HSK Test in Shanghai: The Complete, Definitive Guide for 2021

HSK test Shanghai

If you are learning Chinese or interested in pursuing a Chinese course in Shanghai, chances are you have heard about a test called the HSK. But what is the HSK test exactly? How does it work? What can you use it for? And what do you need to know to take the HSK test in Shanghai?  

Have no fear if you are overwhelmed. In this guide, we’ll walk you through what the HSK is, its levels, formats, structure, and whether or not you’ll need to take it. You’ll find all the details about the HSK test in Shanghai – test centers, dates, fees, and everything you need to know to register and prepare for the HSK test in Shanghai.

Let’s jump in!

Table of Contents

What is the HSK?

HSK Shanghai

HSK is short for Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (汉语水平考试), which means “Mandarin Proficiency Test” in Chinese. It’s a standardized test that measures test-taker’s mastery of the Chinese language. The organizer of HSK is Hanban (汉办), an affiliation of the Chinese Ministry of Education also in charge of the Confucius Institutes. 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 China. But anyone who wants to assess where they’re with Mandarin or need to demonstrate a mastery of Mandarin for professional purposes can take the HSK.

The HSK focuses on how Chinese 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 Chinese. 

HSK vs Other Chinese 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 it’s popular, the HSK is not the only test of Mandarin as a foreign language. Hanban manages several tests for Mandarin as a foreign language for different purposes.

If you want just one authoritative Chinese language 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 concerned with listening, reading and writing and has no speaking section.

If you’re seeking to benchmark your progress in spoken Chinese, then you need to take the Mandarin Proficiency Spoken Test (HSKK) instead of the HSK. The HSKK tests pronunciations, tones, clarity, continuity, variety, and fluency in speech. It serves as an objective way to measure learner’s overall speaking ability in real life.

Business Chinese Test (BCT) is another Chinese language proficiency test for Chinese learners in a business setting. This BCT test consists of two relatively independent tests: BCT (Listening & Reading) and BCT (Speaking & Writing). The candidates can sit for one or both of them at a time. The BCT tests everyday and business language, rather than academic language, and so is more appropriate for work environments. 

Young Chinese learners can take the Youth Chinese Test (YCT), which is specifically 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 Chinese in their daily and academic lives.

HSK, HSKK, BCT, and YCT are all managed by Hanban and you can take any of these Chinese proficiency tests in Shanghai, depending on your academic and career goal. The tests are recognized worldwide except in Taiwan. If you plan to study or work in Taiwan, you may 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 obvious reasons, TOCFL is not recognized in the Mainland.

Who Should Take the HSK?

The HSK is intended mainly for students looking to attend a university or graduate school program in China. But people can also take the HSK for other purposes. Those who may take the HSK include:

  • Students attending Mandarin-based university programs in China
  • Students applying for an HSK scholarship
  • People who are looking to be licensed or certified in a particular field
  • People who need to demonstrate their mastery of Mandarin for employment purposes
  • People who need to apply for a work permit in China
  • Those who simply want to benchmark their progress in Chinese learning

Any non-native Chinese speakers can take the HSK test. There is no age restriction. But, we recommend that students be at least 7th grade (or 14 years of age) before attempting to take the high-level HSK tests (Level 5-6). The 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 Chinese 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 earned a diploma or degree from another Chinese university
study in Shanghai

Why Take the HSK in Shanghai?

If you are a student, before a Chinese university 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 Chinese skills.

To be able to follow a class instructed primarily in Chinese, a fair understanding of the language is needed. Therefore most universities in China require applicants to pass a high-level HSK test such as HSK5 or HSK6 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 Chinese. (We’ll get to HSK levels and scoring in a minute).

You can also apply for scholarships using your HSK test results. The Chinese Ministry of Education award scholarships to students interested in studying at Confucius Institutes or Chinese universities who achieve excellent scores on their HSK exam.

For professionals, the HSK opens doors to a wide range of job opportunities around the globe and supports career advancement. An HSK certificate is a useful proof of language competency for job applications to Chinese companies and multi-nationals (for example, a job description might ask for foreign applicants with “HSK5 or better”). And the certificate never expires and will always be a good testament to your Chinese proficiency. Saying it at a job interview or mentioning it on your resume/CV will work in your favor and impress your potential employers. Even employers that don’t require Mandarin proficiency can get a more complete picture of you, knowing your strengths.

Even if you’re currently undecided about your 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.

