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Whether you need to pass the HSK test to attain a dream job, want to get into a Chinese university or whether it’s simply on your life list, prepping for the HSK test on your own can be a challenge.

What is the HSK Test?

The HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) or the Chinese Proficiency Test, is the national standardized test designed and developed by the HSK Center. It’s intention is to assess the Chinese language proficiency of any non-native speakers. It’s actually broken up into three different levels: HSK Basic (Levels 1 and 2) , HSK Elementary-Intermediate (Levels 3 and 4) and HSK Advanced (Levels 5 and 6). Think of it as the Chinese version of the TOEFL.

Why would I need to take the HSK Test?

If you are hoping to get into any type of business in China, working with Chinese businesses or just want your language proficiency validated, the HSK test is designed for you. Most people taking this test fall into one of two categories: students or professionals. Almost all students taking the test do so to get admitted to a Chinese university. It’s required that you have a HSK Level 5 or 6 to get into university. Professionals, who take the test, do so to use their certificate to intrigue and attract potential employers. They also shoot for a HSK Level 5 or 6.

What will I be tested on?

Expect to be tested on your listening, reading, writing and oral skills for each HSK Level.The ultimate goal of the HSK Test is to assess whether you are able to use Chinese in practical situations. Focus on studying the practical aspects of Chinese, such as, speaking with people, listening to a story, having a conversation, reading the newspaper and so on. Don’t worry about studying ancient prose, archaic Chinese or anything you would not use on a daily basis.

How do I study for the HSK Test?

Though there are various programs designed to help you pass this exam, we find that a one-on-one tutoring approach works best for our students. In this setting, a Chinese tutor will be able to help you focus on your weak areas, with a specific focus on helping you to pass the test. Watch this video to learn a bit more about our approach. This post is a quick overview of the HSK Test and why it may matter to you, especially if you are a student or a professional. If you have any further questions about the test, send me an email to [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.


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