HSK Test in Shenzhen: The Ultimate Guide for 2020

Ultimate Guide to taking HSK test in Shenzhen

If you are studying or interested in learning Chinese, you might be aware of the HSK, a Chinese test you can take in Shenzhen. But what is the HSK test exactly? How does it work? What can you do with it? And what do you need to know to take the HSK test in Shenzhen?  

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 Shenzhen – test centers, dates, fees. At the end of this article, you should know everything needed to register and prepare for the HSK test in Shenzhen.

Let’s dig in!

Table of Contents

What is the HSK?

HSK stands for Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (汉语水平考试), meaning “Chinese Proficiency Test” in Chinese. It’s a standardized test designed for non-native Chinese speakers as a way of certifying their knowledge in Mandarin.

The HSK is organized by Hanban (汉办), an affiliation of the Ministry of Education of China that’s also in charge of the Confucius Institutes. HSK scores are mainly 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 certify her proficiency in Mandarin as a foreign language 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 colloquial Chinese. 

HSK vs Other Chinese Proficiency Tests

HSK has great international prestige. 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 Chinese proficiency test you can take. Hanban administers several Chinese proficiency tests for different purposes.

The HSK is crucial, and you’ll most likely end up taking the HSK. But, if you want to certify your spoken Chinese skills, then the HSK is not the right test for you because it’s a written test predominantly concerned with listening, reading and writing and has no speaking section.

If you’re seeking to assess your spoken Chinese, then you need to take the Chinese Proficiency Spoken Test (HSKK) instead of the HSK. The HSKK tests pronunciations, tones, clarity, continuity, variety, and fluency in speech. It objectively measures learner’s overall speaking ability in real life.

Business Chinese Test (BCT) is another Chinese language proficiency test. It assesses communicative skills in familiar business situations. It allows non-native speaking adults in training or activity to enhance their Chinese language skills in the world of work. 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.

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

HSK, HSKK, BCT, and YCT are all administered by Hanban and you can take any of these Chinese proficiency tests in Shenzhen, depending on your personal goal. The certificates you will obtain are highly respected across the world 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 was primarily set up for students looking to attend a university or graduate school program in China. But people can also take the HSK for other purposes. You may take the HSK if you want to:

  • attend a Mandarin-based university program in China
  • apply for an HSK scholarship
  • be licensed or certified in a particular field
  • demonstrate your mastery of Mandarin for employment purposes
  • apply for a work permit in China
  • benchmark your progress in Chinese learning

Any non-native Chinese speakers can take the HSK test, and 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 high-level 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
University in China

Why Take the HSK in Shenzhen?

Many people take the HSK test for advanced studies in China. Before a Chinese university accepts an applicant into an academic program, the admissions board needs to know that she can handle the course load of a Mandarin-based program: they use the HSK as a standardized metric for applicant’s Chinese skills.

To be able to follow a class primarily taught in Chinese, a fair understanding of the language is needed. Hence, 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 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 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, the HSK opens doors to a wide range of job opportunities in China and around the globe. You can use the HSK certificate as 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 is valid for a lifetime and will always be a good testament to your Mandarin proficiency. Saying it at a job interview or including 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 professional plans, you might still want to consider 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.

Besides, the HSK comes in 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 qualifications and skills. To be granted the work permit in China, you need to score at least 60 points in that system. Depending on the level acquired, an HSK certificate can bring you 1-5 points. (View the official work permit points table)

Why take the exam

Outside of the academic and professional realm, the HSK might 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 Chinese study more efficient by showing what you need to work on at the next stage.

HSK Levels & Requirements

There are 6 HSK levels (6 tests): HSK1, HSK2, HSK3, HSK4, HSK5, and HSK6. HSK1 is the lowest level in terms of ability and HSK6 is the highest. At each level, you either pass or fail.

You don’t have to undergo 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 probably don’t want to waste money and time on the wrong level. So, what HSK level are you now? Which HSK level 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, knowledge of Chinese characters is optional as pinyin will be provided along with characters on test papers.

The below chart gives you an overview of each HSK level requirement in numbers:

Level Words you need to know Characters you need to know Correspondence to CEFR (claimed by Hanban)
HSK 1 150+ 150 (optional) A1 (beginner)
HSK 2 300+ 300 (optional) A2 (elementary)
HSK 3 600+ 600 B1 (intermediate)
HSK 4 1200+ 1000 B2 (upper-intermediate)
HSK 5 2500+ 1500 C1 (advanced)
HSK 6 5000+ 2500 C2 (proficient)

There is no need to 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 the 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 happen to agree with this.

According to CEFR, a person at C2 level should be able to function in the language to the same ability as an educated native speaker. However, all the HSK test-takers and the native Chinese teachers we interviewed unanimously concluded that the HSK-CEFR correlation claimed by Hanban is an overestimate.

