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HSK Sample Practice Test and Key Points to Remember

Practice HSK sample test to know the structure of all the exercises

Before taking the exam, you must know exactly what to expect. You already know that. For example, if you are taking the HSK 2, you will have 8 exercises — 4 in listening comprehension, 4 in reading comprehension — and 60 questions in total; you will listen to the audio recordings twice; Exercise 2 in the reading comprehension will be made up of 5 fill-in sentences, etc.

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Learn all the instructions by heart

This way, you will feel more confident on the exam day as there will be no surprises. You will save your time and energy because you will already understand the instructions and so you will be able to focus better on reading the texts and answering the questions.

HSK Test : Before taking the exam, you should be able to remember the instructions for every single exercise you will have to complete.

Use draft paper and write down the questions you have answered but which you may have some doubts about. If you have time left after answering the other questions, you can quickly go back to those you found challenging using your draft paper.



Practice HSK sample test to stay focused: From HSK 4, you will only be allowed to listen to the audio tracks once per exercise. It is crucial that you stay very focused throughout the listening section.

  • Write down the relevant information on your draft paper: key words, vocabulary, structural elements…
  • Focus on key words: You can sometimes answer the questions even without understanding the whole recording.


Practice HSK to learn how structuring your ideas (HSK 6). Create vocabulary lists. For example, learn some different ways to introduce a topic, organise your thoughts in two or three points, develop examples… Once you have learnt them, these structures will help you to write clear and coherent essays.

Only use the vocabulary you know well: This is not the right time to experiment with new words or expressions that you have not perfectly mastered. When in doubt, keep it simple, although the examiners will give extra credit to those with a more diverse vocabulary.

Keep some time to proofread your answers. When preparing, practise writing texts that are as long as (or even longer than) the exam essays. You will get faster and faster. Once again, Global-Exam‘s training exercises under real exam conditions can be very helpful.


  • Set clear goals to make sure to manage your time during the exam. There is no perfect approach to time management: it all depends on you, on how quickly you can read and write the characters, etc. It is however extremely important to set time limits per question. For instance, in the reading comprehension of HSK 3, you know that you have to complete 3 exercises of 10 questions each in 30 minutes. Practise doing them in 8 to 9 minutes each. On the exam day, you can check at regular intervals whether you are on time, and you will save a few minutes to proofread.
  • Time yourself during your preparation. Ideally, you should be able to identify the average time it takes you to complete each exercise.Global-Exam’s training exercises under real exam conditions (same text length, same types of questions, etc.) can give you some timed exercises so that you can evaluate yourself and get faster.
  • Use the maximum time allowed: Handing in your copy before the end of the exam is pointless! You should instead take the time to proofread your answers.
  • Proofread your paper!
  • There are no negative marks in the HSK exam: When you only have a couple of seconds left, you should randomly select answers to the remaining questions. You have a 3 out of 4 chance to get the answer right. If you have enough time to read the answers then you can use a process of elimination and you will be even more likely to hit upon the right one!


Remember to register for the test!

Before starting to prepare for the HSK, make sure you have registered for the exam! The HSK test is becoming more and more popular yet the number of exam centres remains limited. Be prepared- register as soon as you decide to take the HSK.

Be on time on the test day!

Be on the safe side and plan ahead:

  • Check out the route to the exam centre and if possible  do the journey at least once before the exam to assess how much time you will need on the exam day.
  • Arrive 30 minutes before the start time.
  • Remember to bring your invitation letter as well as a valid form of ID (with a picture and signature).

No break during the exam!

There are no breaks during the exam. Several students in the past have regretted not going to the toilet before the beginning of the exam!

Lastly, feel confident!

You trained seriously and methodically to take a HSK level. You will succeed!

More information about  what is exactly the HSK test and how can make an effective preparation.