What is the HSK?

The HSK, Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì, or Chinese Proficiency Test, is China's only standardized test of Standard Chinese language proficiency for non-native speakers such as foreign students and overseas Chinese.

The HSK test approximates the English TOEFL, and an HSK certificate is valid without any limitation in China. The test aims to be a certificate of language proficiency for higher educational and professional purposes.

The Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì is divided into 6 levels of difficulty, with each level building on the vocabulary and knowlege from the previous one.

Each year HSK certificates are issued to those who meet the required scores. The HSK is administered in Simplified Chinese. In addition test takers with outstanding results can win a scholarship for short-term language study in China.

The test is administered by Hanban, a non-government organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China.

HSK Resources

HSK Vocabulary Lists

Our HSK word lists outline the new vocabulary a Chinese language learner is recommended have learnt before taking any given level of the HSK exam. A free PDF download is also available for each HSK level.
View HSK Word Lists ›

Official HSK Mock Exams

There are several places online that allow you to access mock HSK exams, however personally I would recommend either Hanban's chinesetest.cn or Confucius Institue for Business London.

How can I take the HSK Exam?

There are designated test centers for the HSK both in China and many other countries around the world. A list of 2022 HSK test centers can be found at the official HSK website.

HSK Levels

Level Words (cumulative / new) Characters (cumulative / new) Description
1 150 150 174 174
Designed for learners who can understand and use some simple Chinese characters and sentences to communicate, and prepares them for continuing their Chinese studies. In the HSK 1 exam all characters are provided along with Pinyin.
View HSK 1 Vocabulary List ›
2 300 150 347 173
Designed for learners who can use Chinese in a simple and direct manner, applying it in a basic fashion to their daily lives. In the HSK 2 exam all characters are provided along with Pinyin.
View HSK 2 Vocabulary List ›
3 600 300 617 270
Designed for learners who can use Chinese to serve the demands of their personal lives, studies and work, and are capable of completing most of the communicative tasks they experience during their Chinese tour.
View HSK 3 Vocabulary List ›
4 1200 600 1064 447
Designed for learners who can discuss a relatively wide range of topics in Chinese and are capable of communicating with Chinese speakers at a high standard.
View HSK 4 Vocabulary List ›
5 2500 1300 1685 621
Designed for learners who can read Chinese newspapers and magazines, watch Chinese films and are capable of writing and delivering a lengthy speech in Chinese.
View HSK 5 Vocabulary List ›
6 5000 2500 2663 978
Designed for learners who can easily understand any information communicated in Chinese and are capable of smoothly expressing themselves in written or oral form.
View HSK 6 Vocabulary List ›