Regardless of who you are or what level of the HSK you wish to take, you can find many HSK courses throughout the world–both online and off. But, in case you are planning to go to China in the future, your best bet is to look online for courses. The reason lies in many online courses being created in China or Taiwan, areas in which Chinese is the native language. A plan B would be to check out a university HSK course. But you'll likely be full of classmates who insist on using your native language during class.
You might be wondering what the HSK is. HSK stands for Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, which translates as "Chinese language Proficiency Test." In short, the HSK is the official Chinese language proficiency test. How official? Well, it's administered by the Chinese government. If you've been studying the Chinese language for a while, you ought to look into the HSK. Less and less Chinese companies and schools are willing to take on people who haven't passed the HSK. If you're interested in taking the HSK, you should start early. For the HSK, preparation, which includes time management and goal-setting, is crucial. It's also the only standard and objective way to test your Chinese language abilities.
Now officially the go-to test for universities and companies in China, the HSK represents something like what the TOEFL represents in the United States. People who have been following the history of the HSK will know that today's HSK is the "New HSK." It's a modern, computer-based test that tests both your ability to understand and your ability to use Chinese. The fact that it's now a computerized test means that you should be ready to type Chinese. The inclusion of an (optional) spoken part also tests your ability to produce spoken Chinese, emphasizing grammar, diction and pronunciation.
Thus, the HSK complies with the principle of “understanding input, understandable output." The basic design of the test has changed over the years, but you can learn the basics for your given HSK level by checking our guides. We fully agree that passing the HSK is a noble goal for any student of Chinese and that testing is a way to check your own ability, objectively. The HSK truly emphasizes the objectivity and accuracy of the analysis and stresses the aspects of the Chinese language that are used in real life.