HSK Test in Guangzhou: The Ultimate Guide for 2024

HSK test in Guangzhou

Are you thinking about taking the HSK test in Guangzhou? Good call!

Half the battle of taking a standardized test like the HSK (aka the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) is in understanding it. This guide is designed to cover every part of the HSK in Guangzhou, from the core fundamentals – its levels, formats, structures, to test centers, dates, fees, and registration process, to strategies for you to do well on the test day.  

Combine this guide with some HSK practice and you are well on your way to success.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

The Basics of HSK

Regardless of whether you’re just starting to study for the HSK in Guangzhou, or if you’re about to take it for the 6th time, the more you know about the test, the better prepared you’ll be. 

Starting with the basics, we’ll cover all major aspects of the HSK in depth throughout the guide (and other places on ImproveMandarin). 

Explore the chapters.

What Is the HSK? Why Is It Important? 

You can’t dive into the HSK if you don’t know what it is about. This chapter is written for those unfamiliar with the HSK. Learn what the HSK is, why it matters, and whether or not you need to take the HSK in the first place. If you are curious, read a bit more about the history of the HSK.

What Are the HSK Levels? 

The HSK is made up of six levels. If you choose the wrong HSK level, you’ll just waste your money and time. This chapter shows how the HSK levels are defined, how to work out your HSK level and determine which test level to take or study for.

HSK Requirements

Are you taking HSK as part of a school application? Make sure you know the exact HSK level requirement for each school you are applying to. This chapter shows what top universities in China are requesting.

HSK Testing Formats

There are two formats of the HSK test: internet-based HSK and paper-based HSK. Both have advantages and disadvantages. This chapter helps you decide which HSK format to take through a head-to-head comparison.  

HSK Test in Guangzhou

HSK exam centers Guangzhou

Now that you know what HSK is used for and what it tests, let’s take a look at how actually you can take the HSK test in Guangzhou.

Test Dates & Registration Deadlines

Like anywhere else in China, the HSK tests are conducted 11 times a year in Guangzhou, so you have plenty of dates to choose from. This chapter lists all the HSK test dates, registration deadlines, and results release dates for 2024 and teaches you how to pick the best date for you and your schedule.

HSK Test Centers in Guangzhou

It’s easy to take the HSK test in Guangzhou with 10 authorized HSK test centers across the city, and all of them offer the option of the internet-based HSK test. Find all their locations and contact details in this chapter. We’ve also come up with a few tips to help you decide which center you should go to ace the exam.

Register for the HSK in Guangzhou

The easiest way to register for the HSK test in Guangzhou is with your HSK account on the test website. It allows you to register 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Follow this chapter to complete your HSK registration online.

HSK Test Preparation in Guangzhou

HSK prep in Guangzhou

Perhaps most important is how you prepare for the HSK, so let’s go through a few HSK tips for you to do well on the test in Guangzhou. Even if your Chinese skills are well above average, it’s a good idea to incorporate a few tips and strategies into your studying and test-taking. That way you can bring your “A” game on test day. 

#1: Understand the HSK Test Structure

Knowing how the HSK is structured is the first step to conquering it.

HSK 1 and HSK 2 are designed for basic Chinese learners and therefore fairly short. The tests consist of only two sections: listening and reading. Each section is broken down into a number of questions in the form of multiple choices. Questions are presented in both pinyin and characters. There is no writing section.

Each section is scored out of 100. The two section scores are then added together for a final, total score of 200 points, and you need to score at least 120 to pass the tests.

From HSK 3 onwards, all the questions are presented in Chinese characters only. The tests are broken up into three sections: listening, reading (all multiple choices), and writing. The total score is 300 (100 each for listening, reading, and writing sections), and you need to score at least 180 to pass the tests.

Here’s a chart that summarizes the test structure, time, and scoring of each HSK test level:

LevelTest Structure     Test TimeTest Scoring 
 Listening Reading Writing  FullPass
 QuestionsTimeQuestionsTimeItemsTime   
HSK12018mins2017minsNone/35mins200120
HSK23528mins2522minsNone/50mins200120
HSK34040mins3030mins1015mins85mins300180
HSK44535mins4040mins1525mins100mins300180
HSK54535mins4545mins1040mins120mins300180
HSK65040mins5050mins145mins135mins300180

Check out below for a comprehensive detail for each of the HSK test sections and items.

– HSK 1 Test Structure 
– HSK 2 Test Structure
HSK 3 Test Structure
HSK 4 Test Structure
HSK 5 Test Structure
– HSK 6 Test Structure

#2: Take HSK Practice Tests

To get a better idea of your current HSK level and how much you’ll need to study for the HSK test, it’ll be smart to take some practice tests. That way, you can see where your current areas of strength and weakness are and see how the test works before you take the official HSK.

We’ve created quite a few HSK practice tests (for all six levels) on our website using real questions from past HSK exams. Try them out online or download and print out the paper edition. They require no registration and are completely free.

