How To Pass HSK 2 // Your Complete Guide [Update 2024]

How To Pass The HSK 2 With Style // Top Tips & Tricks (for 2024)

How to pass HSK 2

If you are reaching the end of your first year of Chinese studies, you might be looking into taking the HSK 2 test.

Today’s guide is driven to helping you pass HSK 2.

If you want to find out how to pass the other HSK exams – check these out



This HSK level is recommended for students who have studied Chinese for two semesters, so it might be a great way to test what you’ve learned once you’re done with your first year of studying Chinese.

Individual Classes in Taiwan

In some cases, it might even be a requirement from your Chinese language program to move on to second-year Chinese classes. 

The HSK stands for Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (Chinese Proficiency Test) and is the most widely recognised Chinese proficiency exam.

As the official proficiency exam from Hanban, the PRC’s Office of Chinese Language Council International, the HSK is the only test offered at the Confucius Institutes around the world.

This makes the HSK 2 an attractive test as it can certify your language ability to schools and employers around the world. 

If you’re interested in passing the HSK 2 test, this guide will break down every section of the HSK 2 test and provide helpful tips on preparing for the exam.

Please note that the HSKK 2 Spoken Test is a different test and not included in this guide.

How to Pass HSK 2 | Understand the Structure of HSK 2

How to Pass HSK 2 | Marks Needed to Pass

How to Pass HSK 2 | Learn the Contents of HSK 2

How to Pass HSK 2 | Test Your HSK 2 Vocabulary

How to Pass HSK 2 | Don’t Forget The Grammar

How to Pass HSK 2 | Mix Up Your Methods

How to Pass HSK 2 | FAQs

Discover Skritter, a great tool to learn Chinese

How To Pass HSK 2 | Understand The Structure

The HSK 2 has two different versions: the paper-based test and the internet-based test. 

The paper-based test takes 55 minutes to complete while the internet-based test takes 52 minutes to complete.

Regardless of which version you choose, the content of the exam and the structure of each section are the same.

The only difference is that the paper-based exam is three minutes longer as they give you more time to fill out the answer sheet. 

Both exams are broken down into a reading section and a listening section. Neither version tests for speaking or writing abilities. 

It is extremely important that you understand the structure of the test before test day so that you know exactly what to expect. 

In this section, we will break down both sections and explain each question structure. 

Listening Comprehension Section in HSK 2

The listening comprehension section is broken down into four parts for a total of 35 questions.

  • Part I of the listening comprehension section consists of 10 true or false questions. The test-taker will listen to a sentence in an audio recording and an image will be presented on the screen or paper. The student will then decide whether the image corresponds to the audio or not.
DISCOVER – Top tips for passing the HSK 1
  • For Part II of the listening comprehension section, the student will have to match an image with a dialogue. The test-taker will listen to 10 short dialogues and will be presented with several images in random order. The test-taker will then have to match the audio with the appropriate image.
  • Part III of the listening comprehension section contains 10 multiple-choice questions. The test-taker will listen to 10 short dialogues, after which a third person will ask a question regarding the conversation. There will be three options on the screen or paper for each question. The test-taker will need to pick the option that answers the question
  • Part IV of the listening comprehension section also consists of multiple-choice questions. The difference is that the dialogues here will be longer, and the test-taker will have to answer a question that will not be on the screen or test paper. There are five questions in this section and each will have three possible answers.

Reading Comprehension Section in HSK 2

The reading comprehension section is also broken down into four parts and contains a total of 25 questions. 

  • Part I of the reading comprehension section includes five match-the-picture questions. For each question, the student will be shown five pictures and five sentences in random order. The test-taker will have to match each picture with the corresponding sentence.
  • Part II includes five fill-the-blank questions. For each question, the student will be shown one or two sentences with one missing word along with a list of possible answers. The test-taker will have to choose the correct answer to fill in the blank.
  • Part III of the reading comprehension contains five true or false questions. For each question, the student will be shown two sentences. The test-taker will have to determine if the two sentences correspond to each other or not.
  • Part IV of the reading comprehension section contains 10 questions. The dynamic here is a little different, as the test-taker will be presented with 20 sentences in random order. The student will then have to pair up the corresponding sentences, with each correct correlation counting as a correctly answered question. 

How To Pass HSK 2 | Marks Needed to Pass

You need to get at least 60% of the available points to pass the HSK 2.

There are a total of 200 points between both the reading and listening sections.

The student needs to score at least 120 points between the two sections to pass the HSK 2.

You do not need to score 60% in both sections, but rather 60% of the available points for the 40 items. 

Note that not every item is worth the same number of points. The exam will tell you how much each item in a section is worth.

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How to Pass HSK 2 | Learn the Contents of HSK 2

As we mentioned earlier, the HSK 2 expects test-takers to have completed at least two semesters of Chinese language studies

This is by no means a rule or a prerequisite for taking the test as different study programs may allow students to achieve an HSK 2 level much faster than that. 

Regardless, you will want to make sure that you have the adequate preparation necessary for the HSK 2 before you sign up for the test.

Here are the best ways to get ready for, and pass the HSK 2 exam.

Taking In-Person Classes

You can hardly find a better way to prepare for the HSK than by taking in-person classes.

Having a native speaker correct your pronunciation in real time is essential, particularly when you’re first learning to speak Chinese.

LTL offers a variety of in-person classes in 1-on-1, group, and semester settings.

As of 2021, we offer in-person classes in:

  • Beijing
  • Shanghai 
  • Taipei
  • Singapore 
  • Chengdu
  • Xi’an
  • Beihai

Our in-person classes use the HSK 2 Standard Course books and follow the official HSK curriculum.

This is designed to maximise our students’ chances of passing the HSK exam.

If you’re interested in using the HSK Standard Course to study for HSK 2, you can find the books here. 

Start with the HSK 1 level if you never studied the Chinese language before.

Keep going with the HSK 2 level to go further with your language studies.

LTL also offers a Chinese immersion program and an extreme immersion program that can boost your Chinese to HSK 2 level and beyond. 

Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our immersion and extreme immersion programs.

NOTE – Links to buy the HSK books are affiliate links and LTL Mandarin School take a small cut of any sales made, with the rest going to Amazon and the lister of the product.

Taking Online Classes

If attending in-person classes is not possible for you at this time, LTL Mandarin School offers some of the most innovative online Chinese classes available today. 

Meet our Mascot, Lex, with LTL’s Flexi Classes
  • Flexi Classes allow students to sign up for one-hour classes anytime they want. You can look through our catalog of HSK 2 classes and book a class whenever is most convenient to you. We offer at least one HSK 2 class every hour every day. We currently have 50 HSK 2 classes available that can help you ace the HSK 2 exam.
  • Fixed Group Classes are another option for people who prefer a regular schedule. When you sign up for our fixed group classes, you will take each of our 50 one-hour HSK 2 classes in sequential order at a fixed time.  You can register for our regular group classes at 4 class hours per week or our intensive group classes at 10 hours per week. 
  • Fixed 1-on-1 online classes can be another option for those who don’t have much time and want to maximise their time in class. Our certified Chinese teachers can tailor your one-on-one class specific to your needs. 

How to Pass HSK 2 | Test Your HSK 2 Vocabulary

Once you start taking HSK 2 classes, you must keep track of your progress and test yourself constantly. 

Our HSK 2 vocabulary quiz is a great way to find out how well you know the 150 new words in the HSK 2 level. 

Using SRS apps like Hack Chinese or Pleco is another great way to constantly test your vocabulary.

These apps have built-in HSK 2 flashcard decks that can help you learn the HSK 2 vocab.

How to Pass HSK 2 | Don’t Forget The Grammar

Chinese language students tend to get caught up with memorising as many words as possible as they study Chinese.

While vocabulary is important, it should not come at the expense of familiarity with grammar patterns. 

One of the most common issues Chinese language students face is being able to understand every individual character in a sentence but not being able to understand the meaning of the whole sentence.

This can happen when grammar patterns are neglected. 

You can check out our Complete Guide to Basic Chinese Grammar & Sentence Structures to review some of the most important HSK 2 grammar points. 

Alternatively we go into further detail with our Chinese Grammar Bank here.

How to Pass HSK 2 | Mix Up Your Methods

Chinese language classes have an extraordinarily high dropout rate.

That is, it is very common for students to sign up for Chinese language classes only to give up after a semester or two.

The main reason why students drop out is that they think learning Chinese is just too hard.

The reality is, everyone (including you) can learn Chinese with the right tools and resources. 

A classroom setting may not be the ideal study method for someone. If this sounds like you, you should check out alternative ways to learn Chinese. 


You should check out all the different Chinese learning apps that you can get on your phone. 

One of the most common ones for HSK students is the HSK Online app

While this app is very helpful for the HSK specifically, there are many other apps that can supplement your HSK studies and give you a better shot at passing the test.

You can check out our full review of Chinese learning apps here.

Mock Tests

One of the beauties of studying for the HSK is that there are many, many former HSK exams available online. 

You can work your way through these HSK mock tests in order to familiarise yourself with the test and find out what your weaknesses are.

Graded Readers

HSK 2 students are often surprised to find out that they can start reading Chinese books at this level. 

Chinese graded readers are written with Chinese language learners in mind, so their vocabulary and grammar structures are very simple.

Most are categorised by HSK level, so if you’re already above HSK 1 level, you should be able to work through 150 character graded readers. 

Fancy coming to China to learn Chinese? Why not check out our suggestions on where to study in China

If you take all of the advice in this guide and commit yourself to your studies, you should have no problems passing the HSK 2 exam! 

If you have any more questions, please let us know in the comments below and we will get right back to you.

How to Pass HSK 2 // FAQs

What is the top score you can get on the HSK 2 exam?

The top mark for HSK 2 is 200/200.

What is the pass mark for HSK 2?

You need to achieve 120/200, or 60%, to pass the HSK 2 exam.

How many words in the HSK 2?

There are currently 300 but as of March 2022 this is changing to 1,272 words, making it significantly more difficult to pass.

The growth is 972 words in total.

Why is the HSK 2 changing and becoming harder?

Hanban feel the HSK currently doesn’t give a fair reflection when compared to the European Framework system (A1-C2).

They are trying to align each HSK level with the aforementioned system and currently feel the HSK is a little easier compared.

The reason to extend this is to truly allow HSK 1 to equal A1, and HSK 4 to equal B2, for example.

Can I take the HSK 2 exam with LTL?

Whilst you can’t take the test at an LTL school, we can help you find a testing center and sign up to take the HSK exam.

Can I book a HSK test through LTL?

Yes, we are an accredited HSK test centre and can get you booked in for your HSK exam.

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BONUS | Want to study the local Taiwanese dialect known as Hokkien? We provide Hokkien classes in person and online.


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