HSK Test: The Ultimate Guide For All 6 HSK Levels

The HSK test (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) is the standardized proficiency test for Mandarin Chinese. It is administered by Hanban and consists of a total of 6 levels. The purpose and use-cases of HSK are very similar to what TOEFL or IELTS are used for in English speaking countries and range from university admission over proof of language skills for job applications to fulfilling requirements for certain visa categories.

In the sections below you can find an FAQ (frequently asked question) section with all the questions that usually come up around HSK in general followed by 6 pages that are targeted at the various HSK levels. If you are thinking about studying for HSK, take a look at our HSK vocabulary books at the bottom of the page.

HSK Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about HSK, its purpose, how to sign up, how to prepare, how to get the results and many more things. This page also gives some insights into how HSK developed over time, who is responsible for the test behind the scenes and what you can and can’t do in terms of jumping levels and whilst taking the test.

HSK 1 Guide

HSK 1 requires a vocabulary of 150 words and is designed for students who just started learning Chinese. It only has listening and reading parts (no writing) and also shows Pinyin along with the characters. This HSK 1 guide provides all the information you need to get started preparing for HSK 1 including all HSK 1 vocabularies with Pinyin and English translations. For HSK 1 we have furthermore put together a page with HSK 1 example sentences for each of the 150 HSK 1 vocabularies. This allows you to learn how to use each of the vocabularies within a sentence.

HSK 2 Guide

HSK 2 requires a vocabulary of 300 words and still mainly targets beginners. Like HSK 1, HSK level 2 also only has listening and reading parts (no writing) and shows Pinyin along with the characters. This HSK 2 guide provides all the information you need to get started preparing for HSK 2 including all HSK 2 vocabularies with Pinyin and English translations. For HSK 2 we have furthermore put together a page with HSK 2 example sentences for each of the 150 HSK 2 vocabularies. This allows you to learn how to use each of the vocabularies within a sentence.

HSK 3 Guide

HSK 3 consists of 600 vocabularies and introduces a writing component for the first time. For the most part, Pinyin is not provided anymore for this test, so make sure you know your characters. This HSK 3 guide provides all the information you need to get started preparing for HSK 3 including all HSK 3 vocabularies with Pinyin and English translations. For HSK 3 we have furthermore put together a page with HSK 3 example sentences for each of the 300 HSK 3 vocabularies. This allows you to learn how to use each of the vocabularies within a sentence.

HSK 4 Guide

With 1200 vocabularies, HSK 4 requires intermediate level Chinese to pass. It again consists of reading, listening and writing parts. This HSK 4 guide provides all the information you need to get started preparing for HSK 4 including all HSK 4 vocabularies with Pinyin and English translations. For HSK 4 we have furthermore put together a page with HSK 4 example sentences for each of the 600 HSK 4 vocabularies. This allows you to learn how to use each of the vocabularies within a sentence.

HSK 5 Guide

With 2500 vocabularies, HSK 5 requires a level of Chinese that allows students to read newspapers and watch movies without too much problems. This HSK 5 guide provides all the information you need to get started preparing for HSK 5 including all HSK 5 vocabularies with Pinyin and English translations.

HSK 6 Guide

For passing the highest HSK level, you have to know all 5000 HSK vocabularies and be able to use Chinese not just in everyday live but also to write articles, handle basic academic work and make sense of some Chinese literature. This HSK 6 guide provides all the information you need to get started preparing for HSK 6 including all HSK 6 vocabularies with Pinyin and English translations.


HSK 1-9 Vocabulary Guide [HSK 3.0, 2021]

HSK 1-9 Vocabulary Guide [HSK 3.0, 2021]

This vocabulary guide contains all 11,092 HSK vocabularies grouped by level starting from HSK 1 and finishing with HSK 7-9. The vocabularies are based on the changes from 2021 and all come with Pinyin and English translation.
HSK 1-3 Vocabulary Guide [HSK 3.0, 2021]

HSK 1-3 Vocabulary Guide [HSK 3.0, 2021]

This vocabulary guide contains all 2245 HSK vocabularies grouped by level starting from HSK 1 and finishing with HSK 3. The vocabularies are based on the changes from 2021 and all come with Pinyin and English translation.
HSK 4-6 Vocabulary Guide [HSK 3.0, 2021]

HSK 4-6 Vocabulary Guide [HSK 3.0, 2021]

This vocabulary guide contains all 3211 HSK vocabularies grouped by level starting from HSK 4 and finishing with HSK 6. For the vocabularies for level 1-3, please refer to the book that covers those words. The vocabularies are based on the changes from 2021 and all come with Pinyin and English translation.
HSK 1-6 Full Vocabulary Guide [HSK 2.0, 2012]

HSK 1-6 Full Vocabulary Guide [HSK 2.0, 2012]

This vocabulary guide contains all 5000 HSK vocabularies grouped by level starting from HSK 1 and finishing with HSK 6. The vocabularies are based on the changes from 2012 and all come with Pinyin and English translation.
HSK Flashcards for Anki

HSK Flashcards for Anki

This Anki deck contains all 5000 HSK vocabularies ordered by HSK level. Each vocabulary includes Pinyin, English translation and an audio clip that tells you how to pronounce the word.

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