HSK Test Preparation Guide

Posted by Clarice Zhao on Mar 15, 2016

hsk preparation

1. What is the HSK Exam ?

hsk preparation

The Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì,which is also called the Chinese Proficiency Test, is a standardized exam for non-native speakers to measure their Chinese levels. This is a very important test for students wishing to study in China and for some business professionals with a goal of working in the Middle Kingdom.

The HSK has six different levels, from HSK I to HSK VI. The examinee should test according to their Chinese level. When a student is preparing for the HSK, it is helpful to have some professional advice to prepare for the exams comprehensively and efficiently.

There are different parts for different HSK level, but all HSK exams include three parts: listening, reading and writing. If you want to score highly on the HSK, you need to master the right method for study of each part of the HSK.

2. How to prepare for the HSK Test?

hsk preparation

1) Make a detailed study plan for yourself

You know the most about where you fall in the HSK level. If you have no idea what your level is roughly, feel free to take a HSK practice test which we will link to later in this article. Based on your scores from this practice test, you should make a comprehensive study plan that addresses the strengths and weaknesses. If you have memorized the characters well, focus on speaking and listening. If your character reading is lacking, spend more time learning characters.

2) Master Required Vocabulary

Vocabulary is the foundation and is very essential to passing the HSK test. If you can't master the required number of HSK vocabulary, it is almost impossible to pass. Below you will find a chart that breaks down how many characters are required based on the level of the HSK.

HSK 1: 150 words

HSK 2: 300 words

HSK 3: 600 words

HSK 4: 1200 words

HSK 5: 2500 words

HSK 6: 5000 words

hsk preparation

3) Do as many HSK practice tests as you can

Practice makes perfect. Before you take the real HSK test, please do as many HSK exercises as you can. The grammar points and vocabulary words are the same every year for the HSK. So you should absolutely download previous years' tests to better understand the content. After you finish each simulation test, take notes to mark down which questions you failed to answer correctly. If you review the questions that you did not understand, you will improve your scoring.

4) Attend a HSK Course Class

If you can attend a HSK course class, with the help of the professional Chinese teacher, it will go a long way in preparing you for the exam. Here are some advantages of attending a HSK course class: Firstly, you will get the most current and authoritative test prep content. Searching HSK materials online can net mixed results that may or may not be relevant once you take the exam. Secondly, the guidance from the professional Chinese teacher, will help you to focus specifically on areas that you will need to improve. Lastly, you will get a structured curriculum class. This course will be comprehensive and will cover all areas from listening to speaking and reading to writing.

5) Watch some videos about improving HSK test skills

There are many video resources online. We recommend to watch some videos about HSK test skills. We have included a video for improving HSK reading skills below:

3. HSK Test Materials online

hsk preparation

Links to useful HSK study and test materials:




About The Author

Clarice Zhao

Clarice Zhao is a Chinese Learning teacher at Hanbridge Mandarin who graduated from Beijing Language and Culture University. As an expert in linguistics, pedagogy, and Chinese culture, Clarice is committed to helping her students succeed.

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