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Introduction to Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK)

I.?Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK)?

China's Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, known as HSK or the Chinese Proficiency Test is a standardized test at the state level designed to assess the Chinese proficiency of non-native speakers (foreigners, overseas Chinese and students of Chinese national minorities). HSK consists of the basic Chinese proficiency test (HSK Basic), the elementary and intermediate Chinese proficiency test (HSK Elementary-Intermediate) and the advanced Chinese proficiency test (HSK Advanced). HSK is held regularly in China and other countries every year. Certificates of HSK will be issued to those who have secured the required scores.

The new HSK is a standardized test of Chinese proficiency, which is mainly designed to assess the learner’s Chinese communicative ability in their life, study and work. The new HSK consists of written part and oral part, and the two parts are independent to each other. The written part consists of HSK(I), HSK(II), HSK(III), HSK(IV), HSK(V) and HSK(VI), while the oral part consists of HSK(Basic), HSK(Intermediate) and HSK(Advanced). The oral test employs recording.

HSK (I) assesses the learner’s ability of the daily Chinese language, which corresponds with International Chinese Proficiency Standards band 1 and the CEF A1. Candidates who have passed HSK (I) are supposed to understand and use simple Chinese words and sentences, meet the need of specific communication, and able to study Chinese further. HSK (I) is mainly open to the learners who have learned Chinese two to three hours per week for a semester (half a year), and have grasped 150 most commonly used words and relative grammatical knowledge.

HSK (II) assesses the learner’s ability of the daily Chinese language, which corresponds with International Chinese Proficiency Standards band 2 and the CEF A2. Candidates who have passed HSK (II) are supposed to conduct simple and direct communication about the daily topics in Chinese, reaching level A of basic Chinese. HSK (II) is mainly open to the learners who have learned Chinese two to three hours per week for two semesters (a year), and have grasped 300 most commonly used words and relative grammatical knowledge.

HSK (III) assesses the learner’s applying ability of the Chinese language, which corresponds with International Chinese Proficiency Standards band 3 and the CEF B1. Candidates who have passed HSK (III) are supposed to complete the communicative tasks in their life, study and work in Chinese, and able to deal with most of the communicative tasks when traveling in China. HSK (III) is mainly open to the learners who have learned Chinese two to three hours per week for three semesters (a year and a half), and have grasped 600 daily used words and relative grammatical knowledge.

HSK (IV) assesses the learner’s applying ability of the Chinese language, which corresponds with International Chinese Proficiency Standards band 4 and the CEF B2. Candidates who have passed HSK (IV) are supposed to discuss in Chinese about topics from a wider field and able to communicate fluently with Chinese native speakers. HSK (IV) is mainly open to the learners who have learned Chinese two to four hours per week for four semesters (two years), and have grasped 1200 daily used words.

HSK (V) assesses the learner’s applying ability of the Chinese language, which corresponds with International Chinese Proficiency Standards band 5 and the CEF C1. Candidates who have passed HSK (V) are supposed to read Chinese newspapers and magazines, watch Chinese films and TV programs, and make speeches in Chinese. HSK (V) is mainly open to the learners who have learned Chinese two to four hours per week for more than two years, and have grasped 2500 daily used words.

HSK (VI) assesses the learner’s applying ability of the Chinese language, which corresponds with International Chinese Proficiency Standards band 5 and C2 of the CEF. Candidates who have passed HSK (VI) are supposed to understand easily the information by reading or listening to Chinese, and able to express their own ideas in Chinese in both oral and written forms. HSK (VI) is mainly open to the learners who have grasped 5000 or more daily used words.

II. HSK Regulations

1. Test and registration time:

Confucius Institute Headquarters (National Chinese Office) will issue the test date of different test centers at the end of each year. There’s a slight change in test time at each test center. Before registration, consult www.chinesetest.cn or the selected test center. The registration starting date is no later than one month before test date; the deadline is 27 days before test.

2. The Admission Card:

Test takers will receive a registration confirmation 15 days before the test, then he/she shall either log into the Chinese testing service website and print his/her admission card or get it at the test center.

Information on the admission card includes the test takers’ name, nationality, gender, type and number of the identity certificate, test subject, test time, test center, test location and test rules, etc.

After receiving the test admission card, test takers shall carefully check the information on it item by item to conform if they are accurate. Such information as test takers’ name, gender, date of birth and identification number must be identical with that on his/her valid identity certificate; otherwise he/she will not be allowed to take the test.

If any incorrect information is found, just keep it. After the verification of the examiner, make appropriate modification under his/her supervision and with his/her signature, otherwise test takers’ test results will become invalid.

The admission card is an identified proof for test takers. After the test, test takers shall still keep it, for it will be required before the receipt of the score report and test certificate. Test takers also need to provide the number of his/her admission card to view the test results online or get such value-added service as applying for an additional score report.

3. Test takers’ photo:

The preparation for the photo should meet the following requirements:

Format requirements for the photo:

- Hand in a photo taken recently with a white background, no hat;

- Both black-and-white and color photos are acceptable;

- Make sure the test taker’s face is clear;

- Show the top of the head and the shoulders;

Format requirements for the electronic photo:

Type: JPG/JPEG

Size: within 100 KB

Upload the electronic photo:

Test takers log into the registration website and upload the electronic photo in line with guidance from the website to submit the photo. It will appear on the admission card and the corresponding certificate after test. Those who provide electronic photo do not need to prepare the paper photo.

