HSK 3: All You Need To Know About HSK Test Level 3

HSK 3 consists of 600 vocabularies (300 HSK 1&2 + 300 HSK 3) 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 study guide provides all the information you need to get started preparing for HSK 3 including all HSK 3 vocabularies with Pinyin and English translations.

Content

HSK 3 exam structure
How to prepare for HSK 3
HSK 3 vocabulary list
Taking the test

HSK 3 exam structure

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:

HSK 3 listening part

HSK 3 Listening Part 1 (Source: China Education Center Mock Test HSK 3)

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.

HSK 3 Listening Part 2 (Source: China Education Center Mock Test HSK 3)

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.

HSK 3 Listening Part 3 (Source: China Education Center Mock Test HSK 3)

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.

HSK 3 Listening Part 4 (Source: China Education Center Mock Test HSK 3)

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.

HSK 3 reading part

HSK 3 Reading Part 1 (Source: China Education Center Mock Test HSK 3)

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.

HSK 3 Reading Part 2 (Source: China Education Center Mock Test HSK 3)

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.

HSK 3 Reading Part 3 (Source: China Education Center Mock Test HSK 3)

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.

HSK 3 writing part

HSK 3 Writing Part 1 (Source: China Education Center Mock Test HSK 3)

Questions 71-75: In each point you get a list of several words and need to construct a sentence using all words.

HSK 3 Writing Part 2 (Source: China Education Center Mock Test HSK 3)

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.

How to prepare for HSK 3

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:

HSK 3 flashcards

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. Therefore, allow us to present you with two options we think work best:

Number one is 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 and search for something like “HSK 3 vocabulary flashcards”. You should be able to find a deck that helps you with learning all 300 HSK 3 words.

Option 2 is Quizlet which is the number 1 option for flashcards online. In cooperation with Quizlet, Pinhok Languages provides a set of all HSK 3 vocabularies for purchase here. Alternatively, you can also use free user generated sets and decks.

HSK 3 practice tests

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:

HSK 3 books

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.

HSK 3 vocabulary list

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.

A


aParticle: showing approval
阿姨ā yíNoun: aunt
ǎiAdjective: low, short

B


Noun: handle
Verb: to grasp, to hold
Particle: for ba-sentences
Measure Word: for a bunch or objects with handle
bànNumber: half
bānVerb: to move, to shift

C


菜单cài dānNoun: menu
参加cān jiāVerb: to attend, to take part, to join
cǎoNoun: grass, straw

D


打扫dǎ sǎoVerb: to clean
打算dǎ suànNoun: plan, intention
Verb: to plan, to think of, to calculate
dàiNoun: band, belt, area, region
Verb: to wear, to carry, to bring, to lead

E


饿èAdjective: hungry
耳朵ěr duoNoun: ear

F


Verb: to send out, to issue, to develop
Measure Word: for gunshots
发烧fā shāoVerb: to have fever
发现fā xiànVerb: to discover, to find

G


干净gān jìngAdjective: clean, tidy
感冒gǎn màoNoun: common cold
Verb: to catch a cold
感兴趣gǎn xìng qùVerb: to be interested in

H


害怕hài pàVerb: to be afraid, to fear
还是hái shìAdverb: still, nevertheless
Conjunction: or
黑板hēi bǎnNoun: blackboard

J


Noun: pole
Adverb: extremely, highly
记得jì deVerb: to remember
几乎jī hūAdverb: almost, nearly

K


Verb: to cut, to carve
Measure Word: for quarter of an hour
Adjective: thirsty
可爱kě àiAdjective: cute, lovely

L


lánAdjective: blue
lǎoAdjective: old
Adverb: always
离开lí kāiVerb: to depart, to leave

M


Noun: horse
马上mǎ shàngAdverb: immediately, at once
满意mǎn yìVerb: to satisfy
Adjective: satisfied

N


Verb: to hold, to seize
奶奶nǎi naiNoun: grandmother (father's mother)
nánLocation: south

P


爬山pá shānNoun: hiking
Verb: to climb a mountain
盘子pán ziNoun: tray, plate, dish
pàngAdjective: fat, plump

Q


Verb: to ride (animal or bike)
起飞qǐ fēiVerb: to take off
奇怪qí guàiAdjective: strange, weird

R


然后rán hòuConjunction: then, afterwards
热情rè​ qíngAdjective: cordial, passionate
认为rèn wéiVerb: to think, to believe, to consider

S


sǎnNoun: umbrella
上网shàng wǎngVerb: to go on the internet
生气shēng qìVerb: to be/get angry
Adjective: angry, mad

T


太阳tài yángNoun: sun
特别tè biéAdjective: special, particular
téngNoun: pain
Verb: to ache, to hurt

W


wànNumber: 10000
wǎnNoun: bowl
完成wán chéngVerb: to complete, to accomplish

X


西Location: west
习惯xí guànNoun: habit, usual practice, custom
Verb: to be/get used to
洗手间xǐ shǒu jiānNoun: toilet, bathroom

Y


要求yāo qiúNoun: demand, requirement
Verb: to require, to demand
爷爷yé yeNoun: grandfather (father's father)
一般yì bānAdjective: ordinary, general, common
Adverb: in general, generally

Z


zhànNoun: station, stop
Verb: to stand, to stop, to halt
zhǎngVerb: to grow, to develop
zhāngVerb: to open up, to spread
Measure Word: for pieces, flat objects

Taking the test

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:

HSK 3 scores

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.

HSK 3 exam dates

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
考试科目Test subject
报名截止日期Registration deadline
纸笔考试Pen and paper test
网络考试Online test
成绩公布日期Date the results come out

How much does HSK 3 cost?

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.

Can I take HSK 3 online?

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.

Where can I take the HSK 3 test?

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.

How can I register for HSK 3?

You can either register online on Chinesetest.cn or directly at the test centre closest to you.

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HSK 1-6 Full Vocabulary Guide

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 1 Vocabulary Guide

This book contains the current list of 150 HSK 1 words last updated in 2012. All words come with Pinyin and except for the first 5 pronouns, all vocabularies also come with at least one example sentence helping you to not only learn the word but also understand the way it's used within sentences.

HSK 2 Vocabulary Guide

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 3 Vocabulary Guide

This book contains the current list of HSK 3 words last updated in 2012. It covers HSK vocabularies 301 to 600. All words in this book come with Pinyin, English translation and at least one example sentence helping you to not only learn the word but also understand the way it's used within sentences.

HSK 4 Vocabulary Guide

This book contains the current list of HSK 4 words last updated in 2012. It covers HSK vocabularies 601 to 1200. All words in this book come with Pinyin, English translation and at least one example sentence helping you to not only learn the word but also understand the way it's used within sentences.

HSK 5 Vocabulary Guide

This book contains the current list of HSK 5 words last updated in 2012. It covers HSK vocabularies 1201 to 2500. If you haven't studied the first 1200 vocabularies yet, make sure you do that before starting with this guide. All words in this book come with Pinyin and English translation.

HSK 6 Vocabulary Guide

This book contains the current list of HSK 6 words last updated in 2012. It covers HSK vocabularies 2501 to 5000. If you haven't studied the first 2500 vocabularies yet, make sure you do that before starting with this guide. All words in this book come with Pinyin and English translation.