Studying Chinese

I passed the new HSK test level 5!

I just got my results from last month’s new HSK test level 5. I passed HSK 5 test! Here are my HSK level 5 scores:

  • Listening 89/100
  • Reading 70/100
  • Writing 76/200
  • Total 235/300

I am very happy and satisfied with these results, especially with my listening score. According to my HSK results my Chinese studies are going well and there is steady improvement. In November 2010 I got old HSK 4 (same as having new HSK 4 with points 192-209), in April 2011 I got old HSK 5 (new HSK 4 with points 210-300) and now finally tried and passed the new HSK exam.

According to the tablet of correlation between the old and the new HSK my new HSK 5 certificate should correlate with old HSK 8 level. I don’t quite believe it. I think old 8 would be much more difficult to get than this new 5. What do you think?

New HSK 5 level certificate is enough for graduation, but my goals are a little bit higher. I know that level 6 is much more difficult, but I will do my best to pass it before I graduate. I have 2 years to get my Chinese to that level and if you have any tips for me, please leave a comment!

I’m also in the process of setting Chinese learning goals for 2012. What kind of goals do you have? Or maybe you happen to know what my goals should be? Please share it all in the comments!

Happy and successful 2012 to everyone!

If you want to know my thoughts about the exam, you can read my earlier post: New HSK level 5: My thoughts about today’s exam

You can also read how I studied for the exam: Preparing for the new HSK level 5 exam



  • Alan

    Congrats Sara! What a great way to start the new year for you!

    Sara Reply:

    Thank you Alan! It really did give a nice start to my 2012, now I just have to figure out what I want to achieve this year.

  • Ivy

    Congrats!! I saw that you posted your score, so I checked mine too, and also passed :).

    I’ve heard that the old test is harder, too, but I think even so this score is quite an accomplishment, especially since you haven’t been studying for that long. You should be proud!

    Sara Reply:

    Congratulations Ivy! You know, I had been checking the website every day for a week in case the results come early :)

  • py


    Ivy Reply:

    其实她的成绩已经挺高的, HSK阅读和写作部分都挺难得, 听力部分比较容易。

    Sara Reply:



    steve ike Reply:


  • Becky

    Congrats! I have just decided to work towards passing HSK-4, so I’m totally impressed you passed 5! I will have one year to prepare for the HSK4, but as I am an english teacher I don’t have much extra time for study. So I think it will be a challenge for me.

    Sara Reply:

    I can totally understand not having enough time to study when you are working all day long with English. Remember, I’m studying full time and my life is nothing but Chinese, so I’m supposed to make some progress ;) Good luck with your goal and I’m sure you can reach it!

  • ano

    Suosittele kiinalaisia elokuvia?

    Sara Reply:

    Viimeaikoina katsomistani voin draaman puolella suositella Aftershock ja komedian puolella Love on credit. Kovasti odottelen myos, etta paasen katsomaan The flowe’s of war ja You are the apple of my eye.

  • ordinary malaysian

    Congratulations, Sara. Quite impressive scores although I am not familiar with HSK. Obviously you have quite a good grasp of Mandarin already and your being immersed in living your China dream must have helped. 加油!

    Sara Reply:

    I surely wouldn’t be even on this level if my motivation wouldn’t been as high as it is, that’s thanks to my dream.

  • Eileen

    I am impressed. Congratulations! Also, happy new year! Can’t wait to celebrate Chinese New Year. :)

    Sara Reply:

    I’m waiting for Chinese new year too, I wan’t to get on a holiday :)

  • heahe


    Sara Reply:




    xidong Tang Reply:

    supper different! im so glad your Chinese get big improve ! Im Chinese, but i studied in America, where do you from? can recommend some show that’s very interesting to improve your Chinese, cause i think 新闻联播it’s too much boring. 快乐大本营 湖南卫视 我是歌手 im Singer (i have a American friend ,he is so interesting about that ,and after watching for a time, his Chinese improved a lot and very fast)

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    I’m from Finland and that’s a great tip, it’s both interesting and useful to watch Chinese TV shows to learn the language.

