The HSK 3 test is structured into a listening, reading and writing part. The exam lasts about 90 minutes starting with 5 minutes of filling in your personal details on the exam sheet followed by around 35 minutes for listening, a 5 minute gap for answering listening questions, 30 minutes for reading and 15 minutes for writing. The listening part consists of a total of 40 questions, reading has 30 questions to answer and writing finishes things up with 10 questions. Below we have laid out the test structure in more detail so you know what to expect:
Questions 1-10: You listen to a dialog twice. On the exam paper you will see various images with letters. You then have to enter the letter for the picture that corresponds best to the dialog you’ve listened to into the box next to the question number.
Questions 11-20: You again need to listen to a sentence or short text twice followed by a statement that is also on the exam paper. You then have to determine, whether that statement is correct or not.
Questions 21-30: You listen to a dialog between two people followed by a question asked by a third voice, the whole sequence is played twice. You then need to determine which of the options presented to you on the exam paper best answers the question.
Questions 31-40: You listen to a 4-5 sentence dialog between two people followed by a question asked by a third voice, the whole sequence is again played twice. You then need to determine which of the options presented to you on the exam paper best answers the question.
Questions 41-50: You get a total of 20 sentences, 10 on top with letters in front of them and 10 below with empty boxes on the right. You need to match the sentences above and below by adding the correct letter on the right of the lower 10 sentences.
Questions 51-60: The next task is to take some words presented on the top (all with letters in front of them) and correctly put them into sentences by adding the corresponding letter into the gap.
Questions 61-70: In the final reading segment you get a short phrase followed by a question and you need to determine which of the three options best answers the question.
Questions 71-75: In each point you get a list of several words and need to construct a sentence using all words.
Questions 76-80: Part two of writing provides you with sentences with gaps and Pinyin. You then have to fill in the gaps with the correct character or word that is provided in Pinyin.
There is no right or wrong way to prepare for HSK 3. The most important thing is to familiarize yourself with all 300 HSK 3 vocabularies (on top of 300 HSK 1 & 2 vocabularies, so a total of 600 words and phrases) and the exam itself. Here are a few things that might help with that:
Flashcards are a great way to learn vocabularies and with the number of websites and apps providing flashcards nowadays, it’s difficult to know which one to pick. We suggest you'll use Anki which is a free flashcard application with countless flashcard decks for any language. Simply download the application to your computer or download their app to your mobile phone (small payment required for iOS). Then either purchase our HSK vocabulary deck online or search for one of the free HSK decks within the shared Anki decks and you should be ready to go!
Once you have internalized all 300 HSK 3 vocabularies, mock exams are probably the most efficient way to prepare for the exam itself. Below you can find 4 websites that provide a number of past exam papers for you to go through:
In terms of books, there are two types of books we suggest you take a look at. The first one are our HSK vocabulary books, particularly our HSK 3 study guide with all 300 vocabularies. This guide allows you to learn vocabularies in combination with example sentences, which not only will make it easier for you to remember the vocabularies but also enables you to understand grammar and its application much quicker. Our HSK 1-6 Full Vocabulary Guide contains all 5000 HSK vocabularies grouped by level but without sentences. This book is great for you to make sure you know all 300 vocabularies of previous levels and can be of use for you up to the final HSK level 6.
The second type of books are HSK 3 mock exams. Those exams are very similar to the practice tests listed above but any one of those books usually contains a lot more of them. You can purchase those kinds of books in any good book shop if you are in Mainland China or on Amazon if you are living abroad.
Below you can find a list of all HSK 3 words with Pinyin and translation. For more extensive learning material, check out our HSK 3 Vocabulary Guide and other books at the end of the page. Those books not only provide vocabularies, but in the case of the HSK 3 Vocabulary Guide also contain example sentences that will help you understand and remember the 300 HSK 3 vocabularies even quicker. You can have a look at the example sentences in the book on our HSK 3 example sentences page.
