Putonghua Proficiency Test

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Putonghua Proficiency Test
Simplified Chinese 普通话水平测试
Traditional Chinese 普通話水平測試

The Putonghua Proficiency Test or Putonghua Shuiping Ceshi (PSC) is an official test of spoken fluency in Standard Chinese intended for native speakers of Chinese language. The test was developed in October 1994 by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, the Institute of Applied Linguistics at Beijing Language and Culture University and the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.[1] Specified standards of achievement in the test are required for many jobs in broadcasting, education and government.[2]

The test consists of five sections:[1][3]

  1. Reading 100 monosyllabic words to test pronunciation. (10%)
  2. Reading 100 polysyllabic words to test pronunciation. (20%)
  3. Reading out the correct form from several choices, to test vocabulary and syntax. (10%)
  4. Reading a 400-character passage to test fluency. (30%)
  5. Speaking for three minutes on a topic chosen from two supplied by the examiners. (30%)

Candidates who pass the test are given a Certificate of Putonghua Proficiency Level at levels 1, 2 or 3, each of which is subdivided into grades A and B:[4][5]

  • Level 1-A (97% correct) is required for presenters in national and provincial radio and television.[4]
  • Level 1-B (92% correct) is required for Chinese-language teachers in northern China.[3]
  • Level 2-A (87% correct) is required for Chinese-language teachers in southern China.[3]
  • Level 2-B (80% correct) is required for Chinese teachers teaching other languages in China.
  • Level 3-A (70% correct)
  • Level 3-B (60% correct) is required for civil service jobs.[3]

By 2010, the test had been taken more than 35 million times. As it requires strict adherence to the phonology of Standard Chinese, including such features as retroflex initials, erhua and weak syllables, the test gives an advantage to native speakers of the Beijing dialect and closely related varieties over speakers of varieties lacking these features.[4]

Test Content[edit]

There are sixty literary selections used in the fourth section of the test,[6] including:

See also[edit]

  • Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, for non-native speakers, has a spoken component in addition to written and listening components.


  1. ^ a b "Content and format of the Test". Hong Kong Putonghua Education and Assessment Centre, University of Hong Kong. 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  2. ^ Liang, Sihua (2014). Language Attitudes and Identities in Multilingual China: A Linguistic Ethnography. Springer International. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-3-319-12618-0. 
  3. ^ a b c d Ho, Kwok-cheung (2012). Comparison of tasks employed in Mandarin Chinese proficiency tests for natives conducted in China and that in Hong Kong: One Country Two Systems (PDF). International Conference on Language Proficiency Testing in the Less Commonly Taught Languages. Bangkok. 
  4. ^ a b c Zhang, Qing (2013). "Language Policy and Ideology: Greater China". In Bayley, Robert; Cameron, Richard; Lucas, Ceil. The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Oxford University Press. pp. 563–586. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199744084.013.0028. ISBN 978-0-199-34407-9. 
  5. ^ "China Language Law" (PDF). LILAMA Network. Retrieved 3 April 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p 普通话水平测试实施纲要. Putonghua Shuiping Ceshi Shishi Gangyao [Putonghua Proficiency Test Guide]. 北京. Beijing: 商务印书馆. The Commercial Press. 2004. p. 333-453. ISBN 7-100-03996-7. 
  7. ^ "海阳市筹建峻青文学艺术馆 今年10月有望开馆 (translation: Haiyang city preparing to build Junqing Literature & Art Museum, to be opened to the public this October)" (in Chinese). Fenghuang Shandong. Retrieved 8 December 2017. "峻青,原名孙俊卿,1922年出生于烟台海阳市郭城镇西楼子村,当代著名作家、画家。" (translation: Junqing, originally named Sun Junqing, was born in Xilouzi Village, Guocheng Town, Haiyang city, Yantai in 1922, and is a well-known modern author and painter) 
  8. ^ 朱自清散文, 朱自清, 浙江文艺出版社, 2014, 9787533935993
  9. ^ "电视文学艺术片《绿》在仙岩梅雨潭景区开机" [TV Literary Art Documentary 'Green' starts filming in Xianyan's Meiyutan Scenic Area]. “中国·瓯海”政府门户网站 (in Simplified Chinese). 瓯海区人民政府 瓯海区大数据管理中心. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2018. 1923年朱自清先生来温州执教,同年先后两次来到仙岩梅雨潭景区,被仙岩浓厚的人文气息和那醉人的女儿绿深深吸引,于是就写下了脍炙人口的美文名篇《绿》。