HSK Exam: Dates, Format, Questions & How to Pass [2022]

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The HSK exam is the most effective tool to certify your proficiency in the Chinese language. After English, Mandarin or Chinese is the highest or most spoken language globally. Speaking Mandarin or Chinese gives you the scope to interact and communicate with a huge percentage of people both inside and outside the borders of Asia. So, we have everything listed down here to help you explore all the nukes and corners of the HSK exam. Just scroll down and explore!

What is the HSK Exam?

The full form of HSK is Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi. In English, it would mean the Chinese Level Test or Mandarin Level Test. This HSK exam is prepared according to international standardisation and enables individuals to check their proficiency in the Chinese language. Chinese people living in foreign countries, non-native speakers, and nationals belonging to Chinese minority groups can take the exam to see how well they can read, write, speak, and interpret Chinese. The whole arrangement is supported by Confucius Institute Headquarters, colloquially known more as Hanban. The whole functionalities are monitored by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. 

HSK Exam in Indian Cities

HSK exam in India is held across twelve centres in various cities of the Indian states. You can select any according to your location, from New Delhi to Calicut, Kolkata to Kannur. HSK exam in India 2022 will be held across the following cities:

  • New Delhi
  • Gwalior
  • Calicut
  • Gandhi Nagar
  • Kannur
  • Gurgaon
  • Kolkata
  • Mumbai
  • Vellore
  • Bolpur
  • Hyderabad
  • Santacruz

The exam centres are different in each city. A detailed address and location of the exam centre are as follows:

City State Exam Centre Address
New Delhi New Delhi Langma School of Languages E78, South EX I, New Delhi
Gwalior Madhya Pradesh Space Computer and Training Academy E-46, Balwant Nagar, Gandhi Road, Gwalior
Calicut Kerala Malabar Aviation Academy 4th Floor, Emarald Mall, Mavoor Road, Calicut
Gandhi Nagar Gujarat Safalya International Educare Pvt Ltd 215/216, Pramukh Arcade, Reliance Cross Road, Kudasan, Gandhi Nagar
Kannur Kerala Ceeco International Consultancy and Training Centre Honda Showroom Building, Manna, Taliparambe, Kannur District
Gurgaon Haryana Meenakshi Public School Campus Sector 10A, Gurgaon
Kolkata West Bengal The School of Chinese Language 113A, Matheswartala Road, Chinatown, Kolkata
Mumbai Maharashtra K. J. Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies Somaiya Campus, Management Building, 3rd Floor, Vidyavihar, Mumbai
Vellore Tamil Nadu Confucius Institute at Vellore University of Technology VIT University, Vellore
Bolpur West Bengal Seacom Skills University Kendradangal, Bolpur, Birbhum
Hyderabad Andhra Pradesh Arise Medical Academy 2nd Floor, Bank of India, Nanal Nagar Road, Mehdipatnam
Santacruz Maharashtra Confucius Institute, University of Mumbai Ranade Bhavan, 8, Vidyanagari, Kalina Campus, Santacruz

However, you should note that all exam centres might not hold all exam levels. Contact your nearest location for a more detailed update.

HSK Exam in India Format

The HSK exam in India comprises six levels- I, II, III, IV, V, and VI. At each level, you have to give a test of your reading, writing, and listening skills. Each HSK exam level corresponds to the standard of the Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages (CLPS). It also abides by the standards and regulations of CEFR or the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Each level of the HSK exam is prepared for different target learners, and the exam formats are different also.

HSK Level I

This level includes reading and listening skill tests only for students with at least 150 words’ vocabulary and who have studied Chinese for at least half an academic year.

  • The total score at this level is 200
HSK Exam Format
The table contains the number of items on HSK Level I
  • Listening comprehension has four parts, with five items in each part. The examinee has to match pictures and words with each item, select true or false options, choose images based on the recording, etc.
  • The total time duration of the listening test is 15 minutes.
  • The reading comprehension test also has twenty items across four parts. Here the examinees have to match pictures and phrases, answer questions, choose the correct option from multiple choices, etc.
  • The total time for reading comprehension is 17 minutes.

HSK Level II

Here reading and listening skills are tested on students with an academic year of Chinese learning and a vocabulary of 300 words.

