If you’ve been planning to study, work or live in China, then you might have heard about the HSK test or the Chinese Proficiency Test. But what is the HSK really all about and what are the benefits of taking the exam?
HSK Meaning and Background
Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK, or 汉语水平考试) is the only standardized Chinese language proficiency test for non-native Chinese speakers. The new HSK test that will be released in 2022, HSK 3, consists of nine levels from one (the easiest) through nine (the most difficult). The old HSK test only contained levels one through six.
Foreigners usually take the test for three purposes:
- to comply with the requirements for admission to a Chinese university;
- to obtain a proficiency certificate for employment or career advancement and;
- to simply test their level of Chinese proficiency.
The HSK test was designed by Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) in 1984. But today, it is now operated by the Chinese Testing International, a national-level agency tasked to promote the Chinese language. Chinese Testing International is owned by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, a non-governmental institution under the direct administration of the Chinese Ministry of Education.
HSK, along with its sister exams such as the HSKK (spoken Chinese), the YCT (young learners) and Business Chinese have been taken by over 100 million times around the world in more than 120 countries.
Regardless of whether you are studying an English-taught program in China or learning Chinese casually, there are numerous benefits of taking the HSK test. Let’s have a look at some of them in the next section!
5 Top Reasons To Take The HSK Test
1. Expand your business opportunities
Are you a budding entrepreneur? Learning Chinese will work to your advantage! Chinese companies and organizations dominate almost all industries in business. If you want to expand your market, win clients or gain important partnerships, knowing how to speak and write Chinese is the first step. Chinese clients will be thrilled by the idea of having a foreign business partner who knows the language, and plenty of Chinese companies are looking to hire foreigners.
2. Clinch a job in a multinational company
Whether you are seeking a job opportunity in your home country or in China, having an HSK certificate will boost your qualifications and give you an edge over other applicants. As previously mentioned, many multinational companies deal with Chinese clients so knowing the ins and outs of the Chinese language will be a great deal of help.
3. Gain admissions into a Chinese university
If you are planning to study in China or pursue higher-level education, the HSK Test is a crucial examination. To be accepted in a Chinese university, you are required to know the basics as well as the advanced levels of Chinese because study visas are granted on the basis of Chinese-level proficiency.
4. Increase your chances of obtaining a Chinese scholarship
Do you want to pursue a degree related to the Chinese language or culture? You can use your HSK test results to apply for the Confucius Institute Scholarship! Passing HSK with good scores shows that you have linguistic aptitude and passion for China, and this increases your chance of getting sponsorship for linguistic-related courses.
If you wish to choose your own major, you need to meet the three main criteria for Chinese scholarships. This includes: outstanding academic performance, aggregate performance, and Chinese language aptitude (HSK written test score must be above 180 and HSKK oral ability test score must be above 75).
You can read more about the Chinese scholarships here.
5. Learn Chinese for personal growth
As the world becomes more interconnected and interdependent, proficiency in other languages has become an essential skill to communicate effectively with the rest of the world.
Passing HSK enables you to connect with the Chinese people, their culture, history, and literature. By knowing all these, you can shed light on the positive and negative aspects of your own culture that you’ve never seen before.
Looking for Motivation?
Now we know the benefits of the HSK certificate, but how do we learn Chinese?
It can be a good idea to learn from other students, Dulguun from Mongolia shares her experiences here.
Pass the HSK with Outstanding Scores!
Top Chinese universities and language institutions in China are offering some of the best online HSK programs to help you pass the HSK with excellent scores.
- Check out the Top 7 Best Apps to learn Chinese here.
- Top Resources for Learning Chinese here.
- 7 Universities with the best Online Chinese Programs here.
- How to self-study Chinese here.
- How long does it take to learn Chinese here.
- Are you ever too old to learn Chinese here.
HSK 3 Is Here From 2022!
Get prepared for the HSK 7, 8, and 9 (new, advanced levels!) with our HSK 7-9 Study Guide.
Learn more from Angela Chen about the changes in the HSK test below: