How did the (old) Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) assess the Chinese proficiency of non-native speakers of Chinese? What inferences
can be derived from HSK test taker scores, especially from Western test takers? How difficult is it to learn Chinese according
to the HSK? Thirty years of research have been synthesized into an argument-based approach for validating the most widespread
test for Chinese as a foreign language. In addition, the author has analyzed the scores of a sample of over 250 German test
takers in order to investigate how many hours German natives needed on average to study for reaching a specific HSK level.
This work also extensively discusses validation theory for psychological testing, and it demonstrates how to put an argument-based
approach to validation into practice.