Introduction HSK Test
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+
Deutsch English


HSK stands for 汉语水平考试 (Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì - Chinese Level Test) and can be compared to TOEFL or IELS for English. It now consists of 6 levels, a total of 5000 words and 2635 characters. Tests can be taken all around the world, usually in Confucius Institutes or universities.


Being officially made a national standardized test in 1992, the HSK test has since become a test taken by millions of people, both in- and outside of China.

The test was originally designed and organized by the Beijing Language and Culture University and consisted of 4 levels, 11 scoring levels, 8840 words and 2865 characters. This test is today know as "Old HSK" and can still be taken in China.

A nice comparison of old and new HSK test can be found here.


In 2009 the "New HSK Test" was introduced, now administered by Hanban, the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. The term "HSK" on this website always refers to the new test, so you are up to date.

As stated earlier the HSK test today consists of 6 levels, 5000 words and 2635 characters. It furthermore is split into two different tests, a written and an oral one which are taken seperately.

Written Test

The written test is seperated into the 6 mentioned levels as follows:
HSK 1150 words40 minutes
HSK 2300 words55 minutes
HSK 3600 words90 minutes
HSK 41200 words105 minutes
HSK 52500 words125 minutes
HSK 65000 words140 minutes

The importance of the written test is a lot higher compared to the oral one, so this is usually the one required by companies or universities and therefore the one to go for. It is also the one dealt with on this website.

To get detailled information please have a look at the test regulations. Furthermore please take a closer look at the site describing the level you want to take (links on the top of the page). Every level has different ways of assessing and different kinds of questions. Knowing what you will have to deal with is essential for a good result so please make sure you have a look at those information.

Oral Test

As mentioned, the oral test is the less important one. Another difference to the written one is, that it just consists of three levels:
Beginner17 minutes
Intermediate21 minutes
Advanced24 minutes

For more detailled information, please click on the links.