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Chinese Proficiency Tests are About to Get Harder

Mandarin learners beware: China’s language proficiency tests are about to get more challenging.

The Ministry of Education and the State Language Commission recently announced a new standard for Chinese proficiency that will go into effect starting July 1, 2021.

While the current HSK levels run from one to six (easiest to hardest), the new standards will include nine levels that challenge four elements of Mandarin: syllables, characters, vocabulary and grammar.

Based on changes from the current HSK standards, levels one through four will be more challenging than before, while levels five and six will be slightly easier.

READ MORE: What Is the HSK Exam and Why You Should Take It

Meanwhile, the new advanced levels (seven to nine) will be more difficult than any previous HSK tests. For the highest level, learners should be able to read 240 characters per minute, write dissertations and be capable of professional translating and interpreting, according to China Daily.

WATCH: Tips for Improving Your Chinese Language Skills

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Infographic via That’s Mandarin

The body responsible for administering HSK tests did not immediately respond to That’s for comment on whether current HSK test certificates will remain valid after the new standards are implemented in July.

According to the Ministry of Education, the Chinese language has been integrated into curriculums in more than 75 countries. The Center for Language Education and Cooperation said around 25 million people are learning Chinese outside of the PRC.

READ MORE: Here’s a Useful App to Level Up Your Chinese Language Skills


Looking for a language challenge? If so, learn how you can prepare for the HSK with That’s Mandarin by scanning the QR code below:

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[Cover image via Reddit]

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