6 Best Apps to Prepare for the HSK in 2023

January 11, 2023

Many Chinese learners take the HSK exam for various reasons: to assess their own Chinese language skills, to increase their chances of being accepted at a Chinese university, or to land a job that requires Chinese proficiency.

Regardless of your reason for taking the HSK exam, I understand that it is a huge endeavor. That's why I've decided to share with you some of my favorite HSK apps to complement your HSK prep classes, and stack all the odds in your favor.

If you are looking for the best apps to help you prepare for the HSK, keep reading to learn about my top 6 recommended apps to prepare for the HSK exam.


SuperTest is a comprehensive app that allows users to review everything related to the HSK: vocabulary words, grammar points, single-skill (listening, reading, writing) practice exercises, and mock exams.

In total, the app offers 25 mock exams per HSK level for candidates to practice with. During practice sessions, users can generally refer to the “answer analysis” below the answers which explains the answer choice, or, in the case of the essay writing questions, to the sample answers. Additionally, past mistakes can also be reviewed through the “Incorrect answers” section where all wrong answers are automatically collected.

Finally, users can turn to the exam report provided at the end of the practice HSK exams to identify the HSK skill that they lack and should pay attention to, be it listening, reading, or writing.

SuperTest can be used for free for the HSK vocabulary training, the single-skill exercises, some mock tests as well as a very limited portion of the grammar lessons. A paid membership is necessary for full access, minus their essay-checking services.

Click here for a more in-depth review of SuperTest.

    Price: Limited free access with optional subscription starting at USD 17
    Available on: Google Play | Apple Store
    Google Play rating: 4.9/5



Hanpath is a flashcard-style app and a dictionary that helps candidates learn every aspect of the HSK vocabulary words from HSK 1 to HSK 6.

When first using the app, users are asked to choose a study goal, after which the app will estimate the amount of time it will take to complete the entire vocabulary list and schedule a daily set of words to study. For each HSK vocabulary word, the flashcard provides an audio track, the pinyin, stroke order animation, and an option to practice writing the Chinese character. Below the flashcard, a brief definition, several example sentences, and a list of related words can be viewed.

The app also has an HSK dictionary section where HSK vocabulary words can be searched using their Hanzi, pinyin, or English equivalent.

There’s very little to criticize about this app other than the fact that the ads can be distracting, and the app is not entirely free.

    Price: Limited free access with optional subscription starting at USD 9.99
    Available on: Google Play | Apple Store
    Google Play rating: 4.8/5

Hanpath logo


Chinese Grammar by Nincha Languages is an app focusing on all the HSK grammar points which are key to passing the HSK. Knowing these grammar points will boost your Listening and Reading comprehension and will ensure you write grammatically correct sentences in the Writing section (HSK 3+).

This app covers over 130 lessons that are classified according to their respective HSK levels. Each HSK grammar structure is explained in simple language and illustrated with sentence examples. The lessons only go up to HSK 5 grammar, but if you’re preparing for the HSK 6 or HSK 7-9 and need help learning the required grammar points, consider signing up for Culture Yard’s Chinese courses: our expert teachers will be more than happy to guide you to your success!

One last note: users can access all the lessons for free, but the training exercises can only be done using its sister app, Ninchanese, for a fee.

    Price: Free
    Available on: Google Play
    Google Play rating: 4.5/5

Chinese Grammar logo


HSK Hero is a game-like flashcard app built around one purpose: it quizzes users on their knowledge of the HSK vocabulary words from HSK 1 to 6. So, it’s more of a practice tool, and less of a learning tool.

To start, users choose their HSK level, the quiz difficulty of their choice, and a group of words to review. Then, the app will display a short English definition and a set of Chinese characters. The user should pick the right characters for the Chinese word that matches the provided English translation. Both the English translation and pinyin can be turned on or off; however, at least one of them should be kept on as they act as question prompts.

When in need of help, the “Assist” feature can be used to display which characters to choose, without showing their order, whereas tapping on the “hint” button will cross off some characters that should be excluded. If the user is unable to recall the correct Chinese character, one click on the “Gimme” button will show the Chinese characters one at a time.

