Q: What is HSK ?
A: Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) or the Chinese Proficiency Test is a standard examination for evaluating the proficiency of one's modern Chinese language. HSK is designed specially for those people--including foreigners, overseas Chinese and students from Chinese national minorities--whose first language is not Chinese.
Q: Who Designs HSK Tests ?
A: All HSK tests are designed by the HSK Center of Beijing Language and Culture University located in Beijing, China. The Center's entire work, from making tests to issuing certificates, is supervised by the National Commission of Chinese Proficiency Test under the Ministry of Education of China.
Q: How Long Has HSK Been in Existence?
A: HSK was first offered in 1990. Since then, many test centers have been established in China and in nearly twenty foreign countries, and HSK has been held regularly in each test center every year.
Q: Is HSK in Simplified or Origional Chinese?
A: Both simplified and origional Chinese version of HSK tests are available to test takers. Please specify your perference when filling out your registration form.
Q: Who Issues HSK Certificates?
A: All HSK certificates are issued by the National Commission of Chinese Proficiency Test, which is under the Ministry of Education of China.
Q: How Useful Are HSK Certificates?
A: Your HSK certificate(s) can serve the following purposes:
1) To certify that you have obtained the required Chinese proficiency to enter a college or university in China as an undergraduate or graduate student;
To certify that you have obtained the required Chinese proficiency and thus, you may be exempted from taking certain Chinese language courses in your institution (if your institution agrees to grant you the permission). At UBC, HSK scores can be used to waive foreign language requirements. A minimum passing score, which is irrelevant to HSK certification, is to be set by the Department of Asian Studies to satisfy this specific local demand.
3) To get B.C. high school graduation credits. According to the British Columbia Ministry of Education, a high school student may earn 3 credits for External Language Assessment 11 by passing Level 2 of the HSK, or 6 credits by passing Level 3 of the HSK. For detailed information, please visit http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/graduation/courseinfo/cid.pdf (Page 89-95).
4) To serve as a reference when you apply for a job position that requires a certain level of Chinese competency.
To win scholarships to study in China .
To test your Chinese proficiency if you are learning the language.
Q: Will My HSK Certificate Expire?
A: Your HSK certificate is like a "diploma": once you receive it, it becomes your property and it is valid permanently. However, if you wish to use your HSK scores to apply for admission to a college or university in China, your scores are good for two years only (from the date you take the test).
Q: How Many Categories and Levels Are There?
A: HSK is divided into three categories: Basic; Elementary-Intermediate; and Advanced.
There are altogether eleven score levels:
Basic includes Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3.
Elementary-Intermediate includes Elementary Level 3 (this level overlaps Basic Level 3), Level 4 and Level 5; Intermediate Level 6, Level 7 and Level 8.
Advanced includes Level 9, Level 10 and Level 11.
Q: Which Level Do I Need to Achieve?
A: If you intend to study in a college or university in China, and you plan to apply for an undergraduate program in arts (e.g. Chinese literature, history, philosophy and traditional medicine), an " Intermediate Level C " certificate (representing Language Level 6) is required. If you wish to apply for an undergraduate program in other majors, an " Elementary Level C " or " Basic Level A " certificate (representing Language Level 3) is a must. You should hold an " Advanced Level C " certificate (representing Language Level 9) if you plan to apply for a graduate program. Without proper HSK certificate, you will have to take Chinese language courses at the relevant institutions in China before you are allowed to be enrolled in an academic program.
If you wish to use your HSK scores as an evidence to be exempted from taking Chinese language courses in the United States, you should contact your home institution about the possibility of doing so.
Q: What Is the HSK Scholarship?
A: The HSK Scholarship was established by the Chinese HSK Authorities. Its purpose is to financially aid those HSK examinees who have obtained excellent scores to study in China. Scholarship recipients can study Chinese language, culture, history and philosophy at a Chinese university for one year. They can enjoy free tuition, free accommodation, free textbooks and free medical care. However, recipients are responsible for their international traveling expenses.
To apply for the HSK Winner Scholarship, you must meet all the following requirements:
1) you are a non-Chinese citizen;
2) your native language is not Chinese;
3) you are under forty-five years of age;
4) you have earned a HSK certificate.
