Chinese Level Test – Determine Your HSK Level

HSK Chinese Level Test

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.

This test has been created in collaboration with the Chinese school EsChina Space.

Fill out the form to start the test!

    This form collects your name, email and other information, so that we can reply to your inquiry. For more information on where, how and why we store your data (and how you can access them), you can read our Privacy Policy


    • 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.

    LevelNumber of wordsNumber 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.

    B2HSK5 (high score)
    C2HSK6 (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!

    Frequently asked questions

    What is Chinese HSK?
    HSK stands for Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (汉语水平考试) that literally translates to “Chinese level test” or “Chinese proficiency test”. The test is used to check foreigners’ and overseas Chinese’s standard Chinese language level. The test is administered on a government level and by Hanban, which is an agency of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China.
    What is the highest HSK level?
    The HSK is divided into 6 different levels where level 1 is the easiest and level 6 the most difficult.
    What is the difference between HSK and HSKK?
    As mentioned, HSK is divided into two different tests, the first one focuses on reading, writing and listening. There’s also the HSKK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi Kouyu, 汉语水平考试口语) test that only focuses on testing foreigners speaking skills. During the test, your voice is recorded to see how advance your spoken Chinese is.
    What is HSK used for?
    Some foreigners take the HSK to see how advanced their Chinese language skills are. Sometimes, you also need to take the HSK when enrolling in programs and courses at Chinese universities.

    If you want to study Medicine, Architecture, Business, or Economics, for example, you generally need to pass HSK 4. It can be beneficial to take the HSK if you look for jobs as well, you’ll then be able to show your exact Chinese proficiency level.

    Can you take HSK online?
    You cannot take the HSK online from home, but you can choose between a computerized test and a written test that’s done on paper. The computerized test is easier as you won’t need to write the characters by hand. If you do the HSK, you have to visit certified test centers to do the test.
    Does HSK 3 have pinyin?
    No, HSK 3 doesn’t have pinyin but Chinese characters.
    Can I take HSK outside of China?
    Yes, you can take the HSK outside of China and in countries like the US. You can take the HSK at Confucius institutes in various cities.
    Does HSK expire?
    Once you’ve received your HSK diploma, you can keep it permanently. With that said, if you plan to enroll in Chinese schools, the HSK test will only be valid for two years from the date of examination.
    How can I get my HSK Test certificate?
    You can get your HSK score on the HSK website and one month after the test date. To get the results, you have to log in and input your registration number received during the test.
    How much does it cost to do the HSK?
    The fees differ depending on the level you take:

    • Level 1: $30
    • Level 2: $40
    • Level 3: $50
    • Level 4: $60
    • Level 5: $70
    • Level 6: $80
    They use simplified Chinese characters for the HSK tests.

    Photo Credits: Creative Commons License Yum Cha by Phil Whitehouse

    15 thoughts on “Chinese Level Test – Determine Your HSK Level”

    1. Pingback: À la recherche de la liste perdue – Top 💜 400 meilleures applications et sites pour apprendre une langue

    2. I have been in ELAC and completed beginning Chinese. Now I want to be in elementary Chinese. Can u get me to that level.


      Per Mitchelle


    3. Hi. I’m just wondering how many points one needs to get in order to pass HSK 3 on this website? I got just over 67. I had a lot of interruptions from my kids, and I’m wondering if I even came close to passing HSK 3?
      Thank you!

      1. You didn’t received the email with the results? It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to arrive and I see you get a 93%. Please check your spam folder if the email went there, if not please send me a message through our contact form and I’ll send you the complete test results

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Get 3 Months FREE with EXPRESS VPN

    + Best VPN For China
    + 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
    + 24/7 Live China Customer Support
    + 3 Months Free on 12 Months Package

    Scroll to Top