HSK Exam Reform

The HSK Exams are evolving! 

Many of our students are familiar with the HSK exams – it is a global certificate primarily used by Chinese universities as part of the admissions process for international students, but anyone who would like to begin their journey in Chinese or prefers their learning to be certified, can take part. According to the exam board, Center for Language Education and Cooperation (语合中心), in 2019 alone over 800,000 people took HSK tests globally. 

Since 2009, the exams have comprised 6 levels ranging from a beginner friendly start at Level 1, to an in-depth knowledge near to the native at Level 6. 

As the learners’ ability keeps progressing after Level 6, to ensure that the certificate continues to offer a timely and truthful reflection of the majority of the learners’ proficiency, in 2020, the exam board announced an advanced category from Level 7 – 9. The new levels will take effect officially as of March 2022. 


According to the exam board, no changes will be made to the existing levels until 2023 at the earliest. Until then, all current HSK certificate results are still valid for 2 years. However, in the advanced levels, the same paper will be attempted by all students, and depending on the total marks scored, candidates will be awarded between Level 7-9. 

A small number of our students, who have been with us for the whole of their HSK journeys, are currently at higher intermediate level. It is envisaged that in two years’ time, these students may be in a position to challenge the advanced level. 

While we write, no further information has been announced other than the date, when the changes will come into effect. We are closely watching the situation and aim to update our students with the latest information as the situation progresses.

%d bloggers like this: