HSK seminar 4 November 2021: Old HSK versus New HSK

HSK, China’s Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, is an international Chinese proficiency test that was established to test the Chinese proficiency of non-native Chinese speakers. HSK is a standardized language proficiency test like TOEFL and IELTS for English and JLPT for Japanese. The HSK test was designed and implemented by the Chinese Proficiency Test Centre of Beijing Language and Culture University in 1989. The current HSK version, HSK 2.0, was developed by Hankao International and has been in use since 2009.

The HSK can be aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), making it simple to understand your Chinese level using the more frequently used A1, A2, etc. framework. The current HSK system has 6 levels for the paper tests and new standards will be implemented.

Will HSK change?

HSK will be increased with the addition of HSK levels 7-9, while maintaining the stability of the existing 6 levels of examinations. This will form a “Three Stages and Nine Levels” test grading system. No adjustment will be made to the current HSK level 1-6. There is no change in the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (Chinese Proficiency Test) for the time being, however, some new Chinese Language Proficiency Standards will be introduced within the coming year(s). The more advanced levels 7-8-9 will be added in the future.

The official answer of Hankao International is: ‘The HSK test will extend the development of the HSK Advanced 7-9 test on the premise of ensuring the stability of the HSK 1-6 test. It is currently under development. For more information, please pay attention to the Chinese test service website and the Official Hankao International media, subject to official information.

New HSK 3.0

HSK 3.0 will introduce tiers of proficiency. Levels 1-2-3 are elementary Chinese. Levels 4 and 5 are intermediate level. 6 is considered intermediate to advanced level. Due to future developments in trade, economics and diplomacy, a more advanced level Chinese is required for students to have full proficiency. The most advanced and new levels 7-8-9 will be added in the future. Some new Chinese Language Proficiency Standards will be introduced within the upcoming year.

HSK levels 1-6: will they be more difficult?

Not necessarily. Because of the increased standards, there is a common misunderstanding that the new HSK will be more difficult, although this is speculation that Hankao International has never confirmed.

In conclusion, HSK levels 7-8-9 will be added to the existing HSK system. There will be no change to the current HSK levels 1-6. All requirements you can find online for the new HSK are not officially released. Nothing is official until further confirmation.

We will keep everyone updated as soon as we know more from Hankao International.



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