Best HSK Prep Books

Now that you live in Guangzhou, you can also purchase HSK preparation books that include access to practice tests in bookstores or on Taobao.com. Here are our top picks:

-Official Examination Papers of HSK (2018 Version)
This book series is published by People’s Education Press and is available at all 6 HSK levels. Each book consists of five retired HSK tests at the respective level, accompanied by an audio CD for the listening section and detailed answers.
Book name in Chinese: 汉语水平考试真题集(2018版)
Price: 45.00-85.00 RMB depending on the level

HSK Simulation Tests (2nd Edition)
This book series published by Beijing Language and Culture University Press contains 10 mock tests with realistic questions at each level. The books come complete with an audio CD and answers.
Book name in Chinese: 汉语水平考试模拟试题集(第2版)
Price: 32.00-65.00 RMB depending on the level

Where to Get Them in Guangzhou

  • New Page Foreign Bookstore
    Located on the B1 floor of the Guangzhou Book Center, New Page has a good collection of books for learning Chinese.
    Address: No 123 Tianhe Road, Guangzhou
    Open hours: 10:00-21:30 Mon-Fri & 9:30-21:30 Sat-Sun

Once you’ve got a practice test and are ready to take it, try to recreate a real testing environment as closely as possible: find a slightly noisy place to take your test in (this is important since the keyboard hit sound can get quite loud in the computer-based test, and in some test centers, paper-based tests and computer-based tests take place in the same testing room), and time yourself using official time limits.

#3: Make a Weekly HSK Study Plan

Look at your daily and weekly schedules and see how many hours a week you can spend studying for the HSK. Even if your HSK date isn’t for several months, you’ll still want to try to budget at least 4-6 hours of studying Mandarin each week. 

Studying Mandarin doesn’t always have to mean textbooks and grammar drills. If you don’t use much Mandarin in your daily life, then start incorporating the language into your daily routine bit by bit. 

Watch TV shows, movies, and YouTube videos in Mandarin. Read news articles, magazines, books, or blogs in Mandarin. See if you can find a Chinese tutor or friend to practice speaking Mandarin. They are just as important as sitting down and studying grammar and vocabulary.

Learning and retaining a language happens over time, and you can’t really cram for it or just study for one or two hours a week. It’s a good rule of thumb to study at least one hour each day, five days per week.

Learn More: Best HSK Study & Prep Resources

#4: Attend an HSK Preparation Course

HSK preparation course Guangzhou

If you find it challenging to study for the HSK on your own, why not take an HSK preparation course in Guangzhou? A good teacher familiar with the HSK structure can save you considerable time and effort. You will learn the exact grammar structures, vocabulary and sentence patterns you need to put you in great shape going into your HSK Test.

Best HSK Preparation Courses in Guangzhou

A few institutions in Guangzhou run the special HSK preparation course, and here are our top recommendations:

1. Easy Chinese Language Learning Center
Easy Chinese’s short-term intensive HSK preparation class in Guangzhou aims to help students pass the HSK test with ease. The school is one of the ten official HSK test centers in Guangzhou offering computer-based tests.
Cost: starts from 180CNY/hour for 1-1 tutoring
Link: www.easychinese.com.cn

2. Expat Chinese
Founded and operated by a professional foreign Chinese language teacher from Finland, Expat Chinese’s main strength is understanding HSK test-takers’ needs and possible struggles from a foreign learner’s perspective.
Cost: varies depending on how many hours you sign up. Enquire the school for details.
Link: expatchinese.com

#5: Relax on the Test Day

The HSK is a test but it’s not the be-all and end-all. If you’re relaxed, you will be far more likely to do well, and if you fail, you can always retake the test after more study.

One of the best ways to help yourself relax is to make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before, eat a good breakfast, arrive at the test center at least half an hour before the test and make sure you study enough past papers to let you know what to expect. Being familiar with the structure, timing and content of the test will help to put you at ease.

Also, drink enough water before and during your test to stay hydrated, so you won’t feel weary and lose your concentration.

Recap: Taking the HSK Test in Guangzhou

taking HSK exam in Guangzhou

The HSK is the world’s most popular test of Chinese as a foreign language. Any non-native Chinese speakers can take the HSK test if they’re interested in assessing their proficiency in Mandarin. An HSK certificate can greatly boost your academic and career potential.

It’s easy to take the HSK test in Guangzhou with 10 authorized test centers in the city and 11 test dates a year. You can choose to take an HSK test from 6 existing levels (HSK 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and 2 formats (internet-based, paper-based), and can take the test as many times as you wish. The HSK certificate is valid for a lifetime (if you’re taking the HSK as part of a school application, then the scores are valid for two years).

To pass the HSK, you need to accurately determine your level, take some practice tests, make a study plan, stick to it, study hard, relax on the test day and let your instincts flow. If needed, you can take an HSK preparation course in Guangzhou or hire an online Chinese tutor to help you ace the exam.

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