New HSK 3.0 (2021) Changes and Updates & HSK 1 – 9 Vocabulary List

You may know that the news about new HSK system (referred to as HSK 3.0) have been wildly spread since last year. On March 31, 2021, China’s Ministry of Education announced the official standards. The official document has 260 pages. We have looked through it and made this video to summarize the info for you. All these changes will go into effect on July 1, 2021.

We also collected the vocabulary list of New HSK Level 1 - 9, which includes 11092 vocabulary words in total. You can download the PDF of the vocabulary list here:

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2021 New HSK System Changes and Updates (Q&A)

1. When will the new HSK standards go into effect?

The new standards will take effect on July 1st, 2021.

2. What does this standard have to do with the current HSK system?

The new HSK standards divides Chinese proficiency levels into 3 different stages: "Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced".  Each stage has 3 different levels. Thus, there will be 9 HSK levels in total. Simply put, it is getting more difficult!

3. How is it getting more difficult?

In those new standards, you need to know 300 Chinese characters for level 1, and 600 Chinese characters for level 2. In current HSK test syllabus, HSK Level 1 and 2 don’t require you to know Chinese characters.  Besides, the number of vocabulary words in new HSK standards has also increased. Previously, HSK Level 1 only requires you to know 150 vocabulary words,  HSK level 2 requires you to know 300 vocabulary words, and HSK level 3 requires you to know 600 vocabulary words. However, in this new standard, you need to know 500 vocabulary words for new HSK level 1. That is to say, even if you’ve passed the HSK level 3 test, you might only be at level 1 based on this new standard.  Level 2 of the new standards is the equivalent of HSK level 4. Level 3 of the new standards is the equivalent of HSK level 5.

4. What is the impact of the new standard on the HSK tests?

So far, this new standard is only changing the evaluation criteria of Chinese learners. Currently, the official HSK has not said anything about any major changes to the HSK tests. So if you are going to take the HSK tests now, you can still prepare it by using the current HSK test syllabus.

If you have any other questions or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below.


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