Plus, the HSK is useful when you apply for a work permit in China. China now uses a work permit scoring system through which every foreigner is graded according to their qualifications and skills. You need to reach at least 60 points in that system to be granted the work permit and visa in China, and depending on the level acquired, an HSK certificate can get you 1-5 points. (View the official work permit points table)

work in Shangahai

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 Chinese 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 Chinese at 6 levels: HSK1, HSK2, HSK3, HSK4, HSK5, and HSK6. HSK1 is the easiest and HSK6 is the most difficult. At each level, you either pass or don’t pass.

It’s not required to take the HSK tests in level sequence. You can register for any level and take the test as many times as you like to.

That said, you may want to avoid wasting money and time on the wrong HSK test. So, what HSK level are you now? Which HSK level test should you take? Here’s the official guideline from Hanban:

  • HSK1: You can understand and use simple words and phrases
  • HSK2: You can communicate simply and directly on daily topics you are familiar with.
  • HSK3: You can conduct basic communication in daily life, study and work. You can manage most communication when traveling in China.
  • HSK4: You can discuss a relatively wide range of topics in Chinese and can communicate with native Chinese speakers fluently in common situations.
  • HSK5: You can read Chinese newspapers and magazines, watch Chinese films and TVs, and can write and deliver a full speech.
  • HSK6: You can easily understand what you read and hear, and express yourself smoothly in written and oral Chinese.

*For HSK1 and HSK2 tests, knowledge of Chinese characters is optional because pinyin is provided along with characters on test papers.

The following table 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)
HSK3 600+ 600 B1 (intermediate)
HSK4 1200+ 1000 B2 (upper-intermediate)
HSK5 2500+ 1500 C1 (advanced)
HSK6 5000+ 2500 C2 (proficient)

Don’t be overwhelmed! The HSK is known to be easier than other official language tests, such as the TOEFL exam for English learners or the DELE exam for Spanish ones.

We’ll explain a bit more about HSK-CEFR correlation 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+ 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 HSK-CEFR correlation 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 sound more awesome 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 HSK6 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 Correlations:

HSK1=A1- (newbie)
HSK2=A1+ (basic)
HSK3=A2 (elementary)
HSK4=B1 (low-intermediate)
HSK5=B2- (intermediate)
HSK6=C1- (upper-intermediate)

Don’t be dismayed either! Look at it this way: you can get a high-level Chinese proficiency certificate much easier than before! And that’s not bad at all: HSK6 is sufficient for most social, academic, and professional contexts, and if you keep on learning from that point, progressing further to total proficiency in Chinese won’t be too hard.

A single advanced HSK test for levels 7-9 is scheduled to be added to the current HSK system in 2021 or later. Meanwhile, no change will be made to the existing HSK tests for levels 1-6. Read updates on the New HSK here)

HSK level progress

HSK Test Structure & Passing Grade 

An HSK test is 35-130 minutes in duration depending on the level.

HSK1 and HSK2 are designed for basic Chinese 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 (all 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 HSK3 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 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  
  Listening   Reading   Writing     Full Grade Pass Grade
  Questions Time Questions Time Items Time      
HSK1 20 18mins 20 17mins Not tested / 35mins 200 120
HSK2 35 28mins 25 22mins Not tested / 50mins 200 120
HSK3 40 40mins 30 30mins 10 15mins 85mins 300 180
HSK4 45 35mins 40 40mins 15 25mins 100mins 300 180
HSK5 45 35mins 45 45mins 10 40mins 120mins 300 180
HSK6 50 40mins 50 50mins 1 passage 45mins 135mins 300 180

* You’ll be given an extra 5 minutes to fill in your personal information.

After you take the test, the test papers are then submitted (or mailed back, if paper-based) to Hanban headquarters in Beijing. The test centers that administer the tests do not grade the test papers.

As we mentioned before, at each level, you either pass or don’t pass. To obtain the HSK certificate, you just need to reach the passing score – that’s all that matters.

But, if you’re taking the HSK as part of school applications, 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.

pass HSK exam

HSK Formats

There are two different formats of the HSK – the internet-based HSK (also known as computer-based HSK) and the traditional paper-based HSK. For both formats, you need to go to a physical HSK test center (though the name “internet-based” may suggest it, there is no way you can take the test on your own computer at home).

The internet-based HSK is the more popular choice nowadays, however, not all HSK test centers in Shanghai have the facilities to conduct the HSK in this format.