For starters, knowing 2,500 words is certainly not enough for you to read Chinese newspapers and magazines, and 5,000 words is a very 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 advanced than they really are is simple: to encourage more people to learn Chinese and take the tests! Therefore Hanban intentionally made the HSK tests much 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 revised and more objective version of HSK-CEFR Correlations:

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

Don’t be dismayed! Look at it this way: Getting a high-level Chinese proficiency certificate now is easier than ever!

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 complete proficiency in Chinese won’t be too hard.

progressing to fluency in Chinese

HSK Test Structure & Passing Grade 

An HSK test lasts between 35 and 130 minutes depending on the level.

HSK1 and HSK2 are designed for basic Chinese learners and therefore fairly short. There are only two sections on the tests: 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 to pass the tests.

From HSK3 onwards, all the questions are presented in Chinese characters only. There are three sections on the tests: 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 table that summarizes the test structure, time and scoring of each HSK test:

Level Test Structure           Test Time Test Scoring  
  Listening   Reading   Writing     Full  Pass 
  Questions Time Questions Time Items Time      
HSK1 20 18mins 20 17mins None  / 35mins 200 120
HSK2 35 28mins 25 22mins None   / 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 45mins 135mins 300 180

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

After you take the test, the test papers are then mailed back (or submitted, if you take it on a computer) to Hanban headquarters in Beijing. The test centers that administer the tests in Shenzhen do not grade the test papers.

At each level, you either pass or fail. To get the corresponding HSK certificate, you just need to reach the passing grade – 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 schools may want a bit more than a passing grade.

pass or fail the exam

HSK Formats

You can take the HSK test in two formats in Shenzhen: the internet-based HSK (also known as computer-based HSK) and the paper-based HSK. For both formats, you need to go to a physical HSK test center (though the name “internet-based” may suggest it, you won’t be able to take the test on your own computer at home).

Nowadays, more people choose to take the internet-based HSK, however, not all HSK test centers in Shenzhen have adequate facilities to conduct the HSK in this format.

The two HSK formats are exactly the same 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. 

We generally recommend you to take the internet-based HSK if you are signing up for 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 test also has advantages such as note-taking and section-skipping (read the 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.

Universities and employers in China don’t have any preference in which format that applicants take the HSK, and you can crush the test in either format.

2020 HSK Test Dates in Shenzhen

HSK Test Dates in Shenzhen

The HSK tests are offered 14 times a year in Shenzhen, 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 2020.

Test Dates Internet-based HSK Paper-based HSK
Jan 11 (Sat) yes y
Feb 09 (Sun) y y
Mar 07 (Sat) y  
Mar 21 (Sat) y y
Apr 11 (Sat) y y
May 09 (Sat) y y
Jun 14 (Sun) y y
Jul 12 (Sun) y y
Aug 23 (Sun) y y
Sep 19 (Sat) y y
Oct 17 (Sat) y y
Nov 07 (Sat) y  
Nov 21 (Sat) y y
Dec 06 (Sun) y y

As you can see, all HSK tests are administered on Saturdays and Sundays, 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 7th and November 07, 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 internet-based HSK test allows you to register just 10 days before the test date. But if you plan to take the paper-based HSK test, you need to register 4+ weeks before the test date.

Here are the details of the HSK registration deadline and results release for 2020.

Internet-based HSK

Test Dates (Internet) Registration Deadline Score Release
Jan 11 (Sat) Jan 01 Feb 03
Feb 09 (Sun) Jan 30 Feb 24
Mar 07 (Sat) Feb 26 Mar 23
Mar 21 (Sat) Mar 11 Apr 06
Apr 11 (Sat) Apr 01 Apr 27
May 09 (Sat) Apr 29 May 25
Jun 14 (Sun) Jun 04 Jun 29
Jul 12 (Sun) Jul 02 Jul 27
Aug 23 (Sun) Aug 13 Sep 07
Sep 19 (Sat) Sep 09 Oct 12
Oct 17 (Sat) Oct 07 Nov 02
Nov 07 (Sat) Oct 28 Nov 23
Nov 21 (Sat) Nov 11 Dec 07
Dec 06 (Sun) Nov 26 Dec 21

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 exceptions of the test dates before the Chinese New Year and National Day Holiday (Jan 11, Sep 19). For these two test dates, 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 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

If you take the paper-based HSK test, you have to wait one month before you can view your score reports online at the HSK website. If you happen to take the test before the Chinese New Year or National Day Holiday (Jan 11 or Sep 19), then you have to wait one more week for the release of score reports. The physical score reports will be mailed to your test center 1-2 months after the day of the test.

A Note on HSK Registration Dates and Deadlines

Though the test dates are already fixed for the entire year, the test centers won’t allow you to register for a test far ahead of the test date (registration usually begins 3-4 months before the test date).

Also, take note that not all test centers in Shenzhen administer HSK tests at every level on every test date. How often your test center manages the HSK test at your level depends on their funding and on how popular that test is. We suggest you contact your test center to reconfirm its available test dates before you sign up.

