If you are learning Mandarin or interested in pursuing a Mandarin course in Hong Kong, you might be aware of a test called HSK. But what is the HSK test exactly? How does it work? What’s it used for? And what do you need to know to take the HSK test in Hong Kong?
Have no fear if you are baffled. In this post, we’ll walk you through what the HSK is, its levels, formats, structure, and whether or not you’ll need to take it. We’ll cover every detail of the HSK test in Hong Kong – exam centers, dates, fees. At the end of this article, you should know everything you ever need to register and prepare for the HSK test in Hong Kong.
Let’s jump in!
Table of Contents
- General Information
- What Is the HSK?
- HSK vs Other Mandarin Proficiency Tests
- Who Should Take the HSK?
- Why Take the HSK?
- HSK Levels & Requirements
- HSK Test Structure & Passing Score
- HSK Formats
- HSK Test in Hong Kong
- 2020 HSK Test Dates in Hong Kong
- HSK Registration Deadline & Results Release
- HSK Test Centers in Hong Kong
- HSK Test Fees
- HSK Score Validity
- How to Register for the HSK Test
- HSK Test Preparation
- Determine Your HSK Level
- HSK Practice Tests
- HSK Study Plan
- HSK Preparation Courses in Hong Kong
- HSK Test Day
- Recap: Taking the HSK Test in Hong Kong
What Is the HSK?
HSK is the short form for Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, meaning “Mandarin Proficiency Test” in Chinese.
As the name suggests, HSK is a standardized test designed for non-native Chinese speakers (foreigners, overseas Chinese, and ethnic minorities of China) as a way of certifying their knowledge in Mandarin Chinese. The organizer of HSK is Hanban (汉办/Chinese Language Council International), an affiliation of the Ministry of Education of China that’s also in charge of the Confucius Institutes in Hong Kong and across the globe. HSK scores are primarily used by Chinese universities as part of the admissions process for international students.
Typically, those who take the HSK want to attend university or graduate school in Mainland China. But anyone who wants to assess their proficiency in Mandarin or need to demonstrate a mastery of Mandarin for professional purposes can take the HSK. Test-takers that pass the HSK test will get an HSK certificate at their corresponding level.
The HSK focuses on how Mandarin is used in an academic setting, which is why schools and universities in China use HSK scores for admissions purposes. The reading section in the HSK uses formal, academic language and high-level vocabulary rather than casual or conversational Mandarin.
HSK vs Other Mandarin Proficiency Tests
HSK is a huge deal. This test has been going on for more than 30 years now, and it’s been taken millions of times around the world over 120 countries. Though popular, the HSK is not the only Mandarin proficiency test you can take. Hanban administers several Mandarin proficiency tests for different purposes.
If you just want one authoritative Mandarin proficiency certificate, you’ll most likely end up taking the HSK. But, if you want to prove your speaking skills in Mandarin, the HSK is not the right test for you because it’s a 100% written test predominantly assesses your listening, reading and writing skills, and has no speaking section.
If you’re seeking to certify your proficiency in spoken Mandarin, then you need to take a different test called HSKK (Hanyu Shuiping Kouyu Kaoshi, or “Mandarin Proficiency Spoken Test”) instead. HSKK is a relatively new test organized by Hanban that specifically assesses learners’ pronunciations, tones, clarity, continuity, variety, and fluency in speech. HSKK test is divided into three levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Contrary to popular belief, HSKK is not part of HSK (as the “speaking section”) and can be taken independently at any level.
Business Chinese Test (BCT) is another Mandarin proficiency test. It assesses learners’ communicative skills in a business setting. It allows non-native speaking adults in training or activity to enhance their Mandarin skills in the world of work. This BCT test consists of two relatively independent tests: BCT (Listening & Reading) and BCT (Speaking & Writing). You can sit for one or both of them at a time.
Young Mandarin learners can take the Youth Chinese Test (YCT). It’s a specially adapted version designed for primary and middle school students. The YCT is also divided into two independent tests – spoken and written to test youngsters’ abilities to use Mandarin in their daily and academic lives.
HSK, HSKK, BCT, and YCT are all organized by Hanban and you can take any of these Mandarin proficiency tests in Hong Kong, depending on your age, academic and career needs. The certificates you will obtain are highly respected all over the world. However, if you plan to study or work in Taiwan, you might want to take the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL) instead. TOCFL is Taiwan’s Mandarin Chinese proficiency test. As with the HSK in Mainland China, the TOCFL can be required in some Taiwanese universities and companies. For political reasons, TOCFL is not recognized in Mainland China.