|啊||a||Particle: showing approval|
|阿姨||ā yí||Noun: aunt|
|矮||ǎi||Adjective: low, short|
Verb: to grasp, to hold
Particle: for ba-sentences
Measure Word: for a bunch or objects with handle
|搬||bān||Verb: to move, to shift|
|菜单||cài dān||Noun: menu|
|参加||cān jiā||Verb: to attend, to take part, to join|
|草||cǎo||Noun: grass, straw|
|打扫||dǎ sǎo||Verb: to clean|
|打算||dǎ suàn||Noun: plan, intention|
Verb: to plan, to think of, to calculate
|带||dài||Noun: band, belt, area, region|
Verb: to wear, to carry, to bring, to lead
|耳朵||ěr duo||Noun: ear|
|发||fā||Verb: to send out, to issue, to develop|
Measure Word: for gunshots
|发烧||fā shāo||Verb: to have fever|
|发现||fā xiàn||Verb: to discover, to find|
|干净||gān jìng||Adjective: clean, tidy|
|感冒||gǎn mào||Noun: common cold|
Verb: to catch a cold
|感兴趣||gǎn xìng qù||Verb: to be interested in|
|害怕||hài pà||Verb: to be afraid, to fear|
|还是||hái shì||Adverb: still, nevertheless|
|黑板||hēi bǎn||Noun: blackboard|
Adverb: extremely, highly
|记得||jì de||Verb: to remember|
|几乎||jī hū||Adverb: almost, nearly|
|刻||kè||Verb: to cut, to carve|
Measure Word: for quarter of an hour
|可爱||kě ài||Adjective: cute, lovely|
|离开||lí kāi||Verb: to depart, to leave|
|马上||mǎ shàng||Adverb: immediately, at once|
|满意||mǎn yì||Verb: to satisfy|
|拿||ná||Verb: to hold, to seize|
|奶奶||nǎi nai||Noun: grandmother (father's mother)|
|爬山||pá shān||Noun: hiking|
Verb: to climb a mountain
|盘子||pán zi||Noun: tray, plate, dish|
|胖||pàng||Adjective: fat, plump|
|骑||qí||Verb: to ride (animal or bike)|
|起飞||qǐ fēi||Verb: to take off|
|奇怪||qí guài||Adjective: strange, weird|
|然后||rán hòu||Conjunction: then, afterwards|
|热情||rè qíng||Adjective: cordial, passionate|
|认为||rèn wéi||Verb: to think, to believe, to consider|
|上网||shàng wǎng||Verb: to go on the internet|
|生气||shēng qì||Verb: to be/get angry|
Adjective: angry, mad
|太阳||tài yáng||Noun: sun|
|特别||tè bié||Adjective: special, particular|
Verb: to ache, to hurt
|完成||wán chéng||Verb: to complete, to accomplish|
|习惯||xí guàn||Noun: habit, usual practice, custom|
Verb: to be/get used to
|洗手间||xǐ shǒu jiān||Noun: toilet, bathroom|
|要求||yāo qiú||Noun: demand, requirement|
Verb: to require, to demand
|爷爷||yé ye||Noun: grandfather (father's father)|
|一般||yì bān||Adjective: ordinary, general, common|
Adverb: in general, generally
|站||zhàn||Noun: station, stop|
Verb: to stand, to stop, to halt
|长||zhǎng||Verb: to grow, to develop|
|张||zhāng||Verb: to open up, to spread|
Measure Word: for pieces, flat objects
We have answered most of the general questions regarding HSK test on our HSK Frequently Asked Questions page. Below are a couple of questions and topics that are HSK 3 specific:
There are 100 points for each of the three parts available, 100 points for listening, 100 points for reading and 100 points for writing. Therefore, a score of 300 would be maximum points. 180 points are needed to pass HSK 3.
You can find the official HSK exam dates by going to the official HSK website from Hanban (Chinese only unfortunately, but a good learning experience). To make sense of that page, a couple of terms explained:
|新汉语水平考试(HSK)||This is the normal HSK test|
|新增汉语水平网络考试(HSK)||This refers to the new HSK online test|
|考试时间||Time of test|
|纸笔考试||Pen and paper test|
|成绩公布日期||Date the results come out|
Fees for HSK tests vary depending on country and test centre. When writing this article (March 27, 2019), the fee for HSK 3 at the Confucius Institute in Nebraska was USD 40, at Hong Kong University it was HKD 460. So costs do vary and will probably change over time, simply contact your test centre or teacher for more information.
Yes and no. There is now a 网络考试 available, however, to take that test, you would still have to go to a test centre that supports computer based HSK tests and take the test there. So strictly speaking, you would take the test online (as in on a website or web application), but not from the comfort of your home. For details on that it’s best to talk to your closest test centre.
You can use the “Search Test Center” functionality on Chinesetest.cn to look for a test centre closest to you. If you want to take the test on a computer, make sure the test centre supports that option.
You can either register online on Chinesetest.cn or directly at the test centre closest to you.