Nowadays, since we are communicating via computer, smartphones, tablets, etc, handwriting, in general, is not a very common practice as it used to be. Especially in China, since they introduced the Pinyin system, it became instantly less popular to use handwriting for common daily life activities.
For those who are learning Chinese, and wonder if nowadays it's necessary to use handwriting to obtain your HSK exam, we like to clarify the possibilities.
If you only recognize the Chinese characters, and you cannot write them yourself, then it is still possible to successfully obtain your HSK1, HSK2, HSK3 and HSK4 certificate.
There are 2 ways to pass HSK 4 (and HSK 1, HSK 2 and HSK 3):
1) You pick the computer based HSK exam, which requires you to type in the Chinese characters only via the computer keyboard. This is the way you are used to writing the characters. This is the best option.
2) You take the paper HSK exam that requires handwriting.
Out of those 4 HSK levels, HSK 4 is most difficult. I will go in detail for HSK 4 how to pass:
HSK starts with a writing section, which you need to re-arranging sentences. This means those characters are already there. If you can draw strokes, you can basically finish with little writing ability.
Finally, you are confronted with 5 questions which require you to write the Chinese character based on a picture. This one is difficult for you. Therefore we recommend to practice current exams and learn to write those characters. You should be able to write around a set of 100 characters to pass for this part flawlessly. If you are really good in HSK 4, you might consider skipping the last 5 writing questions…
The maximum score for this test is 300 with 180 required to pass. The last writing sections account for 100 points each.
To obtain HSK 5 and HSK 6 the extra tasks might be too difficult to obtain the certificate without any handwriting.