Who Should Take the HSK?
The HSK is intended mainly for students looking to attend a university or graduate school program in Mainland China. But people can also take the HSK for other purposes. You may take the HSK if you want to:
- attend a university program taught in Mandarin in China
- apply for an HSK/Confucius Institute scholarship
- be licensed or certified in a particular field (teacher, translator, interpreter, tour guide…)
- demonstrate your mastery of for employment purposes
- apply for a work permit/visa to work and live in China
- benchmark your progress in Mandarin learning
Any non-native Chinese speakers in Hong Kong can take the HSK test (no citizenship or PR needed). There is no age and education restriction. But, we recommend that students be at least 7th grade (or 14 years of age) before attempting to take a high-level HSK test (Level 5 or 6). These tests require you to read some difficult passages and be familiar with some sophisticated vocabulary and most students are not exposed to this type of language before the 7th grade. Younger learners are recommended to take the YCT (Youth Chinese Test) instead.
Not every college or university in China requires incoming international students to take an HSK. Some schools will waive the need for you to take an HSK test if:
- your program is based on English instead of Mandarin
- you take their college admission exam instead (Mandarin is tested along with other subjects)
- you have earned a diploma or degree from another university in China
Why Take the HSK in Hong Kong?
Many people take the HSK test to further their study in China. Before a university in China accepts you into an academic program, the admissions board needs to know that you can handle the course load of a Mandarin-based program: they use the HSK as a standardized metric for your Mandarin skills.
To be able to follow a class instructed in Mandarin, a decent understanding of the language is needed. Therefore most universities in China require applicants to pass a high-level HSK test such as HSK 5 or HSK 6 for admission to degree programs.
Some schools may want a little more by providing a minimum cutoff score you must earn on the HSK to be accepted, since they have higher academic standards and require students to have a mastery or near-mastery of Mandarin. (We’ll get to HSK levels and scoring in a minute).
You can also apply for scholarships using your HSK test results. The Ministry of Education of China awards scholarships to students who achieve excellent scores on their HSK exam to further their studies in Chinese universities or Confucius Institutes.
For professionals, HSK can be used as proof of language competency for job applications to Chinese companies, joint ventures, and multinationals. When filling up your resume/CV, you cannot simply claim to speak “good enough” Mandarin according to your own estimations, especially if the knowledge of Mandarin is not just a bonus point but a job requirement (for example, a job description might ask for foreign applicants with “HSK5 or better”). In this case, you want to prove it by demonstrating an HSK certificate that is widely recognized.
Besides, the HSK certificate never expires and will always be a good testament to your Mandarin proficiency. Saying it at a job interview will work in your favor and impress your potential employers. Even employers that don’t require knowledge of Mandarin can get a more complete picture of you, knowing your strengths.
Even if you’re currently undecided about your academic or career plans, you might still want to think about taking the test, regardless. This will give you some flexibility for your future, whether or not you think you need an HSK certificate right now.
And if you wish to work in China, the HSK will be very handy when you apply for a work permit in China. China now implements a work permit scoring system through which every foreigner is graded according to their educational background, qualifications, and skills. You need to reach at least 60 points overall in that system to be granted the work permit/visa, and depending on the HSK level acquired, an HSK certificate can provide 1-5 points.
HSK 1=1 work permit point
HSK 2=2 work permit points
HSK 3=3 work permit points
HSK 4=4 work permit Points
HSK 5 or HSK 6= 5 work permit points
(View the official work permit points table)
Outside of the academic and professional realm, the HSK does not seem that important on the surface, but it can still be very useful. It provides an objective assessment of your skills, defining which stage you’re at with your Mandarin learning. Plus, tests are useful study techniques to help you improve quicker. When you take the HSK, you have to recall and apply what you have learned. This process greatly improves your chances of remembering information. The HSK test report also makes your future study sessions more productive by showing what you need to work on next.
HSK Levels & Requirements
The HSK tests how good you are at Mandarin Chinese at 6 levels: HSK 1, HSK 2, HSK 3, HSK 4, HSK 5, and HSK 6. HSK 1 is the lowest level in terms of ability and HSK 6 is the highest. At each level, you either pass or don’t pass.
You don’t have to take the HSK tests in level order, instead, you can choose any level at will. And you can take the same test as many times as may be necessary for obtaining the desired certificate.
That said, you may want to avoid wasting money and time on the wrong HSK test. So, what HSK level are you now? Which level of HSK should you take? Here’s the official guideline from Hanban:
- HSK 1: You can understand and use simple words and phrases
- HSK 2: You can communicate simply and directly on daily topics you are familiar with.
