Talk:Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi

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See also the edit history of a duplicated article. — Instantnood 10:59, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was PAGE MOVED per reasonable request w/ no opposition. -GTBacchus(talk) 05:29, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng KǎoshìHanyu Shuiping Kaoshi — Pinyin tones should be dropped in the article title. In the romanization of Chinese, it is customary to drop the tone marks when writing pinyin-derived words in Latin/Western text (unless the discussion is about pronunciation). This practice is adhered to by HSK itself as show on this page. — Voidvector (talk) 05:03, 17 September 2008 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.


Any additional comments:
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Is the Book & Video external link just advertising?

Incorrect content[edit]

The method shown here as the 'previous format' is still widely followed- in fact I think it's still the dominant one, at least in China itself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:32, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

A lot of books and courses still follow the old format, but I'm pretty sure it is no longer possible to take the exams according to the old format. In case I'm mistaken I'd like to see an example of an *officially approved* exam that follows the old format. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:07, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I just took the old format test in Feb, I am pretty sure it is still being offered for at least one more year in the mainland. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
It is possible to take the HSK in the "old" format. You can find a list of available tests for 2011 if you go here: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:37, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

The article says: According to the test's current (and original) format, a rank of 5 is needed to enroll in a Chinese university as an undergraduate. A score of 9 or higher is a common business standard.

This does not make sense, as the test's current (read new) format and the old one are different, so a rank of 5 on the old format is elementary but 5 in the new format is advanced. The new format does not have a score of 9. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:38, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I am studying in Beijing Language and Culture university and after much confusion have found out HSK works like this: Originally there was one format (levels 1-11) which was designed and run by the Beijing Language and Culture University. Later, the ministry of Education gave HSK over to Hanban to run, but BLCU never acknowledged this and kept on offering their original version. At this time there were two different versions of the old format (levels 1-11), run by Hanban and BLCU. After this, Hanban designed a new version "New HSK" with levels from 1-6. Hanban stopped offering the levels 1-11 format at this time. However BLCU kept offering the original (levels 1-11) format, and made their own new HSK test as well called "gai jin HSK" which is levels 1-6.

The present situation is this: Hanban runs "New HSK" with levels 1-6. Beijing Language and Culture Univeristy runs "HSK" with levels 1-11, and also runs "gaijin HSK" with level 1-6. Both Hanban and BLCU claim to be the authorative HSK test providers.

In addition there are other spin-off tests, such as Hanban's YCT(for youth) and BCT(for business), as well as BLCU's C-Test(communicative).

Hope this helps.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:41, 25 May 2011 (UTC) 

Help needed here![edit]

Could someone who knows how to do it (I obviously don't) please change the tone marker in the Article title's "shui" from the u to the i, as it should be - at least if you want to pass the test ;) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16 February 2006

Is there a style-guide somewhere that lists what vowel a tone marker is required to be on? Or is this simply a tradition, and different for each word? I notice in Wenlin the tone marker is placed as the parent comment states, but I can't find a rule to say why this is. tepid (talk) 21:34, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
I know the general rule is to put the mark on the vowel sound that is pronounced longest. For shuĭ it would be on the 'ei' part, so here on the 'i'. In something like shuāi, the tone mark is on the 'a' because, again, of the combined vowel sounds, the 'ah' part is longest (I think) Shenme (talk) 06:18, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
This sounds overly complicated. Have a look at this:

Is HSK same/different as test mentioned in Standard Mandarin?[edit]

In the article Standard Mandarin section Role of standard Mandarin it mentions a test called "Mandarin Level Evaluation Exam (普通话水平测试)". Is that the internal version of HSK? How might the two tests be related to each other? As a reference point, it might be interesting to know if the internal one is more difficult than the HSK. Shenme (talk) 06:18, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

It is different. HSK is geared towards non-native speakers while the 普通话水平测试(Mandarin Level Evaluation Exam) is geared towards Chinese people to prove their ability in standard mandarin (as opposed to a local dialect). -Frazzydee| 03:11, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Japanese & Korean links necessary?[edit]

I understand the "see also" links to other Chinese language tests, but don't understand the point in linking to Korean and Japanese specifically. There are at least 15 other language proficiency tests with pages on Wikipedia; maybe it would be better to just link to Wikipedia's list of language proficiency tests? Simplylala (talk) 11:55, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

