The Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, also known as HSK or the Chinese Proficiency Test, is a national standardized test designed and developed to assess the Chinese language proficiency of non-native speakers including foreigners, overseas Chinese and students from Chinese national minorities. Supervised by the Office of Chinese Language Council International (also known as Hanban) under the PRC Ministry of Education, HSK is held regularly in China and other countries each year.
About the HSK
The HSK measures the proficiency level of non-native speakers of standard Chinese and is used as a guideline for admission to colleges and universities in China and Southeast Asia. Test-takers are issued certificates when they meet the minimum level of proficiency required within each level of testing. Because the HSK has developed a prominent status in assessing Chinese language proficiency, it is commonly used as a reference standard in job recruiting, both within China and in countries around the world where Chinese language skills are necessary.
The new HSK consists of two independent parts: written test and oral test. The written test can be divided into six levels from HSK-Level 1 to HSK-Level 6. As a test of general language proficiency, HSK is differentiated by six new levels of difficulty, while the oral test can be divided into three levels of HSK (Basic), HSK (Elementary-Intermediate), HSK (Advanced), and the candidates’ on-site performance will be recorded.
- HSK-Level 1: Examination candidate who reach HSK-Level 1 can understand and use simple words and sentences to fulfill specific communication needs and have a foundation for the further study of Chinese.
- HSK-Level 2: Examination candidates who reach HSK-Level 2 can communicate simply and directly on daily topics they are familiar with. Level 2 have reached the advanced stage of beginner level.
- HSK-Level 3: Examination candidates who reach HSK-Level 3 can complete basic communication tasks in daily life, study and work. If traveling in China, Level 3 can handle most communication tasks they encounter.
- HSK-Level 4: Examination candidate who reach HSK Level 4 can discuss a relatively wide range of topics in Chinese and are able to communicate with native speakers.
- HSK-Level 5: Examination candidates who reach HSK-Level 5 can read Chinese newspapers and magazines, appreciate Chinese films and television, and are able to write and deliver a full speech.
- HSK-Level 6: Examination candidates who reach HSK-Level 6 can easily understand what they read and listen and express themselves fluently in written and oral Chinese.
For more information on choosing which test to take can be found at BYU's HSK Website.