The Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) is a worldwide Chinese proficiency test set by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. It is similar to TOEFL or IELTS.
The HSK certificate is the only officially recognized Chinese proficiency certificate for foreigners applying to study and work in China.
The objective is to assess the Chinese language proficiency of non-native speakers of Chinese (including foreigners, overseas Chinese and students from Chinese national minorities).
Ⅰ. Test Structure
The new HSK is a standardized international Chinese proficiency test, taking non-native speakers as its object, and directed at examining students’ capability in applying Chinese language in their studies, personal life and work. The new type of examination consists of two independent parts; a written test and an oral test. The written test is comprised of HSK-Level 1, HSK-Level 2, HSK- Level 3, HSK- Level 4, HSK- Level 5 and HSK- Level 6, while the oral test is comprised of HSK(Elementary), HSK (Intermediate) and HSK (Advanced). During the oral test, sound-recording devices are used.
|Written Test||Oral Test|
|HSK- Level 6||HSK(Advanced)|
|HSK- Level 5|
|HSK- Level 4||HSK(Intermediate)|
|HSK- Level 3|
|HSK- Level 2||HSK(Elementary)|
|HSK- Level 1|
Ⅱ. Test Grades
The direct comparison between the new HSK test and Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages and The Common European Framework Reference for Language，CEF）is as follows:
|New HSK||Vocabulary||Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages||The Common European Framework Reference for Language，CEF|
|HSK- Level 6||Over 5000||Grade Five||C2|
|HSK- Level 5||2500||C1|
|HSK- Level 4||1200||Grade four||B2|
|HSK- Level 3||600||Grade three||B1|
|HSK- Level 2||300||Grade two||A2|
|HSK- Level 1||150||Grade one||A1|
Ⅲ. Test Principles
Following the principle of “combining testing and teaching”, the new test is designed in line with the present situation of international Chinese-language teaching and the teaching materials that are commonly available, with the aim of “promoting teaching and learning through examinations”.
The new HSK test stresses objectivity and accuracy, and also focuses on developing and testing an examinees’ ability to apply Chinese in practical, real-life situations.
The new HSK test also sets explicit study objectives, allowing examinees to more effectively improve their Chinese proficiency with defined study plans and goals.
Ⅳ. Test Functions
Taking its orientation from the old HSK test, the new HSK test is aimed primarily at adult Chinese learners. The test scores meet the various demands of different organizations or groups of people as follows:
A. Offers a reference for educational institutions to recruit students, classify students, exempt students from some courses and grant credits;
B. Offers a reference for employers to employ, train and promote employees;
C. Offers a reference for Chinese learners to understand and improve their ability to apply Chinese;
D. Offers a reference for related Chinese teaching institutions or training organizations to evaluate teaching standards and the effectiveness of different training.