The internet and paper-based HSK tests are identical in difficulty level, test content, and scoring criteria. The only difference is that if you take the internet-based HSK, questions will be presented on a computer screen and you will be required to submit answers through the use of a keyboard and a mouse. 

Generally, we recommend you to take the HSK on computer over paper if you are signing up for HSK level 3-6, as you don’t have to physically write every character in the writing section, which can be hard for many learners. But the paper-based version also has advantages such as note-taking and section-skipping (read here for a full comparison of the two formats). If you feel more comfortable taking a test with paper and pencil, then we encourage you to do it.

In case you are wondering, universities and employers in China don’t have any preference in which format that applicants take the HSK, and you can crush the test with flying colors in either format.

2021 HSK Test Dates in Shanghai

HSK dates Shangahai

The HSK tests are offered 14 times a year in Shanghai, which means you have plenty of dates to choose from, so pick the best date for you and your schedule.

Here are the official HSK test dates for 2021.

Test Dates Internet-based HSK Paper-based HSK
Jan 09 (Sat) y (yes) y
Feb 06 (Sat) y y
Mar 07 (Sun) y  
Mar 20 (Sat) y y
Apr 10 (Sat) y y
May 15 (Sat) y y
Jun 19 (Sat) y y
Jul 18 (Sun) y y
Aug 22 (Sun) y y
Sep 11 (Sat) y y
Oct 17 (Sun) y y
Nov 06 (Sat) y  
Nov 20 (Sat) y y
Dec 05 (Sun) y y

As you can see, the HSK tests are all administered on a Saturday or Sunday, 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.

Note that on March 07 and November 06, the HSK tests are offered exclusively in the digital format. If you are a die-hard paper and pencil fan, take the test on other dates.

HSK Registration Deadline & Results Release

The registration deadlines for the internet-based HSK tests are 10 days before their respective test dates, while for the paper-based HSK, you must register 4+ weeks ahead of time.

Here are the details of the HSK registration deadline and results release for 2021.

Internet-based HSK

Test Dates (Internet) Registration Deadline Score Release
Jan 09 (Sat) Dec 20, 2020 Jan 25
Feb 06 (Sat) Jan 27 Mar 01
Mar 07 (Sun) Feb 25 Mar 22
Mar 20 (Sat) Mar 10 Apr 05
Apr 10 (Sat) Mar 31 Apr 26
May 15 (Sat) May 05 May 31
Jun 19 (Sat) Jun 09 Jul 05
Jul 18 (Sun) Jul 08 Aug 02
Aug 22 (Sun) Aug 12 Sep 06
Sep 11 (Sat) Sep 01 Sep 27
Oct 17 (Sun) Oct 07 Nov 01
Nov 06 (Sat) Oct 27 Nov 22
Nov 20 (Sat) Nov 10 Dec 06
Dec 05 (Sun) Nov 25 Dec 20

If you take the internet-based HSK test, your HSK test score will be available online at the HSK website two weeks after the test date, with the exception of the test date before the Chinese New Year (Feb 06). For this date, 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.

Paper-based HSK

Test Dates (paper) Registration Deadline Score Release
Jan 09 (Sat) Dec 13, 2020 Feb 09
Feb 06 (Sat) Jan 10 Mar 13
Mar 20 (Sat) Feb 21 Apr 20
Apr 10 (Sat) Mar 14 May 17
May 15 (Sat) Apr 18 Jun 15
Jun 19 (Sat) May 23 Jul 19
Jul 18 (Sun) Jun 21 Aug 18
Aug 22 (Sun) Jul 26 Sep 22
Sep 11 (Sat) Aug 15 Oct 18
Oct 17 (Sun) Sep 20 Nov 17
Nov 20 (Sat) Oct 24 Dec 20
Dec 05 (Sun) Nov 08 Jan 05, 2022

You can view your score reports online at the HSK website one month after you take the paper-based HSK test, with the exceptions of the test dates before the Chinese New Year, May Day Holiday, and National Day Holiday (Feb 06, Apr 10, Sep 11). For these three tests, the release of score reports will be postponed by another week. The physical score reports are mailed to your test center 1-2 months after the test day. 

A Note on HSK Registration Dates and Deadlines

Though the test dates are already fixed for the entire year, most test centers 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 Shanghai 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, so 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 test centers all 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’re taking the HSK as part of a school application, 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 Shanghai

HSK exam centers Shanghai

It’s extremely easy to take the HSK test in Shanghai. As of 2021, there are 32 authorized HSK test centers across 11 districts in Shanghai, and 25 of them offer the test-taker friendly internet-based HSK test.

