New HSK test level 5: My thoughts about today’s exam

I just came back from the new HSK test level five. I think it went ok, but I don’t want to be too optimistic and then be disappointed if I don’t even pass. I will get the results in month and will let you know how I did. Or if I don’t, you’ll know I did a poor job at the exam.

Here are some of my thoughts about the new HSK 5 test and some comparison with the old HSK Elementary-Intermediate exam that includes the levels from 3 to 8.


Listening section is much easier than in the old HSK. In my opinion the first questions are even too easy to be put in a level five exam. In the end of the section there were some questions that I wasn’t so sure about, but in overall I think the listening went pretty well.


There isn’t any separate grammar section like in the old HSK, which is a relief for me. But like I wrote yesterday, the most difficult thing was to be fast enough. I didn’t have time to read all of the articles that closely, just read the questions and found the answers.

The level of the reading section was well suited for level five I think. Some quite easy ones, and some that I wasn’t so sure. I’m not too worried with this either, but getting a low score from this section is also possible.


In the first part there where two or three tricky sentences and I’m not sure if I put the words in the right order or not. Some of them included words that I didn’t recognize and it made constructing the sentences more difficult. But I finished the first part quite quickly because I wanted to leave more time for the second part.

The words in the first essay were: 辅导,进步,方法,完全,明显. I’m not sure if I used the words 完全 and 明显 correctly in my essay, because there wasn’t much time to think what to write. I wrote about how it’s a good method to have a Chinese person to tutor you when you’re learning Chinese. I almost forgot 进步, but luckily noticed it in time and added one more sentence in the end.

The picture was a photo of a man and woman carrying an armchair together. I wrote how important friends are for us and how a friend should be ready to help another friend in need, for example when moving to a new room.

The writing section is more difficult in the new HSK than in the old HSK, but still the old one isn’t too easy either. In the old HSK there are text or texts where 15 characters here and there are left out. You have to figure out what those characters are and remember how to write them. Besides this there are also texts where words are left out and you have to choose from multiple choices which word is the correct one.

Which one is better? Old or new HSK?

After trying the new HSK for the first time I now prefer it over the old HSK. But I also think the listening section should be more difficult and in the same level with the reading section. New HSK doesn’t have much grammar questions, but I’m not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing in general. I only know that in the old HSK grammar was my weakest section.

At least at the moment I’m happy with my performance in the exam and have a good feeling about it. I really hope that I won’t be disappointed when I get the results.

Did anyone else take the HSK today? How did it go?

11 thoughts on “New HSK test level 5: My thoughts about today’s exam

  1. hey! I also took the level 5 yesterday :). I took the old HSK in 2007, so couldn’t remember the differences that clearly. I also thought the listening was rather easy, and that there wasn’t a lot of time for the reading part. I wrote an essay similar to yours for that picture, ha.

    Good luck! I took it because I am going to apply for a Master’s in China next fall (I think), probably in 对外汉语.

    It seems like your Chinese is improving really fast. Good for you!


    Sara Reply:

    Nice to hear that you have same kind of feelings about the exam. Are you already waiting for the results as I am? :) Your plans for Master’s sounds really good! I’ve though about the same plan my self before, but at the moment I think I would prefer to find a job after all this studying.


  2. Congrats on the test. I hope to hear good news next month. Here’s my sample short essay:



    Sara Reply:

    I hope to hear the good news too, still about two weeks left to wait. Great example by the way!


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  6. I took HSK 5 today in HK, I wish I had read your advice first. My teacher advised on techniques to maximize speed, which did help, but less time means less understanding. Anyway HSK is a hobby for me at the end of the day.


    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Let me know when you get the results! What did you think was the hardest part in the HSK?

    I think in reading the speed comes from looking at the multiple choices first and then finding the answers.


  7. Hi! I’m planning to take the HSK5 sometime next year. I took the HSK4 a couple years ago, so I figured it’s about time. So, on the test for the written part, do you need to handwrite or do they allow you to type?


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