- HSK 3: You can conduct basic communication in daily life, study and work. You can manage most communication when traveling in China.
- HSK 4: You can discuss a relatively wide range of topics in Mandarin and can communicate with native Chinese speakers fluently in common situations.
- HSK 5: You can read Chinese newspapers and magazines, watch Chinese films and TVs, and can write and deliver a full speech.
- HSK 6: You can easily understand what you read and hear, and express yourself smoothly in written and oral Mandarin.
*For HSK 1 and HSK 2 tests, knowledge of Chinese characters is optional because pinyin is provided along with characters on test papers.
The below chart gives an overview of HSK requirements on each level in numbers:
|Level||Words you need to know||Characters you need to know||Correspondence to CEFR (claimed by Hanban)|
|HSK1||150+||150 (optional)||A1 (beginner)|
|HSK2||300+||300 (optional)||A2 (elementary)|
We’ll explain a bit more about the HSK-CEFR correspondence and what your expectations should be when taking the test.
CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is the international standard established by the Council of Europe to assess language learner’s ability to use 40+ Indo-European languages. Hanban claims that the HSK levels have a one to one correspondence to the CEFR levels: HSK’s level 1-6 to CEFR’s A1 (beginner)-C2 (proficient).
However, there have been lots of disputes over this claim. For instance, the Fachverband Chinesisch in Germany (an organization similar to the Confucius Institute) thinks that the HSK6 is only between B2-C1 levels in the CEFR.
We agree with this.
According to the Council of Europe that established the CEFR standard, a person at C2 level should be able to function in the language to the same ability as an educated native speaker. However, we interviewed many learners who had taken HSK5 or HSK6 as well as native Chinese students and teachers, and they unanimously concluded that the 1 to 1 HSK-CEFR correspondence claimed by Hanban is an overestimate.
For starters, knowing 2,500 words is not enough for you to read Chinese newspapers and magazines, and 5,000 words is a low estimate of the vocabulary needed to be considered at an “educated native speaker” level. In fact, the level of Chinese used in Chinese universities is higher than HSK6. (read our report here)
The reason why Hanban made the HSK tests appear more advanced than they really are is simple: to encourage more people to learn Chinese and take the tests! For this, Hanban intentionally made the HSK tests a lot easier than before (the old HSK before 2010 consisted of 11 levels, and the current HSK 6 only corresponds to level 8-9 in the old HSK system, where you needed a vocabulary of 10,000+ words to reach level 11).
So, here is our amended and more objective version of HSK-CEFR Correspondence:
HSK 1=A1- (newbie)
HSK 2=A1+ (basic)
HSK 3=A2 (elementary)
HSK 4=B1 (intermediate)
HSK 5=B2 (upper-intermediate)
HSK 6=C1- (advanced)
You don’t have to be dismayed! Look at it this way: you can get a high-level Mandarin proficiency certificate much easier than before! And that’s not bad at all: HSK 6 is sufficient for most social, academic, and professional contexts, and if you keep on learning from that point, progressing further to total proficiency in Mandarin won’t be too hard.
HSK Test Structure & Passing Score
Depending on its level, an HSK test is 35-130 minutes in length depending on its level.
HSK 1 and HSK 2 are designed for basic Mandarin learners and therefore quite 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 scores of the two sections are then added together for a final, total score of 200 points, and you need to score at least 120 points to pass the tests.
From HSK 3 onwards, all the questions are presented only in Chinese characters. The tests consist of 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 points to pass the tests.
Here’s a chart that summarizes the test structure, time and scoring of each HSK test level:
|Level||Test Structure||Test Time||Test Scoring|
* You’ll be given an extra 5 minutes to fill in your personal information.
After you take the test, the test papers are then mailed back to Hanban headquarters in Beijing. The test center that administers the tests in Hong Kong does not grade the test papers.
At each level, you either pass or don’t pass. To obtain the corresponding HSK certificate, you just need to reach the passing score, and that’s all that matters.
However, if you intend to use your scores to apply to colleges or universities in China, be sure to always look up the requirements for your specific schools and keep the cutoff score in your head as you study for the HSK. As mentioned, some top schools in China may want a bit more than just a passing score.
HSK Formats in Hong Kong
Technically, there are two formats of the HSK test – the internet-based HSK (also known as the computer-based HSK) and the paper-based HSK. However, HSK test centers in Hong Kong currently only offer the HSK test in the paper-based format, as they have yet to meet Hanban’s requirements to conduct the test in the digital format.
