Welcome to SDC’s Chinese level test. Before you start, it’s important that you read the instructions closely so that the test is as accurate as possible.
Fill out the form to start the test!
- Test for levels HSK1, HSK2 and HSK3: This test is especially designed to assess Chinese levels up to HSK3 (or A2 of the European Reference Framework). We are currently working on offering other tests for more advanced levels that will soon be available on our website.
- Maximum duration of one hour: Even though the majority of people can finish the test in a bit more than 30 minutes, we have limited the test time to one hour so that results are as accurate as possible (simulating an official exam). Make sure you have enough time to complete the test!
- The level test has eleven exercises: We have divided the level test into four listening exercises, three reading exercises, two grammar exercises and two writing exercises.
- Make sure that you have earphones or a silent environment: This test includes listening exercises with audio tracks, which means that it is important to listen to them clearly. For the results to be accurate, don’t play the audio tracks more than twice (or put them on pause or rewind them).
- If you don’t know an answer, leave it blank: Some exercises (such as the true or false exercises) subtract points in the event of a mistake, which means that if you don’t know an answer, it’s better to leave it blank.
- Make sure you have a system for writing Chinese characters (not essential): The last exercise will ask you to write in Chinese characters, although it’s not necessary for you to answer the last exercise to obtain your Chinese level, although the result will obviously be more accurate if you do.
- To be able to access the level test and receive your results, all we ask is for you to fill out the form and subscribe to our newsletter: Make sure that you input a valid email address so that we can send you the test results. If you’re not interested in subscribing to our newsletter, you can easily opt out by clicking on the corresponding link that you will find at the end of each email that we send you.
Description of the level test
This level test has been designed by following the guidelines of the Hanban. The Hanban or the Office of Chinese Language Council International (国家汉语国际推广领导小组办公室) is the body of the Chinese Ministry of Education that is responsible for diffusing and teaching the Chinese language internationally by means of different Confucius Institutes located across the globe. The Hanban is also responsible for designing and evaluating official Chinese level exams.
Because of this, this level test above all serves to evaluate your Chinese level by following the standards of the Hanban. Nonetheless, it can also be useful for evaluating your level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR), although this framework is shared for all languages and therefore somewhat differs from that established by the Hanban, which is specific to Chinese.
It’s important to stress that reaching a certain level on this test does not mean that you can pass an official exam. To pass official exams, you should prepare in advance by using the study materials specific for the exam. Nonetheless, this test can give you an idea of what level you can pass and what Chinese course is most suitable for you.
What is an HSK level
HSK or Hanyu Shueping Kaoshi (汉语水平考试) is the official level exam established by the Chinese Ministry of Education for non-native Chinese speakers.
The HSK is divided into 6 levels. Levels 1 and 2 correspond to the basic level, 3 and 4 to the intermediate level and 5 and 6 to the advanced level. These exams tend to be divided into two main blocks of exercises: one listening block and one reading and grammar block. Starting as of HSK3, a writing block is also added.
To pass exams, it is necessary to obtain a minimum of 60% of total points (120 points out of 200 on HSK 1 and 2 and 180 points out of 300 on the remainder).
HSK levels are commonly divided into the minimum number of words (and their corresponding characters) that you must know. The lists are perfectly defined and
you can find them easily among the numerous resources available online. Below is a table with the number of words and characters required for each level.
|Level||Number of words||Number of characters|
The levels do not include the oral expression part of the exam, which must be carried out separately.
The official oral expression test is called HSKK or Hanyu shuiping Kaoshi Kouyu (汉语水平考试口语) and has three levels: basic (初级), intermediate (中级) and advanced (高级). Each level corresponds to two levels of the HSK, in such a way that the basic level corresponds to the levels HSK1 and HSK2, the intermediate level to HSK3 and HSK4 and the advanced level to HSK5 and HSK6.
A passing grade for this test is also obtained with 60%, in other words 60/100 points.
What is the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR)?
Another relatively common system for evaluating Chinese levels is the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR), which is internationally accepted and used both in the European Union and outside of it. This evaluation system has common criteria for all languages which are therefore not specific to Chinese.
The CEFR is divided into three levels: Basic User or A, Independent User or B and Competent or C. Each of these levels has two sub-levels: A1 or beginner, A2 or basic, B1 or intermediate, B2 or intermediate-advanced, C1 or advanced and C2 or mastery.
While the HSK is based on word frequency lists, the CEFR is based on levels of language use in different aspects (listening, reading, oral and written expression). Because of this, these two systems are not equivalent in all aspects. In addition, given that the CEFR is a reference system for any language, it does not address the particularities of Chinese and therefore tends to be more complicated than the HSK.
Even though the Hanban has established a direct equivalency between the 6 HSK levels and the 6 CEFR levels, the majority of experts consider that this is not the case. Below you will find a table with the approximate equivalency between CEFR and HSK.
|B2||HSK5 (high score)|
|C2||HSK6 (high score)|
If you have any questions or comments on the level test that we have created, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the next section!
[Photo Credits (Creative Commons CC2.0): www.flickr.com/photos/philliecasablanca/]