The Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) is China's national standardized test designed and developed by the HSK Center of Beijing Language and Culture University to assess the Chinese language proficiency of non-native speakers (including foreigners, overseas Chinese and students from Chinese national minorities).
HSK is divided into three categories: beginning level (HSK Basic), elementary to intermediate level (HSK Elementary-Intermediate), and advanced level (HSK Advanced).
HSK tests are held regularly both at domestic test centers and at overseas test centers each year. HSK Certificates are issued to those who have obtained the required scores. More than 140 HSK centers have been set up, and 300,000 people have taken the test.
Chinese proficiency certificates are issued by the State Committee for the Chinese Proficiency Test of China in accordance with HSK scores and are recognized as authentic Chinese proficiency certificates in many countries all over the world. They are a reference standard used by different types of enterprises, organizations and educational institutions in recruiting people for jobs for which Chinese language skills are necessary. Chinese proficiency certificates are also evidence of the Chinese language skills of foreign students applying for enrollment into different types of schools at various levels in China. The National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language offers scholarships for studying in China to foreign candidates with excellent HSK scores.
(China.org.cn August 30, 2004)