For further information about the HSK Scholarship and how to apply for it, please visit general information or HSK Scholarship on our web site.
Q: How Many Sections Are There in HSK Tests?
A: HSK Basic is composed of three sections: listening comprehension; sentence structure; and reading comprehension. HSK Elementary-Intermediate is composed of four sections: listening comprehension; sentence structure; reading comprehension and filling in blanks. HSK Advance has three sections: written examination (including listening comprehension; reading comprehension; and filling in blanks); composition; and oral examination.
Q: How Long does a HSK Test Last?
A: HSK Basic lasts altogether 135 minutes. Elementary-Intermediate lasts 145 minutes, and Advanced is 155 minutes.
Q: How Many Items/Questions Are There in HSK Tests?
A: HSK Basic has altogether 140 individual items or questions; Elementary-Intermediate has 170; and Advanced has 240 (not including composition and oral test).
Q: What Is the Format of a HSK Test?
A: The format of HSK Basic and Elementary-Intermediate is multiple-choice, similar to that of SAT (verbal), TOEFL or GRE.
Q: What Is HSK Scoring System?
A: 1) The scoring system for HSK Basic is as follows:
a sub score of HSK Basic is a scale score ranging from "0" to "100" with 50 as the mean and 20 as the standard deviation. The total score, which is the sum of scale scores for sub scores, is a scale score ranging from "0" to "300." The scale sub scores show the relative position of an examinee in a standard HSK Basic sample group. The type and grade of HSK Basic is based on the total score.
2) The scoring system for Elementary-Intermediate as well as Advanced are as follows:
a sub score of Elementary-Intermediate and Advanced is a scale with 50 as the mean and 15 as the standard deviation. The total score is a scaled score with 200 as the mean score and 60 as the standard deviation.
Q: Where Can I Take HSK?
A: You don't need to go to China or elsewhere to take HSK! From now on, you can take it right here at UBC HSK Center in Vancouver.
Q: Who Will Administer HSK Test at UBC?
A: The Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia , authorized by the National Commission of Chinese Proficiency Test, will administer the test together with HSK staff from Beijing . However, all the examinations will be made by the HSK Headquarters in Beijing rather than by the Chinese Education Program of UBC. Besides, all the examinations will be delivered directly from Beijing before the tests are offered.
Q: When Will HSK Tests Be Offered at UBC?
A: In 2004, HSK will be offered at UBC HSK Center on October 23. You will be informed of the exact scheduled date when you receive your application form.
Q: How Often Will HSK Be Offered at UBC?
A: Beginning in 2004, UBC HSK Center plans to administer HSK once a year in fall. Those who are interested in knowing the schedule may visit our web page for updated information.
Q: Which Category's Test Will Be Offered at UBC?
A: HSK Basic, Elementary-Intermediate and Advanced are all available at UBC HSK Center
Q: Who Will Grade My Test?
A: After the test, your answer sheets will be sealed and taken back to Beijing immediately to be graded by the HSK Headquarters. UBC HSK Center will not be responsible for grading any examinations.
Q: How Soon Can I Know My Scores?
A: Usually, your results will be mailed out within 60 days after the date of the test.
Q: How Can I Get My Score Report and Certificate ?
A: Once you get the required minimum scores for a certain level, the National Commission of Chinese Proficiency Test will issue you an official HSK Certificate, describing in detail what kind of test you have taken and which level you have achieved. However, your score report and certificate will be mailed to UBC HSK Center rather than directly to yourself. Thus, as soon as we receive them from Beijing , we will make an announcement at UBC HSK Center web page, and tell you our office hours. You can pick up your score report and certificate at UBC HSK Center during our office hours.
We recommend that you pick up your in person. However, you can pay to us an extra $12 (domestic registered mail) or $20 (international registered mail), so we can mail your score report and certificate to you as soon as receive them. For your benefit, we won't give your score report and certificate to a third party unless you authorize us to do so. Certificates and score reports that are not picked up by the end of 90 days after the announcement is made will be sent to relevant test-takers by mail. UBC HSK Center will not be responsible for keeping them thereafter.
