Components and test length of HSK Basic:  

HSK Basic is a 140-item, 135-minute test which is divided into three subtests: listening, sentence structure and reading. All items are multiple-choice. 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 an earlier section. The test is taken in this order:

  • Listening                       50 items           35 minutes (approximately)

  • Sentence structure         40 items           40 minutes 

  • Reading                        50 items            60 minutes 


back to top

HSK Elementary-Intermediate

It is suitable for persons who have the mastery of 2000-2500 Chinese words and certain rules of grammar (referring to level A, B and C in the Outline of HSK Vocabulary and Grammar)

1. Function of the Certificate of HSK Elementary-Intermediate:

  • to be a requirement to enter a college or university in China as an undergraduate student.

  • to exempt the holder from taking certain language courses in China.

  • as a basis for employers to evaluate job applicants'Chinese language proficiency.

2. Components and test length of HSK Elementary-Intermediate

It is a 170-item, 145 minutes test which is divided into four subtests: listening, sentence structure, reading and cloze. Items from 1-154 are multiple-choice. Items 155-170 are a test of comprehension in which blank spaces at regular intervals in a text must be filled in with appropriate Chinese characters. 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 turn to a previous section. The test is taken in this order:

  • Listening                             50 items            35 minutes (approximately)

  • Sentence Structure              30 items            20 minutes 

  • Reading                              50 items            60 minutes 

  • Cloze                                  40 items            30 minutes 


back to top

HSK Advanced

It applies to those who have the mastery of 5000-8000 words and the corresponding rules of grammar (referring to level A, B, C and D in the Outline of HSK Vocabulary and Grammar)

1. Function of the Certificate of HSK Advanced:

  • to be a requirement in Chinese proficiency for a candidate to enter a university in China as a graduate student

  • to exempt the holder from taking certain Chinese courses.

  • to certify the holder as being qualified in doing ordinary work by using Chinese as a communicative tool.

2. Components and test length of HSK Advanced:

The total test length is 2 hours 35 minutes.

HSK Advanced consists of three separately timed subtests: 120-item written test (objective), composition and oral test. The 120-item test is organized into three subtests: listening, reading and cloze. A variety of objective question types will be used including multiple-choice, matching, gap-filling and writing Chinese characters. The oral test takes the form of an interview. 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. The test is taken in this order and timed as follows:

  • Listening                  40 items                25 minutes (approximately)

  • Reading                   40 items                40 minutes 

  • Cloze                       40 items                40 minutes 

  • Composition                                         30 minutes 

  • Oral test                                               20 minutes 


back to top

Issuing of the HSK certificate and period of validity of the certificate:

  1. The HSK certificate and score report will be mailed to the HSK centers or agencies by the sponsoring institution within two months after the test date. The candidates may get the certificate and score report either by collecting themselves at the test center or by mail from the test center.

  2. The HSK certificate has permanent validity, whereas the period of validity of the 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 administered.)

Test time:
HSK generally takes place once a year in October in Australia. 

Registration Procedures and Regulations

For registration, or more information, please contact :

Rosanna Cheung

The Chinese Department
New South Wales University
Tel:  (02) 93852416
Fax: (02) 93851090


HSK Winner Scholarship Program

In order to encourage the examinees with excellent performance in HSK and help them to fulfill their wish to further their study in China, the Chinese government specially established the HSK Winner Scholarship Program so as to sponsor the winners to study courses such as Chinese literature, history, philosophy and economics. The China Scholarship Council (CSC) is entrusted by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China to take charge of the applications for and management of the scholarship. The CSC welcomes the young people with deep interest in Chinese language and culture from all over the world to study in China. 

1.       The duration and details of the Scholarship 

  • The HSK Winner Scholarship Program lasts 6 months.

  • Winners are entitled to free tuition, free lodging, free teaching materials and free medical care.

  • Winners are entitled to the same amount of living allowance as the general scholars of the Chinese government scholarship. Winners shall bear their own expenses for the international trip.

 2.       Qualifications

  • Candidates must be of non-Chinese nationality.

  • Candidates' mother tongues are not Chinese.

  • Candidates must have obtained the Certificate of Chinese Proficiency.  

  • Candidates must have obtained academic credentials higher than secondary schools, and must be healthy  and under the age of 45.  

 3.       Application procedures

  • The Secretariat of the CSC, on the basis of the "List of the Candidates of the HSK Winners" provided by the State Commission of the Chinese Proficiency Test, will provide the Application Form for HSK Winner Scholarship Program to the HSK winners via the Chinese Embassy or Consulate.

  • The candidates of the scholarship must directly send the completed application form and other materials to the Secretariat of the CSC by May 15. The materials must be attached with the address, fax and telephone number of the candidates.

4.       Enrollment, Visa Application and Registration

  • If the application is approved, the secretariat of the CSC will directly send the candidates the Admission  Notice and Visa  Application Form for Foreigners wishing to study in China(JW201).

  • Scholarship winner shall apply for the Student (X) Visa to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate with the above materials, and directly register at the institution of higher learning between September 1st and 5th  in person.

  • If, for whatever reason, the candidates cannot come  to China at the set academic year, the scholarship will be cancelled and cannot e extended.

 5.       The Address, telephone and fax of the CSC

 Address: China Scholarship Council (CSC)
               No. 160 Fuxingmennei Dajie, Beijing, P.R. of China
               100031
 Tel:  0086-10-66413253, 66413255
 Fax: 0086-10-66413255
 Website: http://www.csc.edu.cn         
<Suggest to a friend>
  <Print>