Introduction on New YCT Test

In order to encourage non-native primary and secondary school students to learn Chinese and improve their Chinese level, Hanban has consulted a large number of both foreign and national experts in language teaching, linguistics, educational evaluation and psychology to assess the standard of Chinese language testing abroad since 2004. Based on their investigations and some new understandings regarding the shortcomings of Chinese language testing today, Hanban has applied the latest research methodology in foreign-language testing to develop a new YCT test.

Test Structure

Young Learners Chinese Test is a standardized international Chinese proficiency test, directed at examining non-native primary and secondary school students’ capability in applying Chinese language in their studies, personal lives and work. It consists of two independent parts: a written test and an oral test. The written test is comprised of YCT-Level 1, YCT -Level 2, YCT - Level 3, YCT - Level 4, while the oral test is comprised of YCT (Elementary) and YCT (Intermediate). During the oral test, sound-recording devices are used.

Written TestOral Test
YCT Level 1 YCT Elementary
YCT Level 2
YCT Level 3
YCT Level 4 YCT Intermediate

Test Levels

The direct comparison between the new YCT test and Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages, The Common European Framework Reference for Language,CEF)and the new HSK is as follows:

HSK Level 6   Over 5000 Grade Five C2
HSK Level 5   2500 C1
HSK Level 4   1200 Grade Four B2
HSK Level 3 YCT- Level 4 600 Grade Three B1
HSK Level 2 YCT- Level 3 300 Grade Two A2
HSK Level 1 YCT- Level 2 150 Grade One A1
  YCT- Level 1 80    

* CLPS: Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages
** CEF: The Common European Framework Reference for Language

a. YCT- Level 1
Examinees who passed YCT-Level 1 can understand and use some most frequently used Chinese words and sentences, and prepare themselves for continuing their Chinese studies;

b. YCT- Level 2
Examinees who passed YCT-Level 2 can understand and use some simple Chinese words and sentences to communicate;

c. YCT- Level 3
Examinees who passed YCT-Level 3 can use Chinese in a simple and direct way, applying it in a basic topic in their daily lives;

d. YCT- Level 4
Examinees who passed YCT-Level 4 can use Chinese to serve their demands in their personal lives and studies, and are able to complete most of the communicative tasks they experience during their China tour;

Test Principles

Following the principle of “combining testing and teaching”, the new test is designed in line with the present situation of international Chinese-language teaching and the teaching materials that are commonly available, with the aim of “promoting teaching and learning through examinations”

Test Functions


  • Offers a reference for Chinese learners to understand and improve their ability to apply Chinese;
  • Offers a reference for schools to evaluate their teaching standards;
  • Offers a reference for related Chinese teaching institutions or training organizations to evaluate teaching standards and the effectiveness of different training;
  • Offers a reference for Chinese learners who want to take HSK test.

Test Score Report

Within three weeks after the test, examinees can get their ‘Score Report’ issued by Hanban.