If test takers provide paper photo, the format should be:

Number: 2

Size: 40mm×30mm (in a standard, two-inch form)

The test taker’s name, test code and serial number should be marked on the back.

Those who are unable to provide the electronic photo should, according to the above requirements, prepare 2 paper ones. One is pasted to the right position of the admission card; the other is submitted to the examiner for the identity check before the entry on the test day.

4. Articles carried for the test:

On the test date, test takers must bring the following articles to the test room:

- Admission card;

- Personal identity certificate with photos (Identity Certificate, Passport or Alien Resident Certificate);

- Pencils (two or more)

- Erasers

The following articles are not allowed to carry in:

recorder, camera, dictionary, MP3, mobile phone, beeper, portable computer, laptop, textbook and other articles irrelevant to the test.

5. Entrance time and certificate of admission

Test takers are allowed to get in the exam room half an hour before the start of the test so as not to be late.

Any test takers who are late within 5 minutes are permitted to enter the test room and take the test; those who are 5 minutes to 35 minutes late can not take the exam until the start of next part, no extra time is added to make up the delay; those who are late for more than 35 minutes are not allowed to take the test.

Test takers must present the test admission ticket and the identity certificate in accordance with the registration when entering the test room.. The name on identity certificate must be identical with that on the admission card. The photo on the certificate must be identical with the test taker.

Test takers must put the test admission ticket and identity certificate on the top right of the desk in case the examiner(s) may inspect it at any time.

Test takers who present the invalid or fake identity certificate will not be permitted to take the test, nor will the test fee be refunded.

6. Halfway break or leave the test room:

No break is allowed during the test. If, for any special reason, test takers need to leave the test room halfway, he/she shall first obtain the consent of the examiner(s) and then submit his/her admission card to the examiner(s) before leaving the exam room. After his/her return, he/she must present his/her identity certificate.

7. Test regulations:

Test takers are not allowed to choose seats butt sit on the assigned seats.

Test takers are not allowed to eat or drink during the test.

Test takers are not allowed to open the paper in advance or write down the answer out of the brim of answer sheet, nor shall they tear, replace, copy the paper, take the paper or the answer sheet outside the test room or other cheating.

8. Handling of emergencies:

(1) In case of any unfair treatment of test takers due to mismanagement of the test room, such as insufficiency of test time, damage of the paper or test equipment, which leads the test taker unable to complete the test, the Chinese Testing International Committee will make timely arrangements for a new, free test for him/her, but it will not assume any indirect loss.

(2) In case of any force majeure, such as a natural disaster or accident, which makes test takers unable to complete the test, the Chinese Testing International Committee will make timely arrangements for a new, free test for him/her or fully refund the test fee to him/her, but it will not assume any indirect loss.

9. Absence from the test:

If test takers fail to take the test on the test date due to certain reasons that are not attributable to the test organizer, he/she shall take the consequences, the Chinese Testing International Committee will not make arrangements for a new test for him/her, and no test fee will be refunded.

10. Violations and penalties:

During the test, if test takers make any cheats, such as substitution of the test taker, plagiarism, smuggled material, the examiner(s) are authorized to stop his/her test or record in the report of the examiner(s). The Chinese Testing International Committee will have the right to cancel his/her test results and keep the right of rejecting him/her to take all the tests of Confucius Institute Headquarters.

11. Modification of wrong information

Before the deadline of registration (including the deadline), test takers may modify the information online or contact the test center for modification. From the deadline until the test day, test takers are allowed to contact the test center for free modification. After the test, no application is accepted.

Slight wrong information includes:

? misspelling of name

? error of the nationality information

? error of the gender information

?shift of photo

Misspelling of name refers to obvious mistakes in inputting. Names with great difference must refer to Modification of Registration to make modification. The Chinese Testing International shall have the right to identify and reject the application of the name modification with great difference.

After updating information, test takers may reprint the admission card or contact the test center for a new one.

III. The Validity of HSK Certificate

HSK scores is valid forever. HSK scores, as a proof for Chinese proficiency, to those foreign students who study Chinese in Chinese colleges and universities, is valid for 2 years (from the date of test).

Note: HSK coaching classes mainly focus on test-taking training and gives rise to Chinese writing capability?

Entry level training objectives: Have the basic knowledge of mandarin and learn the structure of the Chinese character and pronunciation skills;
Use Chinese to complete basic life and study communicative tasks.
Master 600 commonly used Chinese words and related grammar knowledge;
HSK reaches 3 levels.
Primary level training objectives: Have the basic ability of listening, speaking, and reading,
Can use Chinese language to talk about a wide range of topics,
Can fluently communicate with Chinese speakers;
To grasp 1200 commonly used words;
HSK reaches 4 level.
Intermediate level training objectives:  Have better listening, speaking, reading and writing ability;
Can carry on a comparatively complete speech in Chinese;
Can browse Chinese newspapers and magazines, appreciate Chinese film and television programs;
To grasp 2500 commonly used words;
HSK reaches 5 level.
Advanced level training objectives: Have good listening, speaking, reading and writing ability;
Standard Chinese pronunciation and intonation,
Can use fluent Chinese to express their views;
Can understand normal Chinese newspapers and magazines, television news and reports, etc.;
Can complete Chinese common style of writing;
Mastering 5000 and more than 5000 commonly used words;
HSK reaches 6 level
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