Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu
The Confucius Insititute at Cardiff University

Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK)

The new HSK test was launched by Hanban in an effort to better serve Chinese language learners. The test is the result of coordinated efforts by experts from different disciplines including Chinese language teaching, linguistics, psychology and educational measurement. The new exam combines the advantages of the original HSK while taking into consideration recent trends in Chinese language training by conducting surveys and making use of the latest findings in international language testing.

I. Test Structure

The new HSK consists of a writing test and a speaking test, which are independent of each other.

There are 6 levels of writing tests:  HSK level I to level VI

There 3 levels of speaking tests:  The HSK (beginner level); HSK (intermediate level) and HSK (advanced level).





HSK (Level VI)

Over 5,000

Level V


HSK (Level V)



HSK (Level IV)


Level IV


HSK (Level III)


Level III


HSK (Level II)


Level II


HSK (Level I)


Level I


II. 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:

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)

III. Test Principles

The new HSK emphasizes 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.

IV. 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.

V. Results Certificate

Test takers will receive the results for the new HSK issued by Hanban within three weeks after the test.

If you would like to discover more detailed information about Chinese tests, please visit Chinese testing website at:  or

If you have any queries, please contact us.

Confucius Institute
Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning
Senghennydd Road
Cardiff CF24 4AG, UK

Dr. Xueyi Zhu
Tel:   + 44 (0) 29 20870000
Fax:   +44 (0) 29 20668935