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Assimil and HSK


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I am from Greece and I am a beginner. I study the Assimil method. Does anybody know where the Assimil method (Vol 1 or Vol 2) stands in relation with the HSK1 or HSK2 exams ? I mean after the completion of the Vol 1 ... is this enough for HSK1 exams ? 


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Hello @Spiros,


I can try to give you some answers since I used this method many years ago.

HSK1 is very simple, I think Assimil volume 1 will teach you the sentence structures (grammar) that are needed.

However you must be warned about a few things:

1. The Assimil audio is very slow. This is very good for beginners self-study, because you can hear the tones very clearly. However, the HSK exam audio will be a little faster.

2. The vocabulary taught in the Assimil method does not match the HSK vocabulary exactly. So you probably will need to study some extra words from HSK word lists.

3. I don't know what edition your have, but if it's like mine, volume 1 and volume 2 don't teach how to draw the characters. You need the Chinese writing volume for that. (However, you don't need to be able to draw characters for HSK1, you can use pinyin).


You can find some information on the download page of the HSK website:



Tab "HSK(一级)(150)" contains the vocabulary list for HSK1.


Sample HSK1 paper (pdf file + audio in the rar file)



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I started out with assimil too. My guess is, after the first two books you are close to HSK3. There are probably around 300 words missing for HSK4...


Volume one should easily be enough for HSK1 and maybe HSK2 - I would recommend going through the official HSK vocab lists after finishing though.

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3 hours ago, edelweis said:

you don't need to be able to draw characters for HSK1, you can use pinyin


Actually, HSK1 and HSK2 are both entirely multiple choice, listening and reading only, so you don't need to write anything at all — just mark the answer on the answer sheet. (Or do it on the computer.)


There's lots of good software to help you learn the vocabulary. Tofulearn is free and popular, and you can use it on your laptop or as a phone/tablet app.  I also like the StickyStudy app. Both of these have the HSK vocabulary lists ready-made for all levels.


You may also want to check the relevant grammar points:




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