  • At least the Japanese test (JLPT) is quite similar in structure. It is also a neighboring country and uses Chinese characters so comparing the JLPT and the HSK is useful for interested parties. Roeschter (talk) 03:26, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Vocabulary and characters learning goals[edit]

I corrected the learning goals for the various HSK level to realistic number. For some strange reason the numbers published (and copied) widely are completely unrealistic and do not align with what was published for the previous (11 level) version of the HSK. Previously and current published word lists contained 8800 entries, a character count shows ~4000 distinct characters. This is appropriate for university level Chinese as suggested by HSK 6 descriptions. HSK 5 claims to test literacy (reading books and newspapaers) but stated just 1500 characters. This is clearly a joke as any Chinese learner and teach will tell you. ~2500 characters is what you need to read newspapers. I adjusted the other level upwards equally and in line with the definitions of the HSK levels. Roeschter (talk) 03:32, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Where did you get your new numbers from? Because the official word lists for the HSK states 150 for HSK1, 300 for HSK2, 600 for HSK3, 1200 for HSK4, 2500 for HSK5 and 5000 for HSK6. Even though students at HSK level 5 should be able to read the newspapers, and you'd need a bigger vocabulary than 2500 words to do so, the official word list contains 2500 words, so that is what we have to state. You can't just make up numbers because they seem more fitting! (Unless, of course, your numbers stem from a source, in which case you should provide it.) The fact that the old HSK has a vocabulary of approx 8800 at top level, does not mean that the new one also has it, as those are totally different tests.
I propose that this page be reverted to pre-17th of June state, unless Roeschter is able to procure any sources that support this new numbers. --- HSK student EAA — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:11, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Since nobody has yet provided data that the new numbers are in any way more correct than the old ones, while there are many sources that indicate the the old numbers where correct, I reversed the numbers back to the original. --- HSK student EAA — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:28, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Please contact the author of changes before you perform anonymous undo operation. The change was made for the benefit of chinese learners, who would be mislead by the official information. Please see the included reference to a recommendation by a board of experienced chinese techers, which clearly and unambiguously states that the official numbers or doing a good job at misleading prospective learners of chinese. Roeschter (talk) 19:09, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

The numbers are merely a factual statement of how many words are in the specified vocabulary for each level. If you think the "official descriptions" are misleading (and the Fachverband Chinesisch article makes a good argument for that) then remove them instead. – Smyth\talk 11:37, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I have reworded accordingly. I also removed the claim that the Fachverband Chinesisch article ranks the new HSK as easier than the old one. This is untrue, since it actually does not mention the old HSK at all. – Smyth\talk 12:00, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Looks good now. The main issue indeed are the descriptions, which might be misleading learners (like me). I originally thought that the numbers (vocabulary, characters) must be wrong, but later found evidence that indeed that new test is "too easy". The germans teachers statement are the most trustworthy source I found. Informal discusions all over the Internet by learners confirm that the new tests are "more flattering to students than realistic assessments of language level". Roeschter (talk) 21:12, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Precise number of characters for each level[edit]

The article indicates that the number of (new) characters at each of the 6 HSK levels are respectively 178, 171, 274, 452, 636, 924. I have made a detailed analysis of all words by creating my own database and I found slightly different numbers. The first 3 levels are exactly the same numbers (178, 171 and 274), but then for levels 4, 5, 6 I found respectively 451, 636, 923 characters. So that the total is 2633 instead of the 2635 listed here. I am curious if the person who listed these numbers can provide a source, of even his/her own level-by-level lists, in order to check? I am not sure this format makes it easy to check, but for the reference, below are for example the 451 new characters that I find for level 4. I would certainly be happy to share my lists in Excel format too in order to get accurate numbers. Thanks!

