Scoring System of HSK Basic
2004/12/05
 

Scoring System of HSK Basic

HSK (Basic) is a standardized test designed for beginners. It is most appropriate for those who have acquired 400-3000 basic Chinese words (referring to level A and B in the Outline of HSK Grammar).

1. Function of the Certificate of HSK Basic:

The Certificate of HSK Basic includes three levels, i. e. level A, B and C. (level A is the highest, equivalent to level C of the Certificates will be awarded to those who have secured the minimum required scores. 

The certificate of HSK Basic serves:

(1) As a requirement to enter a college or university in China as an undergraduate student in the field of science, engineering, agriculture or Western medicine (Level A only).

(2) To exempt students from taking certain language courses in China.

(3) As an exemption of language testing for hiring decisions for positions requiring basic competence in Chinese.

2. HSK (Basic) scoring system:

(1) A sub score of HSK Basic is a graduated score ranging from 0 to 100 with 50 as the mean and 20 as the standard deviation.  The total score, which is the sum of graduated scores for subs cores, is a graduated score ranging from 0 to 300. The scale subscores show the relative position of a candidate in a standard HSK Basic sample group.  Table 1.1 gives the percentile of graduated subs cores.  The second row indicates the percentage occupied by those whose scores are lower than the corresponding scores in the standard HSK Basic reference group.

Table 1.1

Subs core 100 76 67 60 55 50 45 40 33 24
Percentage 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10

Table 1.1 Percentile of subs cores of HSK Basic
Table 1.1 Percentile of subs cores of HSK Basic

Table 1.2

Types and Grade

Grade Level

Score Range

Types

Grade

 

Basic

Level

 

C

Level 1

100-154

B

Level2

155-209

A

Level3

210-300

 
Table 1.2 HSK Types and Grades of the Basic Certificate

(2)The type and grade of HSK Basic is based on the total score. Table 1.2 explains the type and grade of the certificate.

(3) Requirements to obtain HSK Basic certificate

The candidate must secure the total minimum score required for the corresponding level.

3. Description of the level scoring system of HSK Basic:
HSK Basic has three score level ranging from 1 to 3:
Level 1 Has basic competence (Low) in Chinese. Able to handle simple, elementary needs in very familiar situations.  Any person having mastery of 600 Chinese words and certain rules of grammar can reach this standard which is also the standard for obtaining the certificate of HSK Basic Grade C.

Level 2 Has basic (Mid) in Chinese. Able to partially satisfy the requirements of basic communicative exchanges. Level 2 is the standard for obtaining the certificate of HSK Basic Grade B.

Level 3 Has basic competence (High) in Chinese. Level 3 is the minimum level in Chinese proficiency for a candidate to be admitted to a college or university in China as an undergraduate student in the field of science, engineering, agriculture, or Western medicine as well as the standard for obtaining the certificate of HSK Basic Grade A, which is equivalent to Grade C of HSK Elementary.

4. Components and test length of HSK(Basic):

HSK Basic is a 140-item, 135-minute test. HSK Basic is divided into three subtests: Listening, sentence structure and reading. All item are multiple-choice. During the time allowed for each section, examinees must work on that section only and are not permitted to work beyond the time limit for the section. Examinees are also not permitted to turn to a section that has not been announced or go back to an earlier section. The test is taken in this order:

First SectionListening50 itemsapproximately 35 minutes

Second Section  Sentence Structure 40 items 40 minutes

Third Section   Reading50items 60 minutes

 

Scoring System of HSK Elementary-Intermediate

HSK Elementary-Intermediate is suitable for persons who have mastery of 2000-5000 Chinese words (referring to level A, B and C in the outline of HSK Vocabulary) and certain rules of grammar (referring to lever A, B and C in the outline of HSK Grammar).

1. Function of the Certificate of HSK Elementary-Intermediate:

(1) to be a requirement to enter a college or university in China as an undergraduate student.

(2) to exempt the holder from taking certain language courses in China.

(3) as a basis for employers to evaluate job applicants' Chinese language proficiency.


2.HSK Elementary-Intermediate scoring system:

(1) Interpretation of the scores of HSK Elementary-Intermediate:

A sub score of HSK Elementary-Intermediate is a scale sore with 50 as the mean and 15 as the standard deviation. The total score is a scale score with 200 as the mean and 60 as the standard deviation. These scores show the relative position of the candidate in a standard HSK sample group. In table 2.1, it indicates the relative position of a candidate in the whole group. The column on the right gives the percentage of those whose scores are lower than the corresponding scores in the standard HSK reference group. The total score is not equal to the sum of all the subscores.

