Our Three Levels

mandarin companion graded readers level 1

If you want to get the most out of our Chinese Graded Readers, you will want to match your current Chinese level with one of our three levels of graded readers. 

The Mandarin Companion leveling system is based upon a core set of characters and words that a learner is most likely to know. Each level progressively builds on each level below it.

The three levels are Breakthrough Level (150 characters), Level 1 (300 characters), and Level 2 (450 characters).

Breakthrough Level – 150 Characters

Our Breakthrough level Mandarin Companion’s entry level, designed specifically for emerging readers to master 150 unique characters. Each book is approximately 5,000 characters in length and uses simple vocabulary and grammar. 

Level 1

This 300 character level adds an additional 150 unique characters onto the 150 characters from the Breakthrough level. Each book is approximately 10,000 characters in length and is written using carefully controlled vocabulary and grammar that is a small step up from the Breakthrough level.

If you have read all of the Breakthrough Level books with adequate speed, then you should be ready for the Level 1 books. 

Level 2

The Level 2 books add on an additional 150 unique characters to the Level 1 300 core character set. Each book is approximately 15,000 characters in length and offers a manageable increase in grammar and vocabulary used over the Level 1 books. 

These stories are geared for lower-intermediate learners. This level will help you consolidate your Chinese learning and build a solid base for conversation and communication. 

Many learners who are able to read Level 2 readers with adequate speed and comprehension find they perform well on Chinese tests such as the HSK 4 and the AP Chinese Exam. 

Shop All of Mandarin Companion’s Chinese Graded Readers