There is limited seating at many of the test center locations, so be sure to register early. You might want to avoid register at the last minute after all– if you encounter technical online, Hanban won’t 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 Shenzhen

It’s easy to take the HSK test in Shenzhen. As of 2020, there are 4 authorized HSK test centers in Shenzhen, of which 3 centers offer the option of the internet-based HSK test.

All the HSK test centers in Shenzhen are located in Nanshan District, and they are easily accessible by public transit from other areas of the city such as Futian and Luohu.

If you’re an international student at Shenzhen University or Shenzhen Polytechnic University, you can just take the test at their HSK test center on campus. 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’re not a student, but just work or live in Shenzhen, you can opt to take the HSK test at other test centers conveniently located in the city, namely, Confucius Institute E-learning Center and Janna Education in Nanshan.

Here is the complete list of the 4 HSK test centers in Shenzhen.

1. Shenzhen University
Test Format: internet & paper-based HSK
Address: Room 304, Zonghe Building, 3688 Nanhai Avenue, Nanshan District
Phone: (0755) 2695 8126
Email: hsk@szu.edu.cn

2. Confucius Institute E-Learning Center
Test Format: internet-based HSK only
Address: Room 203, Tower A, TCL Building, 6 Gaoxin Nanyi Road, Nanshan District
Phone: (0755) 3395 5023
Email: 347797638@qq.com

3. Shenzhen Polytechnic
Test Format: internet-based HSK only
Address: Room 423, BLDG 1, Liuxiandong Campus, 2019 Liuxian Avenue, Nanshan District
Phone: (0755) 2673 1096
Email: wangjunwoo@szpt.edu.cn

4. Janna Education (Nanshan)
Test Format: paper-based HSK only
Address: No 1, BLDG2, 36 Haide San Road, Nanshan District
Phone: 134 8077 6087
Email: zhuoyu0006@126.com

HSK Test Fees

The price of the HSK test will vary depending on which level you sign up for. For 2020 HSK tests in Shenzhen, 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 Shenzhen and across China.

Some test centers accept payment online while others will require you to pay in person. If needed, make a quick call or send an email to your test center to find out their policy.

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 intend 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 test day. 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 Shenzhen

The registration process for the HSK tests is simple and straightforward.

The easiest way to register for the HSK test in Shenzhen 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 Shenzhen

how to prepare for HSK test in Shenzhen

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

You can visit the Hanban website and download the official HSK practice tests (available at all levels) in PDF format for free.

We at ImproveMandarin have also created a few highly helpful HSK practice tests with extremely realistic HSK questions on our website. Check out our HSK Channel.

Best Books to Help Prepare for the HSK test

Now that you live in Shenzhen, 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

-New HSK Mock Tests
This book series published by Shenzhen 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
Price: 32.00-65.00 RMB depending on the level

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

  • Shenzhen Book Mall (CBD Store)  | 深圳书城 (中心城店)
    Probably the biggest book mall in China. You can find rows of books for HSK and Chinese studies.
    Address: 2014, No1 Fuzhong Road, Futian District
    Open hours: 10:00-22:00 Mon-Thu, 10:00-22:30 Fri, 09:30-22:30 Sat, 9:30-22:00 Sun
  • Shenzhen Book Mall (Luohu Store) | 深圳书城 (罗湖总店)
    It also has a great selection of books for learning Chinese as a foreign language. The Luohu store was primarily set up as a textbook hub for schools, colleges, and universities, and continues to do so for students.
    Address: 5033 East Shennan Road, Luohu District
    Open hours: Spring & Winter: 09:30-21:00 Thu-Sun; Summer & Fall: 09:30-21:30 Mon-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, 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

HSK Preparation Course in Shenzhen

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

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

1. That’s Mandarin
That’s Mandarin has established a strong reputation in the field of teaching Chinese as a second language. They offer HSK preparation course on Shenzhen campus and their online learning platform Mandarin Café.
Cost: 168-350CNY/hour for 1-1 tutoring depending on how many hours you sign up
Link: www.thatsmandarin.com/hsk-preparation-course/

2. Hanbridge
Hanbridge Mandarin School offers one of the leading HSK preparations courses in Shenzhen with an exceptional record of student pass rates. The course can be taken onsite and online.
Cost: ranges between 60-300CNY per session depending on the package; enquire to confirm
Link: https://www.hanbridgemandarin.com/course/chinese-for-hsk-test

3. Hanlin Language Center
A language center that teaches Mandarin, English and several other languages. They have an experienced teaching team for HSK preparation and high passing rate
Cost: ranges between 150-550CNY per session depending on the package; enquire to confirm
Link: http://hanlinlanguage.com/en/

#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 have done enough exercise 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 Shenzhen

Taking the HSK Test in Shenzhen

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

It’s easy to take the HSK test in Shenzhen with 4 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 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 Shenzhen to help you crush the exam.