There are typically three ways to take the HSK Test – paper-based, computer-based, or home-based.

You can visit HSK exam Schedule website for HSK test dates.

The test result dates are also available on the official website on the same page as the test dates. You can visit the official site here.

The HSK certificate is valid indefinitely. However, for academic purposes, it is valid for two years from the test date. Therefore, if you are applying to a Chinese university, your HSK certificate will only be valid for two years.

Although the official website does not provide information on receiving a physical HSK certificate (you can check scores on the HSK result publication date as mentioned in the previous question), you should contact your test center if you have any questions, and they will assist you.

When you log into the website, you will see that results are announced about a month after you take the test, so be patient until your certificate arrives.

After candidates complete the test, their work is sent back (or, if online, submitted) to Beijing for grading at the HSK headquarters. This is why it takes a long time to get results – the test centers hosting the exam do not grade the HSK test papers.

There are no consequences if you fail, and you can retake the test as many times as you want.

Exam Format

The HSK computer-based test is identical to the paper-based test in terms of difficulty level, test content, and grading criteria. The only difference is that the questions are presented on a screen, and you are required to submit answers using a keyboard and mouse.

The test fees for HSK computer-based and paper-based are the same at any test center in China and should also be the same outside of China. However, some overseas test centers may set their own prices and might charge less for the computer-based test.

The Listening and Reading sections are graded by a computer. The Writing section (HSK 3-6) is graded by certified HSK examiners. The grading criteria applied to both computer and paper tests are identical.

This varies from person to person, but it is generally easier to train yourself to type quickly than to write quickly. However, if you still cannot type up to 15 characters per minute after self-practice or have difficulty using a computer keyboard and mouse, it is recommended to take the paper test.

Since the computers used for computer-based testing are regularly maintained and tested, crashes are rare. If it does happen, stay calm, consult with your test proctor, and ask about the possibility of extending the test time. If the proctor cannot fix the problem immediately, request a test reschedule. According to the Hanban website, they can reschedule the test without additional charges if technical issues occur during the test.