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2019 HSK Guide for Foreigners in Chengdu

The Chinese Proficiency Test or Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) is no stranger to many foreigners living in Chengdu.


The HSK is an international standardized examination to assess standard Chinese proficiency researched, developed and administered by the headquarters of the Confucius Institute and the Office of Chinese Language Council International. It is designed for non-native speakers and mainly used to evaluate the test-taker's aptitude of communicating in Chinese in daily life, study and work scenarios. The structure of the test consists of six levels, with Level 1 being the easiest and Level 6 the hardest. Participants may opt to take the paper-based exam or the online exam.


At present, the HSK has become an objective and valid evaluation standard for Chinese learners in situations or for purposes such as academic grading, studying abroad in China and application for Chinese study abroad scholarship, as well as other functions such as education assessment at schools or employment and promotion at employers.

Below is a guideline to the 2019 HSK for foreigners living in Chengdu:

I. Application

Open the webpage, register an account using your email, log on and then apply. Steps in the application procedure are listed below:

Choose test level, for instance HSK 3

Choose test location: Chinese Mainland - China - Sichuan - Chengdu

Choose test format (and corresponding test site):

Paper-based: Sichuan Business Vocational College, School of Foreign Languages of Southwest Jiaotong University

Online test: Confucius Institute E-Learning Center, Southwest University of Finance and Economics

Choose test date (Attach 2019 HSK test schedule)


Due to holiday, score report release will be postponed one week

Complete your personal info: Name, personal identification document number, contact method and etc.

Upload photo of test-taker and confirm registration info.

Pay application fee. Different HSK levels have different fees.

Application complete. Application confirmation will be sent ten days before the test. If no confirmation was received, be sure to contact the relevant test site.

For more details, please refer to this webpage:

II. Preparation

Self-evaluation: Different HSK levels vary in their difficulty and thus corresponding test contents are different. Take for instance exams above HSK 3, other than Listening and Reading, there is also a Writing section. Therefore, it is important for a test-taker to judge one's own time available for studying Chinese, vocab mastery, usage of Chinese and other aspects.


Review materials: Test-takers are advised to open the webpage and download examination syllabus and sample test paper from the "Download Center" to use as review materials. In addition, it is also possible to access the "Online Bookstore" from said website to purchase the latest examination syllabus, sample test paper, teaching materials and other items to help with test prep.

III. Examination

Hardware: In most cases, test admission certificate may be printed through said website beginning from Monday of the week of the test. On the day of the test, it is mandatory to bring along the test admission certificate and valid personal identification document (the photo ID document used for application) to participate in the test.

Test format: Both paper-based exam and online exam are administered at test centers. For those partaking in the paper-based test, bring 2B pencils (at least two) and an eraser. The online format on the other hand is paper-free and test-takers use mouse and keyboard instead, and the course of the examination is timed automatically.



Test result: Two weeks after an online exam or one month after a paper-based exam, test-takers may check test result by logging onto the website, and filling in test admission certificate number and name.

Score report: The official score report will usually be mailed to the relevant test site about 45 days after the exam. Test-takers may obtain a copy of the report with the relevant test admission certificate. If multiple copies of the report are needed, click on "Apply for Extra Score Report" on for application. HSK scores have a valid period of two years (from the date of the test). 


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