 HSK score Percentage   (Table 2.1)

HSK score

Percentage

Total score

Sub score

400

100

100

277

69

90

250

63

80

231

58

70

215

54

60

200

50

50

185

46

40

169

42

30

150

37

20

123

31

10

(2) Table 2.2 shows the subscores of HSK Elementary-Intermediate as well as the types and grades of the certificate of HSK Elementary-Intermediate.

In table 2.2, HSK Elementary has a bottom line below level C, which is established for the convenience of setting the standards for the HSK Elementary certificate. Thus, the bottom line cannot be used for measuring a beginner's level. The candidate cannot fain the certificate of HSK Elementary if any score falls below the minimum elementary subs core requirements.

Table 2.2

Types and Grades

Grade Level

Score Range

Types

 

 

Listening

Grammar

Reading

Cloze

Score Range

 

Elementary

Level

Grades

Bottom Line

29-37

28-36

30-38

28-36

115-151

C

Level  3

38-46

37-45

39-47

37-45

152-188

B

Level  4

47-55

46-54

48-57

46-54

189-225

A

Level  5

56-64

55-63

57-65

55-63

226-262

Intermediate

Level

C

Level  6

65-73

64-72

66-74

64-72

263-299

B

Level  7

74-82

73-81

75-83

73-81

300-336

A

Level  8

83-100

82-100

84-100

82-100

82-100

3.Description of the level scoring system:

HSK has eleven score levels, amongst which levels 1-3 are the beginning level, levels 3-5 are the elementary level, levels 6-8 are the intermediate level, and levels 9-11 are the advanced level. The following is the description of level 3-level 8.

Level 3 Has basic (low) competence in Chinese. A person reaching this level can gain the certificate of HSK Elementary Grade C. Level 3 is the minimum level in Chinese proficiency for a candidate to be admitted to a college or university in China as an undergraduate student in the field of science, engineering, agriculture or western medicine.

Level 4 Has basic (mid) competence in Chinese. Can gain the certificate of HSK Elementary Grade B.

Level 5 Has basic (high) competence in Chinese. Can gain the certificate of HSK Elementary Grade A.

Level 6 is proficient in Chinese at the intermediate (low) level. Can gain the certificate of HSK Intermediate Grade C. Level 6 is the minimum level required by the Ministry of Education for a candidate to enter college or university in China as an undergraduate student in the field of literature, history and traditional Chinese medicine.

Level 7 is proficient in Chinese at the intermediate (mid) level. Can gain the certificate of HSK Intermediate Grade B.

Level 8 is proficient in Chinese at the intermediate (high) level. Can gain the certificate of HSK Intermediate Grade A.

4.Requirements for obtaining the certificate of Elementary-Intermediate HSK:

(1)The candidate must secure the total scores required for the corresponding grade.

(2)The candidate must secure three of the four required subscores for the corresponding grade.

(3)Only one of the four subscores is allowed to be lower than the required minimum grade, but not lower than the minimum scores of the next lower grade. In such case, the candidate can only be awarded the certificate of a lower grade.

The above three requirements aim at encouraging the candidate to develop various skills in Chinese uniformly. Thus, the irregular development of any particular skill will affect level of the HSK certificate obtained by the candidate.

5. Components and test length of HSK Elementary-Intermediate:

HSK Elementary-Intermediate is a 170-item, 145 minutes test which is divided into four subtests; listening, sentence structure, reading and cloze. Items from 1-154 are multiple-choice. Items 155-170 are a test of comprehension in which blank spaces at regular intervals in a text must be filled in with appropriate Chinese characters. During the time allowed for each section, examinees must work on that section only and are not permitted to work beyond the time limit for the section. Examinees are also not permitted to turn to a section that has not been announced or turn to a previous section.

The test is taken in this order:
First Section        Listening            50 items        approximately 35 minutes
Second Section     Sentence Structure     30 items         20 minutes          
Third Section       Reading             50 items         60 minutes
Fourth Section      Cloze               40 items         30 minutes

 

Scoring System of HSK Advanced

HSK Advanced applies to those who have mastery of 5000-8000 Chinese words (referring to level A, B, C and D in the Outline of HSK Vocabulary) and the corresponding rules of grammar (referring to level A, B, C and D in the Outline of HSK Grammar).

1. Function of the Certificate of HSK Advanced:

(1) to be a requirement in Chinese proficiency for a candidate to enter a university in China as a graduate student.

(2) to exempt the holder from taking certain Chinese courses.

(3) to certify the holder as being qualified to undertake ordinary work by using Chinese as a communicative tool.

2. HSK Advanced scoring system:

(1) Interpretation of the scores of HSK Advanced:

A subscore of HSK Advanced is a scale score with 50 as the mean and 15 as the standard deviation. These scores show the relative position of the candidate in a standard sample group. Table 3.1 helps to locate the relative position of a candidate in the whole group. The second line indicates the percentage occupied by those whose scores are lower than the corresponding scores in the standard HSK reference group.

Table 3.1

subscore 100 69 63 58 54 50 46 42 37 31
percentage 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10


Table 3.1 Percentile of subscores of HSK Advanced

(2) Table 3.2 shows the types and grades of the certificate of HSK Advanced
 
Types and Grades Scores Level Score Range   

Table 3.2

Types and Grades Scores Level Score Range
Types Grades Listening Reading Cloze Composition Oral Total score
Advanced Level Bottom Line 46-57 42-53 42-53 46-57 44-55 220-279
C 9 58-69 54-65 54-65 58-69 56-67 280-339
B 10 70-81 66-77 66-77 70-81 68-79 340-399
A 11 82-100 78-100 78-100 82-100 80-100 400-500

Table 3.2 Types and grades of the certificate of HSK Advanced

In table 3.2, HSK Advanced has a bottom line, which is established for the convenience of setting the standards for the certificate of HSK Advanced. Thus, the bottom Line is only relevant for ranking levels in HSK elementary and intermediate when the score of a candidate reaches the bottom line.

In table 3.2, HSK Advanced has a bottom line, which is established for the convenience of setting the standards for the certificate of HSK Advanced. Thus, the bottom Line is only relevant for ranking HSK Advanced levels. It cannot be used for ranking levels in HSK elementary and intermediate when the score of a candidate reaches the bottom line.

3. Description of the level scoring system for HSK Advanced:

HSK has eleven score levels, among which levels 9-11 are the advanced level.

Level 9 is proficient in Chinese at the advanced (low) level. Level 9 is the standard to obtain the certificate of HSK Advanced Grade C. This is also the requirement for a candidate to use Chinese as a communicative tool in ordinary work.

Level 10 is proficient in Chinese at the advanced (mid) level. Level 10 is the standard to obtain the certificate of HSK Advanced Grade B. This is also the requirement for a candidate to use Chinese as a communicative tool in ordinary work.

Level 11 is proficient in Chinese at the advanced (high) level. Examinees reaching level 11 can be regarded as qualified as an intermediate-level translator. Level 11 is the standard to obtain the certificate of HSK Advanced Grade A.

4. Requirement for obtaining the certificate of HSK Advanced:

(1) The candidate must secure the total score required for the corresponding grade of the certificate.

(2) In the five subtests, the candidate must secure three of the four subscores for listening, reading, composition and oral tests required for the corresponding grade.

(3) Two of the five subscores may be lower than the required minimum, (for the four subtests of listening, reading, composition and oral, only one subscore may be lower than the required minimum for the corresponding grade), but not lower than the required minimum scores for the next lower grade. In such case, the candidate can only be awarded a certificate of a lower grade.

(4) None of the five subscores are allowed to be lower than the bottom line under Grade C.

5. Components and test length of HSK Advanced:
The total test length is 2 hours and 35minutes.
HSK Advanced consists of three separately-timed subtests: 120-item written test (objective), composition and oral test. The 120-item test is organized into three subtests: listening, reading and cloze. A variety of objective question types will be used including multiple-choice, matching, gap-filling and writing Chinese characters. The oral test takes the form of an interview. During the time allowed for each section, examinees must work on that section only, and are nor permitted to work beyond the time limit for the section. Examinees are also not permitted to turn to a section that has not been announced or go back to a previous section.

The test is taken in this order and timed as follows:
(1) Written test (objective)     120 items    105 minutes
    (a) Listening                40 items approximately 25 minutes
    (b) Reading
    first section                 15 items    15 minutes
    second section               25 items    25 minutes
    (c) Cloze                    40 items    40 minutes
   

After the 120-item written test, there is a 10 minute test break. Then a composition and oral test follow.
    (2) Composition               30 minutes
    (3) Oral test                   20 minutes
    first stage preparation           10 minutes
    second stage talk (recorded)      10 minutes

(China.org.cn August 30, 2004)

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