The Insider Guide to Acing the HSK Exam

Thinking of taking the HSK exam?

Then you won’t want to miss this comprehensive 23,000+ word guide.

Who’s This HSK Study Guide For?

This complete guide was written for the following people in mind:

  1. Those who want to learn more about the HSK tests themselves (things like HSK formats, HSK question types, HSK mock papers, more importantly, HSK sample questions and translations);
  2. Those who’re looking to supplement their study with some recommended resources (e.g. HSK grammar books, HSK readers, HSK vocabulary lists);
  3. Those who want to know more about the “technical” know-hows of taking the HSK (things like how to register for HSK Exams, where to take HSK Exams, how to get your hands on the HSK certificates).

And if you’re one of these people, you’ve landed yourself in the right place!

Originally, this was meant to be one complete guide (it still is), but at the end of producing this, we’ve ended up with a resource that’s more than 23,000 words in English and Chinese.

So, in order to make this easier, I’ve split up the original guide into five parts – it’s designed so that it’s best read in order, but feel free to skip to any section that interests you!

I’ve poured in many, many hours of work into this, so I hope you’ll find this HSK Exam guide useful!

How the HSK Exam Guide Is Organized

Part I: Top 4 Reasons Why You Might Want to Take the HSK 

Part I is written for those who’ve never heard of the HSK and would like to get an overview of it.

In this section, I answer questions such as what the HSK Test is, who it’s suitable for, what the exam assesses, and a quick summary of all six HSK levels.

Part II: A Down and Dirty Look at 57 Sample HSK Questions

Part II contains the main bulk of the guide – for those who are already familiar with the HSK exam formats, and would like to get more tips specific to each question type on the exam, check this section out.

For each level, for each section (HSK Listening, Reading, Writing, HSKK Oral), for each subsection, I’ve included one sample question, both the original Chinese question and the English translation of the question and answer, along with pointers specific to each level / section that points out what I think the most important skills you’ll need to ace each question type.

In places where it’s necessary, I’ve also included extended sample questions and answers to demonstrate certain exam techniques…every nook and cranny is covered!

Part III: 24 Battle Tested Tips for Dominating the HSK

While exam technique is important in succeeding in the HSK, things like preparation, study technique and attitude can play important roles in determining your test performance too.

You’ll find 32 comprehensive tips to help you prepare for the HSK test…you won’t be disappointed!

Part IV: 12 Most Commonly Asked Questions about the HSK

Part IV is written originally for people who’re good to go for the exam, but may be looking to get answers to help with exam preparation, as well as exam registration.

Part V: Top 54 Resources to Help You Prepare for the HSK

Part V is the final part of the guide – this part contains what we consider to be the most relevant, up-to-date and useful materials to exist to help you prep for the HSK test. Resources are available for all HSK levels, so you don’t have to feel left out even if you’re at a lower level.

A Closing Note

At the end of this, I just wanted to say two things: first of all, thanks for reading this! I’ve put some effort into assembling this guide with the hopes it will be useful for the reader who is looking for more information, technical or strategic wise, on the HSK tests.

Second of all, I sincerely hope this guide has been useful to help you prepare for your HSK exam, and I wish you all the success in taking the test, and I also hope you enjoy learning the Chinese language.

Once again, thanks for reading, good luck with your exam, and talk soon!


And One More Thing...

If you want to continue learning Chinese with interactive and authentic Chinese content, then you'll love FluentU.

FluentU naturally eases you into learning Chinese language. Native Chinese content comes within reach, and you'll learn Chinese as it's spoken in real life.

FluentU has a wide range of contemporary videos—like dramas, TV shows, commercials and music videos.

FluentU brings these native Chinese videos within reach via interactive captions. You can tap on any word to instantly look it up. All words have carefully written definitions and examples that will help you understand how a word is used. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.

FluentU's Learn Mode turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you're learning.

The best part is that FluentU always keeps track of your vocabulary. It customizes quizzes to focus on areas that need attention and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a 100% personalized experience.

Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store.

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Chinese with real-world videos.

Experience Chinese immersion online!

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe