HSK 3.0 (2021) study decks now on Skritter!

All of the HSK 3.0 study decks are now live on Skritter and ready for study. You can find the decks by searching “HSK” on Skritter or by using any of the dynamic links below.

Study Decks
HSK 1 (2021)
HSK 2 (2021)
HSK 3 (2021)
HSK 4 (2021)
HSK 5 (2021)
HSK 6 (2021)
HSK 7-9 (2021)
HSK 1-3 Handwriting (2021)
HSK 4-6 Handwriting (2021)
HSK 7-9 Handwriting (2021)

All the decks are sorted based on character and word frequency. You can learn all about the new HSK 3.0 and what it all means over on the Skritter Blog!

Happy studying!


While this is made fairly clear in the blog post, it’s worth mentioning here too that for most students, the old (2012) HSK lists are still more relevant for test preparation than these new lists. The best estimate we have at the moment is that it will take 3-5 years before HSK 1-6 are overhauled, so it doesn’t make sense to prepare for a test that might come out in 2025. Naturally, if you’re using HSK as a roadmap (again, see the blog post), using the new lists makes sense! Also, HSK 7-9 will arrive much sooner, so advanced learners might want to get started on those lists.

The handwriting lists are also quite nice and can function as a guideline for which characters are important to be able to write by hand, regardless if you are interested in the HSK or not. Since we sorted them by frequency within each deck, you can work your way through the lists until you start seeing things you don’t really think you need to write by hand!

I am an intermediate learner, but fell off the learning train 1-2 years ago or so, at around 50% of HSK 3. I am now looking at starting HSK from zero soon, as I probably forgot most. I do that for pure learning pleasure, with no real intention of doing an official exam:

  • For HSK 1 / 2 / 3 for example, starting soon, should I use the 2012 or 2021?
  • I feel HSK 3.0 2021 might now be better to use as it will be the source of reference for the next 10 years or so?
  • I know it’s been communicated in a few places, but what are the differences in number of words / characters / etc between Skritter HSK decks 2012 / 2021?

Tables in these posts go over detail.

2021 HSK now has syllables, characters, words, handwritten characters and grammar points. Prior HSK didn’t break those all out separately, 2021 HSK delineates all those categories.

First link gives nice translation of a table I’ve only seen in Chinese.

2nd link compares HSK v3 with v2.

Original table:

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If you only use HSK as a roadmap for learning, which is how I interpret your post, it doesn’t really matter which version you use. You can even use both if you want. Or none.

In my opinion so far, the new standard seems “better” than the old one, although I have yet to do in-depth comparisons of the new lists). It will probably be a while before you have any actual study material for the new standard, though, so if you want material beyond lists like these, you might be better of with HSK 2012 instead.

If the question is limited to characters and words in Skritter without consideration for anything else, I’d definitely go with the new decks!