| Introduction | Target Test-takers | Scoring | Test Level | Test Format |

  • Introduction

Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language: Writing (TOCFL Writing) is developed by the Steering Committee for the Test Of Proficiency-Huayu (SC-TOP) for learners of Chinese as a second language. Following the principle of task orientation, it is classified into several levels based on the task complexity. The test content is adopted from authentic everyday life situations. The purpose of the test is to evaluate test takers’ ability to effectively express themselves by writing in various situations. The test is conducted on the computer.

  • Target Test-takers

The TOCFL Writing Test is a foreign/second language writing test designed especially for non-native speakers of Chinese. Those who wish to measure their Chinese writing ability or to study or work in Chinese-speaking areas are all welcome to take the test. Note: TOCFL Writing is a computer-based test. Chinese-typing ability (ㄅㄆㄇㄈor Microsoft Pinyin) is a requirement for all test takers.

  • Scoring

The TOCFL Writing Test is an evaluation of the test-taker's ability to use written materials to effectively transmit information in particular contexts. The level-based grading system is based on the appropriateness and substance of the test-taker's responses to situational tasks, compositional structure and completeness, correct syntax, and the use of a suitably wide range of appropriate vocabulary.

  • Test Level

The TOCFL Writing Test is given on three bands (A, B, C) and six levels (1 to 6). Prospective test takers can choose the appropriate levels that meet their own proficiency level. The following table shows the corresponding TOCFL bands and levels with the levels of CEFR.

Test Level Certificate Level CEFR Descriptor
Band A Level 1 A1
  • Can write simple isolated phrases and sentences.
Level 2 A2
  • Can write short e-mail passages with simple connectors to meet immediate needs, such as expressing gratitude, apologies and invitations.
Band B Level 3 B1
  • Can write personal letters in relative detail which describe experiences, feelings and events.
Level 4 B2
  • Can write an essay or report which develops an argument, giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
Band C Level 5 C1
  • Can write a basic summary that for the most part conveys all the main ideas of the original text. Can, for the most part appropriately, reorganize information from lengthy written materials on a wide range of topics, and use a diverse range of sentence patterns and phrasing commonly employed in writing to write a summary. The summary is clearly organized with a good overall structure and conveys ideas clearly.
  • Can write a long report or essay elaborating on a topic or subject, presenting one or more lines of argument. Can write using a diverse range of sentence patterns commonly employed written linguistic devices issues and provide an evaluative analysis of a wide range of issues, putting forward possible solutions, and a conclusion, and conveying their personal viewpoint.
Level 6 C2
  • Can write a summary conveying the meaning of the original text and highlighting its main points. Can accurately reorganize information from lengthy written texts on a wide range of topics, using complex sentence patterns and a diverse range of sophisticated linguistic devices at ease. The summary is well-structured and conveys ideas succinctly.
  • Can write a long report or essay elaborating on a topic or subject, presenting one or more lines of argument. Can provide an evaluative analysis and critique of a wide range of issues which has a rigorous logical structure and presents a comprehensive feasible solution, and an appropriate conclusion, and conveys their personal viewpoint. Can employ a wide and diverse range of complex sentence patterns and sophisticated linguistic devices with ease.

  • Test Format

The test tasks for Band A, Band B and Band C are presented in the following table.

Test Level


Task Type Number of Items Length (Words) Time for Responses
Band A 1 Rearrangement 2 Under 20 characters
each task
20 min
Dialogue completion 2
Picture description 4
2 Correspondence writing 1 70-120 20 min
Band B 1 Correspondence writing 1 250-350 40 min
2 Argumentative writing 1 500-600 60 min
Band C 1 Summary writing 1 200-300 50 min
2 Argumentative writing 1 800-1000 120 min

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