  • heahe


    Sara Reply:


  • Kelly M

    Congrats Sara! You’ve worked very hard and deserve those excellent grades. :)

    I’ve never taken any HSK exams due to a combination of laziness and fear. It’s been over 8 years since I studied Mandarin formally and my speaking and writing have slipped to an embarrassingly low level so it’s unlikely that I will ever do so. Since I now live in a country where Mandarin isn’t spoken and I’ve had to learn a new language for everyday use, I suppose the need to improve my Mandarin skills is not a priority….which is a shame.

    Will you be going on to take the advanced HSK exams?

    Sara Reply:

    I’m planning on taking the HSK5 again in spring 2013 so that I surely have a valid certificate when I graduate (the HSK certificate seems to be valid for two years). Then on autumn 2013 I will try HSK6 which is the highest HSK exam they have at the moment. It’s going to be a big challenge, especially the writing section is difficult, but I’ll do my best to achieve it. If I don’t pass HSK6 in 2013 then I’ll try as long as I pass it.

  • Nick K

    Congratulations on your result – can I ask a question though please? What’s HSK stand for?

    I’m going to continue learning Chinese badly and inefficiently this year – so I suspect yours is infinitely better than mine. :-)

    Sara Reply:

    HSK stands for Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi 汉语水平考试 whish means Mandarin Level Exam.

    p.s. I think I haven’t seen your blog before, have to check it out!

  • heahe


  • Jack

    Congradulation Sara! That’s quite an achievement!

    I definitely agree with others, that practice makes perfect. Total immersion is the only way to improve – until you start THINKING in the target language! :D (or dreaming in the target language!)

    BTW, did you got married? :D

    Sara Reply:

    Don’t get too excited Jack, I’m not married! Just here in the south boyfriend’s are also called 老公 even though the couple isn’t married ;)

    I’ve had one or two dreams where I spoke a little bit Chinese, but that’s it. I usually don’t remember in the morning if I’ve seen dreams or not.

  • ordinary malaysian

    你写得不错. I am impressed, Sara!

    Sara Reply:


    heahe Reply:

    Based on your reply in Chinese, your Chinese is very idiomatically and authentically. Good luck!

    ordinary malaysian Reply:

    你太客气了! Really, you are progressing well, Sara. Glad for you.

  • Petter

    Did you try the mock-tests at If so, what wes your score? I did it yesterday and got a score of 185, which I reckon should be enough for the real test…

    My aspirations are the same as yours though, HSK 6, but I only have about a year to get to that level. Might be quite hard, especially since I got loads of other uni-work that will need my attention.

    Anyways, good job!

    Sara Reply:

    You did really well with that mock test! I did the mock test of level 5 too (in September) before the real HSK and got 161 points. I think I will try HSK6 in April 2013 for the first time and then again, if I don’t pass, in December 2013.

    Good luck with your studies!

  • Guest

    Hi Sara,

    I just passed the HSK Lvl 5, I took it back in the Americas. I am not living in China now. What kind of doors does passing the Lvl 5 open? I recall several Master’s degrees at PKU and a few jobs that required a lvl 5.

    HSK五级(2012-09-08) 汉语水平考试




    Total Score







  • Kevin Shimota

    Hi Sara,

    I just passed the HSK Lvl 5, I took it back in the Americas. I am
    not living in China now. What kind of doors does passing the Lvl 5
    open? I recall several Master’s degrees at PKU and a few jobs that
    required a lvl 5.
    HSK五级(2012-09-08) 汉语水平考试

    听力-89 阅读-85 写作-61
    Total Score=235


    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    恭喜你通过五级! 成绩也不错!

    I’m not sure which doors HSK5 can open, but like you said, but different universities require different level of HSK to apply for undergrad or grad degrees. Are you interested in doing a degree in China?

    When applying for a job I think that HSK is just proof of your Chinese language skills and useful in that way. Some jobs don’t require Chinese, some do, for some it’s a plus. It’s hard to say anything in general.

    Good luck with your studies, let me know when you try level 6!

  • Malaysian Zadli


  • Kim Ling

    This is very inspiring and well done! I am considering doing the HSK exams I studied in China for 3 months at a private school and have kept up my studies through self study…. though I must admit I feel I am not doing so well and thinking of going back to the teacher route. I have just started looking into the HSK exams and am researching it, trying to figure out if you have to write 汉字 as part of the exam and also do you have to speak or is it just listening. If you could answer these questions that would be a huge help. Best of luck in your studies, it really is inspirational that you have progressed so far and are continue to study.
    Well done!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Kim!

