The Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK)


In order to demonstrate that you have a mastery of the Chinese language, Pasadena City College's (PCC) Chinese Department offers the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) test, an internationally recognized test that can certify your proficiency in Chinese. This test is offered in only a few other locations on the West Coast and is a very exclusive benefit offered to you by our department. PCC is an officially recognized testing site, supervised by the National Committee for the Chinese Proficiency Test in Beijing and we are authorized to administer the test and handle registration, payment, and inquiries.

Upcoming Test Info

Registration Deadline:
5 pm on November 1, 2018

Test Date:

Contact PCC/HSK

HSK is the national standardized test of Chinese as a foreign language that is recognized internationally by the People’s Republic of China and other countries. It is designed by experts at HSK headquarters in Beijing, China. The HSK measures the proficiency level of non-native speakers of standard Chinese. A non-native speaker includes foreigners, overseas Chinese, and students from Chinese national minorities. HSK is used as a guideline for admission to universities in China and Southeast Asia and is a reference standard used in job recruitment by China and other countries where Chinese language skills are necessary.

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.

The PCC HSK site offers all levels of the HSK test from Level 1 to Level 6. The examinees may choose to take the test in the simplified character version or in the traditional version in some tests.

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 1 (40 minutes):
    The HSK (Level I) is intended for students who have studied Chinese for a semester (half an academic year), with 2-3 class hours in each week. These students have mastered 150 commonly used words and basic grammar patterns.
  • HSK - Level 2 (55 minutes):
    The HSK (Level II) is intended for students who have studied Chinese for two semesters (an academic year), with 2-3 class hours in each week. These students have mastered 300 commonly used words and related grammar patterns.
  • 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.

Next Test: December 1, 2018

Registration Deadline: November 1, 2018 at 5 pm

  1. Register online with the HSK headquarters form (Chinese) or PCC's registration form (English). (NOTE: If you choose the online form, you will still need to send your check to us)
  2. Submit the following materials PCC/HSK, Languages Division, C-247, Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106
    • Your Completed Registration Form
    • One 2x2 (or larger) photo in addition to a copy of a valid photo ID (driver’s license, passport, or student ID)
    • Your Registration fees. Payment should be in the form of personal checks, money orders, or cashier’s checks, in U.S dollars ONLY. Cash and credit card payments WILL NOT be accepted. Checks should be made payable to “Pasadena City College/HSK”.

After we receive your registration materials, we will send you or email you:

  • HSK test permit
  • Additional test preparation materials, if available

HSK test fees:

  • $20 Level 1 Test or
  • $30 Level 2 Test or
  • $40 Level 3 Test or
  • $50 Level 4 Test or
  • $60 Level 5 Test or
  • $70 Level 6.

Note: All fees are nonrefundable 10 days prior to the actual test date.

On the day of testing, please bring the following items with you::

  • HSK test permit
  • Valid photo ID (driver’s license, passport, or student ID)
  • Pencils and erasers

You are requested to arrive at the testing site at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the test. No one will be permitted to enter the test classrooms after the test starts.

These items WILL NOT be allowed on the testing site: Cell phones, notebooks, books, scratch paper, dictionaries, electronic devices, or test preps of any kind.

Your HSK test results are available within 90 days of your test date. All tests are scored at the HSK office in Beijing and then your results are then sent back to PCC. After your results are sent back to the PCC, score reports and certificates will be available for pickup at PCC or can be mailed directly to you.

If you demonstrate mastery of HSK standards of Chinese proficiency, you will receive a HSK proficiency certificate. 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.

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.


The Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (T.O.C.F.L.)

PCC is also a test site for the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL) is Taiwan's national standardized test designed and developed by the National Taiwan Normal University to evaluate and certify the Chinese language proficiency of non-native speakers, such as foreigners and overseas Chinese.

Find Out More About the T.O.C.F.L