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London Branson

Basic info that I can't find

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London Branson

Hi guys, I have several pretty basic questions but cannot find info.


1. Can I go straight to Level 2 test without having passed the first level?

2. Would you recommend internet or paper test?

3. How long does it take to receive the result after you sit for the test?

4. Would you recommend using the HSK Standard Course 1 (the yellow book with the accompanying test book) or other materials?

5. Am I wrong or the level 1 test is administered pretty rarely (like once every two month in 2-3 places across the whole UK)?


Cheers guys, Best,

London Branson

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1. Yes.

2. Paper (My personal recommendation).

3. Within one month.

4. Whatever works for you.

5. Probably, taking a test to specifically show that your level is the lowest one available doesn't seem sensible.

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2.  I'd recommend whatever test location is more convenient for you (i.e. don't travel several more hours just to take a different format HSK1 or HSK2 test).  For just the HSK1 or HSK2 exam paper is probably less annoying (because you can write stuff down) but the computer exams aren't "harder" (i.e. I doubt you'd get a significantly different score) and if you are planning on taking higher level tests on the computer (i.e. if you think you'll better be able to write with a keyboard via pinyin-input than by hand with a pencil) then I think familiarizing yourself with the computer format sooner rather than later is better. 

4. I bought a book of practice exams when I took HSK1 and HSK2 but I don't think you actually need to buy any HSK specific material in order to pass the HSK1 and HSK2 exams if you are otherwise learning and practicing your Chinese skills in any kind of "comprehensive" fashion (i.e. from any half-decent course and/or a textbook).  The vocab is all pretty high-frequency and grammar pretty basic and all should be covered by any decent course or textbook although it is worthwhile to go through the official word lists and make sure you recognize everything for your level (note for just the HSK1 and HSK2 you technically don't need to be able to recognize characters - just pinyin is fine).  There are at least one free official mock HSK1 and HSK2 exam with answers on the Internet that should be able to give you an idea how the test is like and provide a decent estimate on how well you'd do.

5.  Across the entire US each month has 2-3 paper HSK exams and 9-10 computer HSK exams.  In my state of California it looks like maybe 1 computer HSK exam available every few months (from SF State).  The level of the exam here doesn't seem to matter that much for availability (and there you could actually take multiple HSK exams on the same day at the same center i.e. HSK 1 in morning and HSK 2 in afternoon or maybe an HSKK exam).

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London Branson

Trevorld, thank you very very much for your post. You greatly helped me into planning the next couple of months. Appreciate it.

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