What is the HSK?

Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) is China’s official, standardized Chinese language proficiency test for non-native speakers. The test is the result of coordinated efforts by the experts from different disciplines including Chinese language teaching, linguistics, psychology, and educational measurement. The new HSK is an international standardized exam that tests and rates Chinese language proficiency. It assesses non-native Chinese speakers’ abilities in using the Chinese language in their daily, academic and professional lives. It consists of a writing test and a speaking test, which are independent of each other.

HSK Manual for Test Takers

What is the YCT?

The YCT is the “Youth Chinese Test” for non-native primary and secondary school students. The new YCT test was launched by Hanban in an effort to encourage foreign young students to learn Chinese and improve their Chinese language proficiency.

YCT Manual for Test Takers

Purposes of HSK and YCT Certification

The Confucius Institute of the State of Washington is proud to host the HSK and the YCT at the University of Washington. The HSK and YCT exist to certify that non-native Chinese speakers are qualified to communicate in Chinese at the level required for school and daily interactions in China. Educational institutions and businesses often require proof of language proficiency for non-natives.

HSK and YCT certification is granted based on the level of testing taken, and passing grades may provide exemption from Chinese language courses.

The HSK and YCT certificates are valid for life. However, for students applying to Chinese colleges or universities, the score report is only valid for two years.

Why take the test?

The test can serve a variety of purposes, including:

A reference for an educational institution’s decision-making concerning recruiting students, assigning students to different classes, allowing students to skip certain courses and giving students academic credits;
A reference for employers’ decision-making concerning the recruitment, training and promotion of test takers;
A method for Chinese language learners to assess and improve their proficiency in Chinese; and
A method for Chinese language training institutions to evaluate training results.

General Registration and Fee Information

Please see the Registration and Fee page for the HSK and YCT exams. Generally, the registration packet and fees are due about five weeks prior to the exam date. Visit the official HSK/YCT site for more information.


Please visit the Download Center to download guidelines and sample tests.