The districts where you can take the HSK test in Shanghai are Baoshan, Changning, Hongkou, Huangpu, Jing’an, Minhang, Pudong, Putuo, Songjiang, and Xuhui.

If you’re an international student in Shanghai, there’s likely an HSK test center at your university. You can have the opportunity to visit the testing site ahead of time to feel it out, and even find time to take some practice tests in that very building!

If you are not a student but just work or live in Shanghai, you can easily sign up for the HSK test at a Chinese language school or educational institution authorized to administer the tests in Shanghai, for example, Mandarin House, Mandarin Morning, Miracle Morning, to name a few. They are all centrally located in the city.

We’ve compiled a full list of the 32 HSK test centers in Shanghai on this page.

Now, choosing an HSK test center is actually not as simple as picking the one closest to you. You can be more strategic in your choice. We’ve come up with a few tips here to help you decide which center you should go to ace the HSK exam.

HSK Test Fees

The price of the HSK test will vary depending on the level that you sign up for. For 2021 HSK tests in Shanghai, the fees (in CNY) are 150 (Level 1), 250 (Level 2), 350 (Level 3), 450 (Level 4), 550 (Level 5) and 650 (Level 6).

Test Price in CNY
HSK1 150
HSK2 250
HSK3 350
HSK4 450
HSK5 550
HSK6 650

The fees are the same for both the internet-based HSK and the paper-based HSK at any test center in Shanghai and across China.

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 forever.

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 Chinese skills.

How to Register for the HSK Test in Shanghai

The registration process for the HSK tests is easy and straightforward. If you are not sure how to register for the HSK test in Shanghai, read our guide here.

HSK Test Preparation in Shanghai

HSK preparation Shanghai

Now that you know what HSK is used for and what it tests, we’ll let you in on a few tips to do well on the test in Shanghai. 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. 

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 Chinese 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.

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

Best Books to Help Prepare for the HSK Test

Now that you live in Shanghai, you can also purchase HSK preparation books that include access to practice tests in bookstores or on Taobao.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)
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

Bookstores in Shanghai for Buying HSK Books (and other Chinese language learning books)

  • Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore
    The closest thing you’ll find to whatever mega bookstore you know from your home country.
    Address: No 390 Fuzhou Road, Huangpu District
    Open hours: 10:00-18:30 daily
  • Shanghai Book City
    The biggest bookstore in Shanghai. You can find many books for learning Chinese on the 4th floor.
    Add: No 465 Fuzhou Road, Huangpu District
    Open hours: 9:30-21:00 daily

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, YouTube videos in Mandarin. Read news articles, magazines, books, or blogs in Mandarin. See if you can find someone with whom you can 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.

#4: Attend an HSK Preparation Course

Shanghai HSK course

If you find it challenging to study for the HSK on your own, why not take an HSK preparation course in Shanghai? 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 Shanghai

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

1. MandarinRocks
One of the oldest, best established Chinese language schools in Shanghai. Their HSK Preparation Course has a solid, successful history (95% of the students have passed the HSK exam after the course).
Cost: 170-210CNY/hour for 1-1 tutoring depending on how many hours you sign up
Link: www.mandarinrocks.com/Shanghai-HSK-preparation-course.asp

2. LTL School
Another well established Mandarin school in Shanghai. Their HSK classes are taught by experienced teachers who know exactly the tools you need to pass your HSK Exam.
Cost: 185-260CNY/hour for 1-1 tutoring depending on how many hours you sign up
Link: ltl-school.com/hsk-exam

3. ShanghaiTutors
An education platform providing tutor matching service in Shanghai. Some of their tutors are very experienced and skilled in HSK preparation and are happy to work out a personalized solution to help you prepare for the HSK exams.
Cost: average 120-180CNY/hour for 1-1 tutoring depending on the tutor, plus a 400CNY one-time service fee.
Link: www.shanghaitutors.com/hsk-preparation-lessons

#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 Shanghai

HSK exam Shanghai

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

It’s easy to take the HSK test in Shanghai with 32 authorized test centers in the city and 14 test dates a year. You can choose to take an HSK test from 6 existing levels (HSK1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and 2 formats (internet-based, paper-based), 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 Shanghai to help you crush the test.