Everything You Need to Know
What is the BCT Exam?
The Business Chinese Test, or BCT, is a standardised test designed to assess the Mandarin proficiency of non-native speakers, specifically relating to business activity. The BCT was developed by Peking University and is run by Hanban, the organisation responsible for the Confucius Institutes in universities around the world.
The BCT is made up of 2 exams, covering 5 different language levels; BCT A (Levels 1-3) and BCT B (Levels 4 and 5). BCT A is for beginner and intermediate learners, while BCT B is targeted at intermediate and advanced students. Both exams test listening, reading and writing.
But what are the benefits of BCT, how can you study for it and where can you book the BCT exam in 2022?
What are the Benefits of Taking the BCT Exam?
While the BCT is not as well known or popular as the much more pervasive HSK exam (find out more about this here), it is a great way to evidence your business Mandarin capabilities to potential employers. Universities place great value on the qualification and even if you aren't planning to use it on an application of some sort, the BCT curriculum is an incredibly useful way to familiarise yourself with common business terms in preparation for working in China or with Chinese companies.
How Much Does it Cost to Take the BCT Exam?
The BCT exam fee in the UK is £65 for BCT A and an additional £65 for BCT B.
When and Where can I Book the BCT Exam?
The BCT exam is currently postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions but you can check upcoming dates and apply via the London School of Economics website.
How Long Does a BCT Certificate Last?
As with HSK, a BCT certificate has no expiry date. Once you pass you can use it for a lifetime!
What is Required for Each Level and What Score Do I Need to Pass?
Official exam requirements by level can be seen below. While these may help to understand what each exam is testing, they are at best a little vague. The only way to truly understand what level you are is by taking practice tests (found in the textbooks below) and scoring yourself against the official marking criteria.
It's also noteworthy that unlike the HSK exam, the BCT has no official passing grade. Instead, test takers are sent a report detailing their score along with a recognition of what level they are.
How is the BCT Exam Structured?
The structure of the BCT A and BCT B exams is detailed below along with timings for each.
Where Can I Find the Best Online Study Resources for BCT?
While there are tonnes of online resources for the HSK exam, the BCT is extremely under catered for. Despite searching long and hard, we have never found any useful online resources for this exam aside from past papers. You can download these below or explore more old school means of exam prep with our recommended textbooks (also below). If you do come across any good online BCT resources please do let us know so we can add them to this page and help more people to improve their business Chinese!
Where Can I Download BCT Past Papers?
You can download BCT A and BCT B past papers from the LSE website below. Simple select BCT from the drop down menu and choose which exam paper you want.
What are the Best Books to Help Prepare for the BCT Exam?
While online resources are few and far between, there are a number of good textbooks you can use to study for the BCT. The main one being "Business Chinese Test Syllabus", which is available for both BCT A and BCT B. The book contains the entire vocabulary list for its corresponding exam as well as a mock test, answer key and explanation of the exam's structure.
"BCT Simulation Tests" is another great textbook for BCT prep. In addition to practice exam papers, it also includes helpful flashcards and reading and writing exercises.
Finally, "BCT Vocabulary Cards" offers a more engaging way to learn and test yourself. The book contains the entire vocabulary for each exam along with short explanations and real life examples. Your choice of textbook will depend on your preferred learning method and language goals.
How Long Does it Take to Get My BCT Results and Where Can I View Them?
You can view your results online 30 days after taking the exam. Simply visit the official BCT website and quote your exam admission ticket number to obtain your results.
Now you know everything you need to know about the BCT exam, why not book some lessons with one of our expert teaching team.
We have extensive experience helping students of all different levels improve their business Mandarin and pass the BCT.