(Note: This is Part 5 of our five part series on preparing for the HSK Exam. For a list of all parts, visit our Insider’s Guide to Acing the HSK Exam here.) In this guide, I’ve linked to Amazon for some of the best resources I could find. Now, you’re probably thinking I haven’t read all of these books – this is true, but I did pick them based on a few criteria:
- Official – Resources compiled by Hanban are prioritised.
- Actual content – When previews were available, I would go in and have a quick look, mainly at two things – how well the authors write (e.g. how clear grammar points are in grammar books, how clear answers are explained in tests, etc.), and how well the content is presented (orderly, structured, organised).
- Publishers – Publishers like Beijing University Press produce some great quality stuff. Highly recommended based on books I’ve seen in the past.
- Customer reviews – Good customer reviews is usually a positive sign the book is useful.
- Series – Series of books across different levels is usually an indicator of good quality.
While I’ve compiled a long list to ensure it’s comprehensive, I suspect that you’ll only be interested in a section of these resources. Here’s a quick breakdown of the types of resources I’ve listed here:
- HSK Mock Tests and HSK Exam Samples
- HSK Sample
- HSK Books (readers)
- Chinese Grammar
- HSK Flashcards
1, 2 and 4 are probably what most people are looking for, so feel free to jump to these sections. I’ve also highlighted some of the best resources for each section – these are marked with two asterisks (**), so keep a look out for those. Here goes.
HSK Mock Tests and HSK Exam Samples
**Level 6 HSK:Real Test Collection of New Chinese Proficiency(with a CD enclosed) (Chinese Edition) – (available at all levels, this is assembled and published by Hanban itself)
Writing: Strategies for New HSK (Level 5) (Chinese Edition)
Writing: Strategies for New HSK (Level 6) (Chinese Edition)
**Model Test for the new HSK
HSK in 30 Days
Confucius Institute (mock test papers)
Confucius Institute (mock online interactive test)
HSK Sample (Free)
You can access HSK Samples by downloading the HSK syllabuses per level – there’s a sample paper included. I’ve also listed an example question per section of every level in Section 2 of this guide with detailed annotations and translations, so you might want to check that out first.
**HSK Syllabus (HSK Grammar points, HSK Vocabulary List, HSK Character List included)
http://www.chinaeducenter.com/en/exams.php – Click on the Details and Downloads links for full pdf and audio downloads for each level. Each pack includes the syllabus, sample test paper, and a full vocabulary list.
Note that grammar points stop being listed after Level 3. For supplementary materials, please refer to the below grammar resources.
HSK Books (Some great HSK exercise books and HSK handbooks)
**Chinese Breeze (for Chinese beginners)
**Graded Readers (for intermediate students)
**Capture Chinese series (for intermediate advanced Chinese students)
**Tales and Traditions series (for advanced to upper advanced students)
Other Chinese Readers
高级汉语精读课程 (advanced, but books are available from beginning levels as well)
**Basic Patterns of Chinese Grammar: A Student’s Guide to Correct Structures and Common Errors
Schaum’s Outline of Chinese Grammar (Schaum’s Outline Series)
**Yufa! A Practical Guide to Mandarin Chinese Grammar (Arnold Concise Grammars) (Chinese Edition)
**Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar Workbook (Modern Grammar Workbooks)
HSK Flashcards (HSK Word Lists)
Chinese Flash Cards Kit Volume 1: Characters 1-349: HSK Elementary Level (Audio CD Included)
Chinese Flash Cards Kit Volume 3: HSK Upper Intermediate Level (Audio CD Included)
**Tuttle Learning Chinese Characters, Vol. 1: A Revolutionary New Way to Learn and Remember the 800 Most Basic Chinese Characters
(Not flash cards per se, but creative way of learning 800 Chinese characters for beginners)
Vocabulary lists by dictionary nciku
**HSK Flash Cards
HSK Flash Cards – Cram
Lists characters instead of words
List of characters with definitions
Chinese In Flow (Game based on HSK words Level 1 – 3)
HSK Online Test Centers
Official HSK website: http://www.chinesetest.cn/ – Click on Test Centers at the top
HSK Test Results (Check your HSK Score)
http://www.chinesetest.cn/ (Go to the bottom and you’ll see links to access your test scores)
HSK Websites and further resources
HSK Grammar resources
Summary of these 330 common Chinese grammar patterns
The Insider Guide to Acing the HSK Exam…the End And that’s it! We’ve come to the end of this guide. For a closing note, please visit our main guide here – our Insider’s Guide to Acing the HSK Exam. Thanks so much for reading, and good luck on your exam!
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