Paper-Based HSK Test
You will be required to sit at a desk with the question papers and answer sheets for the listening, reading, and writing sections (level 3-6 only) in an official HSK test center. You will need to write your answers in either 2B-pencil or pen.
2020 HSK Test Dates in Hong Kong
The HSK tests are offered 12 times a year in Hong Kong, which means you have plenty of dates to choose from, so pick the best date for you and your schedule.
The official HSK test dates for 2020 in Hong Kong are:
- Jan 11 (Sat)
- Feb 09 (Sun)
- Mar 21 (Sat)
- Apr 11 (Sat)
- May 09 (Sat)
- Jun 14 (Sun)
- Jul 12 (Sun)
- Aug 23 (Sun)
- Sep 19 (Sat)
- Oct 17 (Sat)
- Nov 21 (Sat)
- Dec 06 (Sun)
As you can see, the HSK tests are all administered on weekends, with no exception. HSK levels 2, 4, 6 usually start at 9 am and HSK levels 1, 3, 5 usually start at 1:30 pm.
HSK Registration Deadline & Results Release
The registration deadlines for the HSK tests in Hong Kong are 4 weeks before their respective test dates.
Here are the details of the HSK registration deadline and results release for 2020.
|Test Dates||Registration Deadline||Score Release|
|Jan 11 (Sat)||Dec 15, 2019||Feb 18|
|Feb 09 (Sun)||Jan 13||Mar 09|
|Mar 21 (Sat)||Feb 23||Apr 21|
|Apr 11 (Sat)||Mar 15||May 11|
|May 09 (Sat)||Apr 12||Jun 09|
|Jun 14 (Sun)||May 18||Jul 14|
|Jul 12 (Sun)||Jun 15||Aug 12|
|Aug 23 (Sun)||Jul 27||Sep 23|
|Sep 19 (Sat)||Aug 23||Oct 26|
|Oct 17 (Sat)||Sep 20||Nov 17|
|Nov 21 (Sat)||Oct 25||Dec 21|
|Dec 06 (Sun)||Nov 09||Jan 06, 2021|
Your HSK test score will be available online at the HSK website one month after the test date, with the exceptions of the test dates before the Chinese New Year and National Day Holiday (Jan 11, Sep 19). For these two tests, the release of score reports will be postponed by another week. The physical test report, on the other hand, will be sent to your test center 1-2 months after the test date, and you should be notified either by email or telephone for a pickup.
A Note on HSK Registration Dates and Deadlines
Though the test dates are already fixed for the entire year, most test centers in Hong Kong won’t allow you to register for the test far ahead of your test date (registration usually begins 3-4 months before the test date).
Also, take note that not all test centers in Hong Kong administer HSK tests at every level on every test date. How often your test center gives the HSK at your level depends on their funding and on how popular it is. Always double-check with your test center to see your available test dates.
Once you decide on your test date, it’s always better to register early than late, because most test centers have limited seating. Registration will always be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached. Besides, if you experience technical glitch registering online at the last minute, Hanban will not be able to make accommodations for you.
If you intend to use your HSK scores to apply to colleges or universities in China, you’ll need to schedule your HSK test date around your application deadlines. Make sure you read our tips on how to pick the right HSK test date for you.
HSK Test Centers in Hong Kong
As of 2020, there are 5 authorized HSK test centers in Hong Kong, all of which offer the paper-based HSK test.
Here’s the complete list of the 5 official HSK test centers in Hong Kong.
1. HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education
Address: HKU SPACE, 11/F, Fortress Tower, 250 King’s Road, Fortress Hill, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3762 0805
3. Confucius Institute of Hong Kong
Address: Room A204, Core A, Chung Sze Yuen Bldg, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3400 3620, +852 3400 3263
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Discovery Bay International School
Address: Discovery Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 2987 7331
5. Yale-China Chinese Language Centre
Address: Fong Shu Chuen Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3943 6727
The HSK tests in Hong Kong are offered exclusively in the paper-pencil format. If you find it hard to write characters physically in the writing section of the HSK test (level 3-6), you can consider taking the test in the computer-based format in Shenzhen. (Find out HSK test centers in Shenzhen)
HSK Test Fees in Hong Kong
The price of the HSK test will vary depending on the level that you sign up for. For 2020 HSK tests in Hong Kong, the fees (in HKD) are 200 (Level 1), 300 (Level 2), 400 (Level 3), 500 (Level 4), 700 (Level 5) and 800 (Level 6).
|Test||Price in HKD|
The HSK test fees are the same across Hong Kong, though some test centers may charge an additional administration fee or postage fee. Some test centers allow payment online while others will require you to pay in person. You can make a quick call or send an email to your test center to find out their policy if needed.
