About The HSK

The Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì (HSK) is a standardised Chinese language proficiency test for non-native speakers, such as foreign students and overseas Chinese. Administered by Hanban, an agency affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education, the HSK covers Chinese language proficiency from beginner level through to advanced.


Consisting of six levels, the HSK assesses an individual’s ability to use Chinese language in their everyday life. Furthermore, the test is intended to help individuals prepare for academic and professional settings, making it highly valuable to employers, educational institutions, and other organisations. For foreigners living in China, it is common to find required HSK levels specified in job descriptions, university applications, and more.


Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì

Why The HSK

At Speedy Vocab, our course is designed specifically around the HSK vocabulary lists. These lists are
arranged according to proficiency level, frequency of use, and usefulness. To pass each of the six HSK levels, individuals should be able to:

Basic Communication

Level 1
Words to learn: 150
Hours: ~50

Use simple words and phrases, have basic communication

The HSK 1 test is for those who have just begun learning Chinese and can understand and use simple Chinese sentences. It tests knowledge of the first 150 words and includes simple conversation topics such as telling the time, things you like to do, going places, meeting people, and preparing food.

Find out more about HSK Level 1 here

View all HSK Level 1 vocab here

Exchange Information

Level 2
Words to learn: 300
Hours: ~70

Communicate direct exchanges of information, have a solid grasp of basic Chinese

The HSK 2 test is for learners who have an excellent grasp of communicating in simple and direct terms in Chinese about some everyday activities. It tests knowledge of 300 words (150 level 1 and 150 level 2) and includes topics such as sports, transportation, asking and giving for directions, and describing objects.

Find out more about HSK Level 2 here

View all HSK Level 2 vocab here

Daily life

Level 3
Words to learn: 600
Hours: ~100

Communicate in daily life, including
in academic and professional settings

HSK 3 is designed for learners who have studied Chinese to a level that they can communicate to serve the needs of their personal, studying and working lives. It tests knowledge of 600 words (300 from levels 1 and 2 plus 300 from level 3), covering topics such as emotional expression, parts of the body, abstract locations, and seasons.

Find out more about HSK Level 3 here

View all HSK Level 3 vocab here

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