What is the HSK? The Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (“HSK”, written “??????” in Chinese characters and directly translated as “Chinese Level Test”) is the Peoples Republic of China only standardized Chinese language proficiency test. The exam has significantly gained in popularity since the new test format was introduced in 2010. The former test’s 11 ranks were reduced down to 6, ranging from “Beginner” to “Advanced with Honors”. While many say the increased popularity of the exam is due to the overall increased number of Chinese language learners, others give credit to the reduced number of Chinese character knowledge required for the lower levels of the new exam. In fact, learners don’t need to know any characters at all for HSK 1 and HSK 2; they just need to know how to read Chinese pinyin. This was not so for the former HSK exam – Chinese characters were required from the beginning, and may have scared some learners off.
Why take the HSK? We asked Dan Whitaker, an easyMandarin student from the U.S., and he said:
“When I came to China, I started off quite fast, but then floated off into ‘self-study land,’ where I was kidding myself about my progress and in fact going backwards. I used the HSK as a measuring stick to see where I was in Chinese. When I got a 95% on HSK 2, I was filled with confidence and soon got a 94% on HSK 3, and I recently took and passed HSK 4. I can now list that I am HSK 4 on my Linkedin profile, use Chinese in business situations, and gain the respect of my business partners and potential Chinese customers – they appreciate the diligence and commitment to the country and the language. “
Are you preparing for the HSK? Learn about easyMandarin’s HSK Preparation Course.
easyMandarin, also known as “Easy Mandarin” or “eM”, is one of China’s leading Chinese schools. The school was established in the year 2006 and since then has taught Mandarin to thousands of individuals from more than 60 countries, including overseas students, interns, CEOs, heads of NGOs, consulate generals, and people just visiting China to experience the language and culture. eM is based in Shanghai, China and is internationally accredited by CSN.