  • The total time is 55 minutes.
  • The total score is 200.
  • There will be a total of 35 items across four parts for the listening skill test. Questions at the end of a recording, choosing the right option, true/false answers, etc., are included here.
  • Under reading comprehension, there are 25 items in four parts. This section comprises filling in the blanks, choosing pictures corresponding to the word, identifying correlations between sentences, etc.
HSK Exam Level II Format
The image depicts the number of items in each section at HSK level II

HSK Level III to HSK Level VI

From HSK level III, the tests include a writing skill test also. The number of vocabulary also increases, and the difficulty level and time duration change. The time duration, parts, and items you will be subjected to are as follows:

HSK Level Vocabulary Total marks Items Time duration
HSK Level III 600 300 Reading: 30

Writing: 10

Listening: 40

90 minutes
HSK Level IV 1200 300 Reading: 40

Writing: 15

Listening: 45

105 minutes
HSK Level V 2500 300 Reading: 45

Writing: 10

Listening: 45

125 minutes
HSK Level VI 5000 or more 300 Reading: 50

Writing: 1

Listening: 50

140 minutes

At level VI, examinees have to write only long prose in 45 minutes. In the HSK 4 exam, there will be words and pictures given on the question paper. Examinees have to form sentences with the words or based on the picture and words together. 

To get a more in-depth idea about the exam format, you can check the website here.

HSK Exam Dates 2022 India

HSK Exam dates for 2022 have already been announced on the official websites of HSK, and it started in January. Registration for the January exam began in December 2021, and it followed the HSK exam 2021 format. The exams will continue till 4th December 2022. The last dates of registration are different from every other exam date. You should look at them, and if you are thinking of appearing in the HSK exam 2022, you should hurry up.

A glimpse at the exam dates for 2022 HSK:

Date of Exam Last date of registration (Written Test) Last Date of Registration (Online Test) Date of Online Result Date of paper result
12th June 16th May 2nd June 27th June 12th July
16th July 19th June 6th July 1st August 16th August
21st August 25th July 11th August 5th September 21st September
17th September 21st August 7th September 10th October 24th October
16th October 19th September 6th October 31st October 16th November
19th November 23rd October 9th November 5th December 19th December
4th December 7th November 24th November 1st December 4th January (2023)

The dates of the HSK Speaking Test are different from the ones mentioned above. These dates are:

HSK Exam Dates (Speaking)
This image contains the details of the HSK speaking test dates

HSK Exam Fees in India

The HSK exam fees in India vary according to the level of the exam. The level-wise exam fee structure is as follows:

HSK Exam Level Exam Fee (in INR)
HSK Level I 1500
HSK Level II 2500
HSK Level II 3500
HSK Level IV 4500
HSK level V 5500
HSK Level VI 6500

HSK Exam in India: How to Crack

You have to crack the exam with the utmost efficiency to get an HSK certificate (valid for a lifetime). You can ensure that by utilising a few tips and strategies. These would include:

Sincere HSK exam preparation

Keep your focus fixed on the preparation for the exam and aim at achieving as many marks as possible in the exam. The minimum pass marks for HSK level I and II are 120 out of 200. If you plan to appear in higher-level tests, the pass mark is higher. For level III to level VI, you need to score at least 180 out of 300 marks.

Solving HSK exam sample papers

Practising sample papers or previous year’s question papers helps you understand the pattern and trend of questions you will face when taking the test. Complete sample papers within the given time to have an idea about your time management skill. In addition, this will help you identify your strong areas and areas of improvement. You can check sample papers here.

HSK Exam Level I Sample Paper
This image is of a sample paper for HSK Level I
HSK Exam Level III Sample Paper
The image is a page of the HSK Level III sample paper
HSK Exam Level VI Sample Paper
The image is of the HSK Level VI sample paper

You can either choose to study independently by referring to various books, journals, articles, and other resources and preparing for the exam or look for language study centres offering courses for the same. However, having an HSK certificate will surely give you an added advantage when you set your foot in the competitive world of employment. The beginning might seem difficult to you, but nothing is truer than what the Chinese proverb says- “shú néng shēngqiǎo”. 

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