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 (Basic) is a standardized test designed for beginners. It is most appropriate for those who have acquired 400-3000 basic Chinese words (referring to level A and B in the Outline of HSK Grammar).
HSK Elementary-Intermediate is suitable for persons who have mastery of 2000-5000 Chinese words (referring to levels A, B and C in the outline of HSK Vocabulary) and certain rules of grammar (referring to levels A, B and C in the outline of HSK Grammar).
HSK Advanced applies to those who have mastery of 5000-8000 Chinese words (referring to level A, B, C and D in the Outline of HSK Vocabulary) and the corresponding rules of grammar (referring to level A, B, C and D in the Outline of HSK Grammar).
(China.org.cn August 30, 2004)