Extended content

Patphilly (talk) 21:41, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

We do badly need a source for these numbers, but since the test authority apparently only publishes lists of words, not characters, producing character lists is a non-trivial synthesis, and different sources calculate it differently. Of course, there IS one single right answer, but it's not easy to prove what it is without doing original research.
For example, here is a list from the popular nciku dictionary website ("I’m afraid I don’t know where the character frequency list originally came from - it’s been on our internal server for years"). According to my counts, the levels on that list have the following number of characters: 176, 163, 277, 451, 641, 923, for a total of 2631. However, in response to comments, they later acknowledge that there "seem to be some mistakes in our data".
So I think the best way to proceed is for us to include the actual character lists in the article (probably hidden by default). That way they can be verified and corrected by anyone, directly against the word lists, without having to trust that some person's spreadsheet or script is correct. – Smyth\talk 03:46, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree. I had actually already analyzed the nciku lists and noticed several errors (which I pointed out in the comments - user Pat - but the corrections have apparently never been made). After putting all the words of each level in a spreadsheet and extracting all individual characters, I am quite confident that my lists are correct. Of course, it IS possible that I got a couple of mistakes but, if anything, it might indeed be interesting to publish the full lists (as you say, hidden by default). In order to avoid filling this thread with tons of characters which might be unpractical to exploit, I have prepared a spreadsheet with all characters for each level. It is available at
Since I am not familiar with editing procedures and especially how best to display these big lists in a wikipedia article, it would be great if someone who knows how to do that could put these lists in the article? Having these online should give a useful starting point to identifying possible discrepancies. Thanks!Patphilly (talk) 23:47, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm putting them in now. – Smyth\talk 03:57, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Brilliant, thanks! Hopefully someone will have the courage to dig through that and possibly identify if the previous character counts were the correct ones in the first place. Patphilly (talk) 13:08, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
OK, I have just noticed a mistake in my list. The Lingomi lists which I used mistakenly cites the word 反应 (fan3 ying4)as part of level 4, but it should in fact be the word 反映 (same pinyin fan3 ying3). What this changes is that the character 映 in fact appears in level 4, instead of level 6 previously. I have updated the list provided earlier accordingly Would the same user (or someone else) mind making the correction in the article? (basically the only change is to remove 映 from the level 6 list and insert it into the level 4 list) Therefore the grand total is unchanged at 2633 characters, except that the numbers for levels 1 to 6 are 178, 171, 274, 452, 636, 922 respectively.Patphilly (talk) 11:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
How do you know the Lingomi lists are wrong? – Smyth\talk 17:24, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I noticed that the definition given did not correspond with the word. So I double-checked with the official lists provided by Hanban: cf. for example (click on "HSK level 4 Outline Vocabulary") for the list of all words. (Let me also note that in the current Lingomi lists, this error seems to have been fixed after I used them to make the analysis) Patphilly (talk) 00:36, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
I just downloaded the Lingomi lists and they still contain the incorrect entry 反应 = "reflect" in level 4. However, I agree that we should give priority to, which appears to provide the original documents from Hanban, so I'll add that as the first reference for the word lists. That gives the word as 反映, which MDBG agrees is a level 4 word, and the only appearance of the character 映 in the HSK vocabulary. – Smyth\talk 13:49, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

December 2013[edit]

The lists that are currently on the page are very inaccurate. Look at the first few characters in level 5, for instance, and you'll see that many are duplicates from level 4. (talk) 21:46, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Taking a closer look, it seems this is because the list on the article does not match Patphilly's spreadsheet. There are lots of discrepancies between the two. (talk) 22:56, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
The lists and character counts were completely changed a few days ago, and the claim inserted that the lists were updated in 2012. Since the edit looked plausible, I didn't go to the trouble of verifying it. – Smyth\talk 11:20, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Equivalence to CEF[edit]

The wording of the paragraph below implied that the Hanban assessment must somehow necessarily be inferior to that of the Association of Chinese Teachers in German Speaking Countries. There is a difference of opinion, but the German-speaking association is not automatically correct just because it is a European, as opposed to an Asian, source. Therefore I have edited the paragraph to make the language more neutral.

Previous, non-neutral, wording: Hanban claims that the HSK's six levels correspond on a one-to-one basis with the six levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). However, an assessment by the Association of Chinese Teachers in German Speaking Countries concluded that this was a significant overestimation of the competences — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:00, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

@Hsk3008: do you have a source that confirms that the deleted German and French estimates are no longer accurate? --Amakuha (talk) 12:44, 27 August 2017 (UTC)

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