    You should check out my new blog post about this, it will answer many of your questions:

  • Mira Ben

    I got the level 5 in 2008 what’s the new HSK exam you are speaking about ? Thank you

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Mira, for many the new HSK is the only HSK they knew. But few years ago there was still the old HSK that had levels from 1 to 11. The new HSK only has levels from 1 to 6 and the exams are different also. I believe that the old HSK isn’t available anymore, so there might not be any use to call them old and new anymore.

  • Moazzam

    oh thats very great to hear that you got your exam cleared, And its even wonderful to see you are so humble to ask for the advice, tips and opinions to get you through HSK6. i think you gotta put yourself in more tight position, two years is quite a time, if you get it done in one year, that would be marvelous, i suggest in my humble opinion, that you gotta study more chinese formally in a school where the public speak mandarin as well, so you can mix with them after study hours.

    And hell yeah, do what it takes.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Moazzam, this blog post is a bit old and since then I have passed the HSK6 in May 2013. I have also always studied Chinese in formal classes in a university.

  • Amira

    Hello i Got 182 for level 5, with under 60 in writing and reading does it mean that I passed ? Please help me thank you so much beautiful

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    According to my knowledge the total score is what matter in the new HSK which you most probably took as the old HSK isn’t available anymore. You should be able to get your certificate at the same place where you took your test.

  • Vivek Kumar

    Congrats Frnd…I would like to HSL Level 1 and Level 2.. Can u please guide me if I can do by Myself… I would like to do it myself without tutor. So if any online material which you can suggest.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Viverk, have you read this post yet? I have some tips and links in there that might help you.

    Vivek Kumar Reply:

    Thanks Sara,

    The link ( your have given is really good but seems little old. Since link given in that website for “all the HSK vocabulary lists in different formats here ( )” and ” ” actually does NOT work.

    Thanks for your assistance and request you to prvide any link which will provide the complete list for free HSK 1 and HSK 2 with practice session.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:


    Thank you for letting me know that the lingomi link doesn‘s work anymore, I will remove that. But the works as normal on my computer. Could you try again?

  • pritom

    first of all congrates!!!i wanna ask you what do you think if a student scores 250+ in hsk4 within 1/2 month preparation can he pass hsk 5?

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Do a HSK5 mock exam right away. Do it from the beginning to the end with the official time limits. What score can you get?

  • Kaiser

    It’s not the HSK but I passed the ACTFL Mandarin OPI with Advanced Low today.

    Kaiser Reply:

    I finally passed HSK 5! My score was 200. I want to reach 240 though before trying level six. Otherwise, I think I’ll be 拔苗助长。What do you think? Am I being too cautious?

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    That’s great news! It’s also totally up to you if you want to take 5 again before trying 6. I personally don’t like paying too much for the HSK, and would do mock exams until I’ve reached the right level and then take level 6.

    Kaiser Reply:

    I’ve decided I’d rather crash and burn a few times than play it safe. So, it’s on to Level 6! I’ve bought all the prep materials as you suggested. Now I’ll do mock exams until I puke. Then I’ll take the real exam.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Sounds cool even though I have no idea what that exam is :)

    Kaiser Reply:

    ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). If you want to teach a foriegn language in America, you can take ACTFL exams to get certified. I took the oral exam and will take the written exam next month. These exams are NOT easy. Now, if you’re good at yoru language, they may feel easy. But in truth it’s really tough to pass them. Just like I think the HSK 5/6 levels are freaking tough.

  • Deepika

    Hi I want to know that how many levels I will have to clear to get scholarship and study in China. And what percentage is require to get scholarship?

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Deepika, you should take a look at the requirements for the scholarship you will be applying and see what HSK level they require if any

    Deepika Reply:

    Hi Sara. Thanks for your response. Where can I see all the details? Like hsk levels and scholarships.
    Pls help

  • tim

    Suppose you get a non-passing, but decent score on the hsk5. Will that automatically qualify you for passing the hsk4 and below?

    Why so many tests?!??

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    If you pass HSK5 of course there is no need to take lower tests.