Exams, Certificates, and Scholarship

Exam Content:

The PCC HSK site offers four levels of the HSK test from Level 3 to Level 6. The examinees may choose to take the test in the simplified character version or in the traditional version.

According to the Ministry of Education of China, an overseas student needs to pass Level 4 (180 points) or above in order to apply for various majors in Chinese universities and colleges. Specific requirements are provided by individual Chinese educational institutes.

  • HSK – Level 3 (90 minutes):
    The HSK (Level III) is intended for students who have studied Chinese for three semesters (one and a half academic years), with 2-3 class hours in each week. These students have master 600 commonly used words and related grammar patterns. The test includes sections on Listening and Reading comprehension and writing, and contains a total of 80 test items.
  • HSK – Level 4 (105 minutes):
    The HSK (Level IV) is intended for students who have studied Chinese 2-4 class hours per week for four semesters (two academic years). These students have mastered 1,200 commonly used words and related grammar patterns. The test includes sections on listening and reading comprehension and writing, and contains a total of 100 test items.
  • HSK – Level 5  (120 minutes):
    The HSK (Level V) is intended for students who have studied Chinese 2-4 class hours per week for more than two academic years. These students have mastered 2,500 commonly used words and related grammar patterns. The test includes sections on listening and reading comprehension, and writing, and contains a total of 100 test items.
  • HSK – Level 6 (135 minutes):
    HSK (Level VI) is intended for students who have mastered 5,000 or more commonly used words. The test consists of sections on listening and reading comprehension, and writing, and contains a total of 101 items.

Certificates of Proficiency:

Certificates are issued by the State Committee for the Chinese Proficiency Test of China and rewarded to test-takers when they meet the minimum level of proficiency required within each level of testing.  Score reports and certificates are mailed from the HSK headquarters in Beijing to Pasadena City College within 90 days of the test date. The PCC/HSK site will then distribute the results to students, either by mail or pick-up.

Advantages of Obtaining HSK Certification:

HSK certificates confirm mastery of Chinese language skills, respective to the amount of instruction received. The test is quickly becoming an important measure of Chinese proficiency in education and job recruiting, where language competency is a great asset. Minimum HSK proficiency is a prerequisite when applying to educational institutions in China. In addition, those who have passed the HSK test at any level are exempt from corresponding coursework at national colleges and universities. Certificates are permanently valid, with the exception of enrollment into educational institutions, where scores are valid for up to two years from the date of examination.

Chinese Test Scholarship:

Candidates who are non-Chinese citizens with outstanding scores may be awarded with the Confucius Institute Scholarships.  Winners will be granted scholarships to study in China for one academic year, one semester or one month respectively.

Contact Information:

PCC/HSK
Languages Division
Pasadena City College
1570 E. Colorado Blvd., C247
Pasadena, CA 91106
Tel: (626) 585-7464; Fax: (626) 585-3197
Email:
HSK@pasadena.edu, cjwei@pasadena.edu

Revised June 27, 2011