Nowadays, many leading assessment and examination boards in the world hold Chinese language examinations at different levels of difficulty, address to different types of learners’ profiles. Below are basic introductions to some well-known international Chinese exams in the world. Visitors who need more information about the specific exam, please visit the official website of each exam.
The whole range of IBDP courses is on offer: 1st and 2nd Year Language and Literature as well as 1st and 2nd Year Literature, all of which are at both Standard and Higher Levels.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) is part of the IB curriculum, followed by students aged 11-16 studying at schools approved by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). At the center of the MYP is the “learner profile”, which defines the type of students all the IB programmes (PYP, MYP, and DP) are intended to develop. The profile can be characterized by the following traits:
MYP is not a required background for students considering entering into the IB Diploma Programme. However, it offers extensive preparation and assistance in becoming the ultimate student, thus enabling a fuller IB experience overall.
The General Certificate of Education Advanced Level, more commonly known as the GCE A Level, is a school leaving qualification offered by secondary schools, sixth form colleges and further education colleges in the United Kingdom and at many international schools around the world. A Levels are generally worked towards over two years and split into two parts, with one part studied in each year. The first part is known as the Advanced Subsidiary Level, or AS Level, while the second part is known as the A2 Level. The AS Level is a qualification in its own right, and the AS Level combined with the A2 Level forms the complete A Level qualification.
The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is an internationally used English language curriculum which is offered to students preparing to enter into International Baccalaureate or A Level programes. Typical “core” curricula for IGCSE candidates include a First Language, Second Language, Mathematics and one or more subjects in the Sciences. IGCSE candidates then choose a number of additional courses ranging from Social Sciences to Creative Arts. There are two main exam boards governing the I/GCSE – Edexcel and Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) – and schools around the world follow them selectively, often taking different components from each board. It is recognized by academic institutions and employers around the world and is considered by many institutions as equivalent to the standard GCSE.
Advanced Placement examinations are taken mainly by Grade 11 and Grade 12 students. The tests are the culmination of year-long Advanced Placement (AP) courses. It is not a requirement in the admissions process, but some universities may also take AP grades into account when deciding which students to accept. Most universities, however, refer to the AP when making decisions about allowing course credit or waiving course prerequisites. There are currently over 30 AP test options, but few high schools offer the whole range of AP classes.
In the United State, the College Board offers AP Chinese courses. The Chinese learner can take the examinations after finishing the courses.
The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. Scores on the SAT range from 600 to 2400, combining test results from three 800-point sections: Mathematics, Critical Reading, and Writing. The SAT is not aligned to any school curriculum, but it is one of the most popular academic ability tests recognized by universities in the United States. It is commonly taken by students in Grades 10, 11, and 12. SAT II Chinese, it is a national Chinese standard test for American high school students in the College Board.
The ACT is an entrance exam used by most US colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. It provides colleges with one common criterion that can be used to compare all applicants. Its role is similar to the one of the SAT. And likewise, it is not aligned with any school curriculum. The ACT has four sections: English, Reading, Math and Science, as well as an optional 30-minute writing test. Students usually take the ACT in the spring of their junior year (Grade 11) and, if necessary, again in the fall of their senior year (Grade 12). However, more and more students are choosing to take their first ACT earlier, which gives them more flexibility to retake the ACT test one or more times, or to take the SAT or SAT subject tests.
The HSK test is administered by the Hanban(the abbreviation for the Office of Chinese Language Council International). HSK stands for the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, pronounced in Pinyin: Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì, translated as the Chinese Proficiency Test. It is the standardized test of Standard Chinese language proficiency of China.
The HSK test approximates the English TOEFL. The test aims to be a certificate of language proficiency for higher educational and professional purposes for non-native speakers such as foreign students and overseas Chinese.
HSK provides Chinese language test standards for Chinese learners to test their academic performance, study in China, apply for scholarships to study in China, conduct teaching evaluations in schools, and recruit and promote employers.
Like HSK, YCT is also administered by the Hanban. YCT stands for Youth Chinese Test. It is an international standardized test of Chinese language proficiency. It assesses young foreign students’ abilities to use Chinese in their daily and academic lives.