10 Things you need to know about HSK

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10 Things you need to know about HSK

Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi(HSK) is China’s only standardized test of Chinese language proficiency for non-native speakers. The test was initiated by Beijing Language and Culture University and is now held annually in different cities in China and overseas. HSK is available both online and in a written paper-based format, and it’s administered in simplified Chinese characters.

With more and more people showing interest in taking the HSK test, we have for you these top 10 frequently asked questions related to HSK, answered for you.

HSK test is open to all non-native Chinese speakers who are interested in testing their Mandarin language level. Most people appearing for HSK are foreign learners, employees, or overseas Chinese residents.

You can take HSK test in any of the authorized HSK test centres. It’s relatively convenient to take HSK test while you are in China as HSK test centres (normally established on campus) can be found in most of first-tier and second-tier cities across China. However, HSK test centres are also available in some popular overseas Chinese-learning destinations such as Japan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Russia, etc.

In India, you can take the HSK in one of the following cities – Kolkata, Vellore, Gurgaon, Gwalior, Delhi, Kannur, and Mumbai.

A detailed HSK test timetable for the following year is released at the end of the current year by Hanban (The Office of Chinese Language Council International). You can visit Hanban’s official website (link: https://www.hanban.edu.cn/) and then click on “Chinese Tests” to find out detailed information about the test dates.

Alternatively, you can download the pdf version of the HSK test dates via the image link below.

The current HSK Test is divided into 6 grade, from HSK1 to HSK6. HSK’s six levels are designed to fit into the six levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). In general, HSK1 and HSK2 are considered beginner’s level; HSK 3 to 4 are categorized under intermediate level; and HSK5 and HSK6 are regarded as advanced level.

The structure of the HSK test varies depending on different levels:

·        HSK 1 & HSK 2

HSK1 and HSK2 only contain listening and reading. HSK1 consists of 20 listening (true or false & multiple choice) and 20 reading multiple choice questions, whereas HSK2 consists of 35 listening (true or false & multiple choice) and 25 reading multiple choice questions. In HSK1 and HSK2 all characters are provided along with Pinyin.

·        HSK 3 to HSK 6

HSK3 to HSK6 consists of listening, reading and writing, all characters are provided without Pinyin. These levels require learners to demonstrate a good command of Chinese language knowledge from completing daily communicative tasks to smoothly express oneself in both written and oral form.

How to pass the exam?

HSK1 and HSK2 have a maximum score of 200 with 120 points required to pass. HSK3 to HSK6 have a maximum score of 300 with 180 points required to pass.

There are many factors need to be considered, for example, what courses you take, how often do you get to practice with your Chinese friends, etc. Generally speaking, you should be able to:

·        After 3 – 5 months

After 3 to 5 months of systematic study you should be able to pass beginner’s level (HSK1 and HSK2), where you are supposed to be able to conduct simple daily conversations, understand frequently used expressions related to daily topics, and use simple Chinese sentences to express your own opinions or thoughts.

·        After 1 – 2 years

After 1 to 2 years of systematic study you will have the ability to pass intermediate level (HSK3 and HSK4), where you are capable of discussing a wide range of topics and interacting with Chinese native speakers with a degree of fluency and spontaneity.

·        After 4 – 5 years

However, there is a big gap between intermediate level and advanced level (HSK5 – HSK6), it will then take a considerable amount of time to master the knowledge to pass these two exams as they require learners to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the Chinese language such as understanding idioms, and the ability to use Chinese flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.

Yes you can! You shouldn’t worry at all if you fail in the test and get to work for preparing better for the next exam. There is no restriction on the number of times for taking the HSK test. Therefore, you may take the test as many times as you wish.

Of course there is. At Yi Chinese, we offer small group classes for HSK preparation where intensive studying takes place.

Small group classes at Yi Chinese provide you a learning environment which encourages you to gain proficiency in Mandarin Chinese suitable to the standards of HSK. These classes are conducted in a group of 2-5 learners in one class. This provides you with more time to practice your Chinese in class as it allows you to interact more with other classmates and your trainer.

It depends on what you need. HSK is China’s standardized test to test foreigners’ Chinese language proficiency. It’s classified into 6 levels, with level 1 being the lowest, and level 6 being the highest. Obtaining a Chinese proficiency certificate certainly has its advantages such as job opportunities in China.

Obtaining an HSK certificate certainly has its advantages. First of all, it certifies the possession of Chinese language skills when applying for a job in China, in fact, more and more companies have started to ask for a Chinese proficiency certificate when they hire foreign employees, some companies even state it in the job description as a requirement.

Second, if you are a learner and would like to enter a Chinese university, it fulfills admission requirements when applying to different types of schools at various levels in China. Third, it’s also an advantage to hold an HSK certificate when applying for a work visa in China.

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