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Confucius Institute

HSK test

Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi 汉语水平考试

The new HSK is an international standardised exam that tests and rates Chinese language proficiency. It assesses non-native Chinese speakers’ abilities in using the Chinese language in their daily, academic and professional lives.

Test structure

The new HSK consists of a writing test and a speaking test, which are independent of each other. There are six levels of writing tests, namely the HSK (level I), HSK (level II), HSK (level III), HSK (level IV), HSK (level V), and HSK (level VI). There are three levels of speaking tests, namely the HSK (beginner level), HSK (intermediate level), and HSK (advanced level). During the speaking test, test takers’ speeches will be recorded.

Writing test Speaking test
HSK (level VI) HSK (advanced level)
HSK (level V)
HSK (level IV) HSK (intermediate level)
HSK (level III)
HSK (level II) HSK (beginner level)
HSK (level I)
Test levels

The different levels of the new HSK are similar to some of the levels in the Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages (CLPS) and the Common European Framework of Reference (CEF); details are as follows: 

New HSK Vocabulary CLPS CEF
HSK (level VI) Over 5000 Level V C2
HSK (level V) 2500 C1
HSK (level IV) 1200 Level IV B2
HSK (level III) 600 Level III B1
HSK (level II) 300 Level II A2
HSK (level I) 150 Level I A1

HSK (Level I): You are able to understand and use very simple Chinese phrases, meet basic needs for communication and possess the ability to further your Chinese language studies. 

HSK (Level II): You have an excellent grasp of basic Chinese and can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. 

HSK (Level III): You are able to communicate in Chinese at a basic level in your daily, academic and professional life, and manage most communication in Chinese when travelling in China. 

HSK (Level IV): You are able to converse in Chinese on a wide range of topics and communicate fluently with native Chinese speakers. 

HSK (Level V): You are able to read Chinese newspapers and magazines, enjoy Chinese films and plays, and give a full-length speech in Chinese. 

HSK (Level VI): You are able to easily comprehend written and spoken information in Chinese and effectively express yourself in Chinese, both orally and on paper. 

Test principles

The new HSK follows the principle of “test-teaching correlation”, bases the design of the test on the current trends in international Chinese language training, and is closely related to textbooks. The purpose of the test is to “promote training through testing” and “promote learning through testing”. 

The new HSK emphasises the objectivity and accuracy of the evaluation and stresses the learners’ actual Chinese language abilities. 

The new HSK sets clear test objectives to allow the test takers to be able to improve their Chinese language abilities in a systematic and efficient way. 

Testing purposes

The new HSK retains the former HSK’s orientation as a general (or universal) Chinese language abilities test for adult learners. The results of the test can serve several purposes: 

  1. A reference for an educational institution’s decision-making concerning recruiting students, assigning students to different classes, allowing students to skip certain courses and giving students’ academic credits. 
  2. A reference for employers’ decision-making concerning the recruitment, training and promotion of test takers. 
  3. A method for Chinese language learners to assess and improve their proficiency in Chinese. 
  4. A method for Chinese language training institutions to evaluate training results. 
  5. A necessary item to apply for the Confucius Institute Scholarship to study in China.
Results certificate

Test takers will receive their results on website, within four weeks after the test.

2022 Chinese proficiency test schedule

The Chinese Test Center of the Confucius Institute at Charles Darwin University plans to organise following tests in 2022: 

HSK (Chinese proficiency test):   

  1. 26 March (Saturday) (Application deadline: 27 February)
  2. 9 April (Saturday) (Application deadline: 13 March)
  3. 14 May (Saturday) (Application deadline: 17 April)
  4. 12 June (Sunday) (Application deadline: 16 May)
  5. 16 July (Saturday) (Application deadline: 19 June)
  6. 21 August (Sunday) (Application deadline: 25 July)
  7. 17 September (Saturday) (Application deadline: 21 August)
  8. 16 October (Sunday) (Application deadline: 19 September)
  9. 19 November (Saturday) (Application deadline: 23 October)
  10. 4 December (Sunday) (Application deadline: 7 November) 

Please note: The Chinese Test Centre of the Confucius Institute at Charles Darwin University has a paper-based test only. The Chinese Test Center will organise the test based on the registration. If there are just a few applicants, the Chinese test may be cancelled.  

Test fees (pen and paper charges)

Currency: Australian dollars

HSK (level I): $35
HSK (level II): $35
HSK (level III): $55
HSK (level IV): $55
HSK (level V): $75
HSK (level VI): $75
HSK (primary level): $35
HSK (intermediate level): $55
HSK (advanced level): $75

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