Q: Can I Re-Take a Same Category Test?
A: Yes. In case you fail, you can take the same category test again. There is no waiting period, nor limit of how many times you are allowed to take the test. All you need to do is to apply again, and be better prepared next time.
Q: Am I Eligible to Apply for HSK Tests?
The application is open to all interested people, whether from UBC or not, without discrimination of gender, age, race, or religion.
Q: Which Category's Test Should I Apply to Take?
A: We recommend that you take into consideration two main factors: a) your purpose of taking the test (e.g. what kind of certificate you expect); b) your current Chinese competence level.
The HSK (Basic) is appropriate for learners who have had 100 to 800 hours of formal education in modern Chinese, master 400 to 3,000 Chinese characters at the A and B levels of HSK Vocabulary , and understand corresponding Chinese grammar structures.
The HSK (Elementary-Intermediate) is appropriate for learners who have had 400 to 2,000 hours of formal education in modern Chinese, master 2,000 to 5,000 Chinese characters at the A, B, and C levels of HSK Vocabulary , and understand corresponding Chinese grammar structures.
The HSK (Advanced) is appropriate for learners who had 3,000 or more hours of formal education in modern Chinese, master 5,000 or more Chinese characters at A, B, C, and D levels of HSK Vocabulary , and understand corresponding Chinese grammar structures.
Q: When Should I Decide to Take Which Category's Test?
A: You must decide by the time you fill out your registration form. Once you have made your choice, you can not change from one category to another afterwards. Your Chinese level in the category that you have applied will be decided by the total scores that you obtain in the test. We have sample test papers for display in our office and can be used to evaluate your level of Chinese.
Q: How Much Is the Fee ?
A: HSK rates vary from country to country outside China. The UBC HSK Site is non-profit. All fees, except for the part going to the Chinese HSK authorities, are for cost recovery.
Test Score Delivery Fee (Choose one)
$0 (Pick up score in person) or
$12 (Domestic Registered Mail) or
$20 (International Registered Mail)
The fees are non-refundable under any circumstances.
Q: How Can I Get a Registration Form?
A: Online registration (except fee payment and Test Permit pick up) is now available.
Q: What Do I Need to Register?
A: To register to take HSK, you need to:
1) fill out a Registration Form online;
2) submit two 30 x 40mm photos without head wear taken in the past 12 months; write your name on the back of the photos in pencil.present a picture ID ;(Digital photos are acceptable online);
3) pay proper registration/testing fees in Certified Check or Money Order to “HSK Center, UBC”. (IMPORTANT: no personal checks will be accepted, and your fees are not refundable under ANY circumstances).
4) pick up an Test Admission Card and a Test-Taker's Guide;
5) present a photo ID and Test Permit at the entrace to test rooms.
Q: How Can I Register?
Please click here for registration procedures and regulations.
Q: How Can I Prepare for HSK?
A: HSK is a general language examination, it is not based on any particular textbook or subject. Thus you may use any textbooks you prefer to prepare for the test.
UBC HSK Center is a non-profit test center. We do not organize any preparation courses. Sample tests are available at our site for downloading.
Some private education agencies, however, offer courses helping you know more about the test. You may register these courses at your own cost.
Q: What Should I Bring When Taking HSK Test?
A: On the date of the test, all applicants should bring the Test Admission Card, a picture ID, 2B pencils and an eraser. When taking the test, you should have nothing on your desk except the Test Admission Card, Photo ID, test booklet, answer sheet, pencils and erasers. You are not allowed to use any tape-recorders, cameras, dictionaries, notebooks, textbooks or papers.
Q: What if I Am Late for the Test?
A: It is your responsibility to come to the testing room on time. If you are less than five minutes late (counted from the start of the Listening Comprehension section), you will be permitted to enter the testing room. If you are five to thirty-five minutes late, you may be allowed to enter the room when the Listening Comprehension section is finished, however, NO make-up will be granted to you for the part you have missed. If you are late for more than thirty-five minutes, you will be automatically lose the opportunity to take the test, with NO make-up whatsoever.
Q: Who Should I Contact if I Have further Questions?
A: The easiest way is to visit our web page for any further and upcoming information. You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org