HSK Score Validity
The HSK certificate has permanent validity. It’s like a diploma. Once you receive it, it becomes your property and is valid for a lifetime.
However, if you wish to use your HSK scores to apply to a college or university in China, your HSK scores are valid for two years only from the date you take the test. The HSK score validity period is fairly short to ensure schools have accurate and current information about your Mandarin skills.
How to Register for the HSK Test in Hong Kong
The registration process for the HSK tests is simple and straightforward.
The easiest way to register for the HSK test in Hong Kong is with your HSK account on the test website. It allows you to register 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Follow our guide here if you are not familiar with the procedure.
HSK Test Preparation in Hong Kong
Now that you know what HSK is used for and what it tests, we’ll cover a few tips to do well on the test. Even if your Mandarin 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.
So let’s go through a few HSK tips.
#1: Determine What HSK Level You Need to Take
If you’re taking the HSK test to attend a university in China, make sure you know the exact HSK level requirement for each school you are applying to. Most universities in China require their applicants to pass HSK5 for admission to degree programs, but some may want a little more or less. They might also waive the requirement if you meet other criteria.
First, make a list of all the Chinese universities to which you want to apply. Next, go directly to their websites or Google “[school name] + international admissions.”
Almost always, the first link that pops up will be the page you’re looking for. Here, you can check to see their HSK level/score requirements and other policies. If the school doesn’t say them clearly on the admissions page, then contact the school’s admissions office directly. After all, you don’t want to study and pay for a test if your school of choice won’t accept it!
If you’re taking the HSK test for employment purposes, you might want to skip the low-level HSK tests (1-3) and aim for higher levels (4-6). For the certificate to work, it’s common to aim for the highest levels: Level 5 or 6.
Well, if you simply want to assess your Mandarin skills in a formal setting and have some time to spare, you are free to take whatever level test and as many times as you like. But you might want to take a free practice test first to find your current level (and save money!)
#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.
You can visit the Hanban website and download the official HSK practice tests (available at all levels) in PDF format for free.
We’ve also created a few highly helpful HSK practice tests with extremely realistic HSK questions on our website. Check out ImproveMandarin HSK Channel.
Best Books to Help Prepare for the HSK test
You can also purchase HSK preparation books published in China that include access to practice tests on Amazon.com. Our top recommendations are:
-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)
-New HSK Mock Tests
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: 新汉语水平考试模拟试题集
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, 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, YouTube videos in Mandarin. Read news articles, magazines, books, or blogs written in Chinese. See if you can find someone with whom you can practice speaking Mandarin regularly. 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.
#4: Attend an HSK Preparation Course
If you find it challenging to study for the HSK on your own, why not take an HSK preparation course in Hong Kong? 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 Hong Kong
A few institutions in Hong Kong arrange high-quality HSK preparation courses, and here are our top topics:
1. Mandarin House Hong Kong
Mandarin House is one of the most reputable Chinese language schools in China. They are recognized by the Ministry of Education of China as an official HSK test center (Shanghai) and received the “World Language Provider Star Award” from Study Travel Magazine in 2009 and 2013. Mandarin House offers HSK preparation course in both small groups and 1-1 private tutoring in their Hong Kong school.
2. Q Language
Q Language is a well-established language school in Hong Kong with over 20 years of history. Their HSK preparation course, taught by experienced native-Mandarin teachers, aims to help you improve your Mandarin skills needed for the test as well as to equip you with a practical understanding of the Chinese language, cultural aspects and the nuances needed to communicate on all levels.
3. New Concept Mandarin
New Concept Mandarin is a popular Mandarin and respected Mandarin school in Hong Kong. They have many years of experience in helping learners of all ability levels pass HSK tests. Their HSK preparation course can be both classroom and online-based.
#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 Hong Kong
HSK is the world’s most authoritative Mandarin proficiency test. Any non-native Chinese speakers, regardless of their nationality, age, education can take the HSK test if they’re interested in certifying their knowledge of Mandarin for self-improvement, study opportunities in China and career enhancement.
It’s easy to take the HSK test in Hong Kong with 5 authorized test centers in the city and 12 test dates a year. You can choose to take an HSK test from 6 existing levels (HSK 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) in the paper-based format, and can take the test as many times as you want to. The HSK certificate has permanent validity (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 Hong Kong to help you crush the test.