Despite being a valuable tool for reviewing HSK vocabulary, HSK Hero Pro has a Chinese-style old-fashioned design which isn’t necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, and the sound quality can be wonky. Plus, only the first groups of words at each HSK level are accessible for free. Beyond that, users must pay or watch an advertisement to access each additional word group.

    Price: Limited free access with an optional USD 19.99 one-off payment
    Available on: Google Play | Apple Store
    Google Play rating: 4.5/5


5.The Chairman’s Bao

The Chairman’s Bao offers graded news from HSK 1 to HSK 6. As with most Chinese reading resources, the lessons include audio recordings, reading exercises, listening exercises, and a keyword list. A pop-up dictionary is also available with the option to view a Chinese character’s stroke order and practice writing it.

These graded lessons are excellent for preparing for the HSK reading and listening sections, or for improving one’s overall Chinese language skills.

As one of the best reading resources for learning Chinese, the Chairman’s Bao leaves very little room for improvement. One minor personal complaint of mine is that the passages do not come with pinyin or full-sentence translations, which can make reading sessions challenging, especially for beginners.

    Price: Limited free lessons with optional subscription starting at USD 10
    Available on: Google Play | Apple Store
    Google Play rating: 4.4/5

The Chairman's Bao logo


The HSK Exam app is another tool for preparing for the HSK test by practicing with mock tests. With the HSK Exam app, test-takers can learn all the HSK 1-6 vocabulary words and access five mock tests for each HSK level to practice with.

The mock tests are divided into the three parts of the HSK test: listening, reading, and writing (HSK 3 and beyond), rather than combined into a complete set of exam, making it convenient to practice for a single skill.

At the end of a practice session, a score sheet displays an overview of which questions the user got right or wrong, and how long it took them to respond to each of them.

Some useful features of the HSK Exam app include the options to pause and resume mock tests, and pause, rewind, fast-forward or adjust the speed of the audio tracks in the Listening sections. Nonetheless, candidates should be mindful not to abuse these features as they do not reflect the conditions of the real HSK exam, which takes away from the very purpose of doing an exam simulation.

As handy as it is, the app is also a bit buggy. First, the report at the end of practice sessions does not show an accurate score; instead, it constantly shows a score of zero. Another major issue is that there is no way to submit answers in the essay writing sections, and no sample essays are provided even though clicking on the submit button is supposed to show a model answer. Additionally, the audio recordings in the Listening section won’t load sometimes.

Furthermore, the vocabulary words come with pinyin, definition, and stroke order animations but not sentence examples and there’s no way to practice Hanzi writing. What’s more, unlike in SuperTest, no answer explanation is provided for the exam answers.

Finally, the ads can be distracting and the HSK exam dates displayed at the bottom of the interface do not match the 2023 HSK dates published by Hanban.

Having said that, HSK Exam remains a budget-friendly, powerful app to prepare for the HSK.

    Price: Free
    Available on: Google Play
    Google Play rating: 4.1/5

HSK exam app logo

How to use apps to prepare for the HSK?

For starters, pick no more than three apps to supplement your HSK prep classes. Using too many apps will likely cause you to split your attention among them, which can be overwhelming.

Depending on how long you have before your HSK exam date, decide how much time you’d like to dedicate to preparing for your HSK test. Think of these apps as a study buddy that you must meet with at specific times, for a fixed duration. Be strict about it. This will help you stick to your HSK preparation routine.

Allocate some time every day to reviewing your HSK lessons and doing some HSK grammar exercises, quizzing your knowledge of high-frequency HSK vocabulary words, and training your Chinese listening, reading, and writing skills.

Lastly, take some mock HSK exams to familiarize yourself with the HSK format. Passing the HSK also requires some test-taking skills, and knowing what to expect on the HSK will help you understand how to manage your time more efficiently during the exam.


Passing the HSK is a massive undertaking and preparing for it can be stressful. Luckily, some Chinese learning apps can assist in preparing for the HSK, making the process less daunting. In this article, we shared some app recommendations for preparing for the HSK, so that you can be readier than ready on your exam day. Still, keep in mind that these apps are merely there to support your study routine, and are far from being a complete substitute for formal Chinese courses.

About the Author

Juli Mboty has called China home for over 11 years where she became passionate about the Chinese culture, language, and history.

Juli Author Culture Yard