Writing Chinese characters is difficult, but I can copy them easily enough. Presumably, I won't be able to utilize my mobile phone, a dictionary, etc., during the HSK, but it seems there might still be one legitimate source where I could copy characters from: the exam materials themselves.

The reading and listening sections would contain a vast number of characters which I can read, but for which I haven't memorized how to write.

Question: If I forget how to write a character during the HSK, can I copy it from the supplied exam materials?

I'm interested if this is prohibited, or somehow thwarted by the examiners.

  • Just curious - do you have to write down the characters on the test? Maybe only on HSK 6?
    – Blaszard
    Oct 28, 2017 at 18:59
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    I just took a practice HSK3, and there were a few characters you had to write. The HSK4+ exams have writing sections where you need to write whole sentences in Chinese.
    – Becky 李蓓
    Oct 29, 2017 at 0:48
  • Isn’t it just done on a computer?
    – Mou某
    Oct 29, 2017 at 2:10
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    @Becky李蓓 I just found that there are two types of tests - paper-based and computer-based - and you must write in the characters by hand if you choose the paper-based exam. In a computer-based one, you just type in pinyin.
    – Blaszard
    Oct 29, 2017 at 4:20
  • @Blaszard: That's a massive difference in difficulty. I feel like it's somewhat pointless learning how to write Chinese by hand now.
    – Becky 李蓓
    Oct 30, 2017 at 5:16

2 Answers 2


I remember when I was in middle school 语文 test, I forgot how to write a character, I jumped to following questions, then occasionally I found that character in question descrpition. That moment..., it is like I found Blackbeard's treasure.

I don't think it is cheating, it is a gift. No one would stop you to look at your exam paper and copy them.


It's been some time since that was asked but I happen to have been mislead by this answer. I just took the hsk3 exam and, having read this topic a few weeks ago, was counting on the supplied material to give me a hand for the writing part in case I forget how to write a character.

For everyone taking the "new" exam (this is 2020 already): So the answer I got from the clerk was no, we cannot use the supplied material from the other parts of the exam (reading and writing) as a support for the third part. Sincerely,

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