The shear wall with concrete filled steel tube (CFT) columns and steel plate is a new kind of composite shear wall. In order to know its seismic performance and failure mechanism, six 1/5 scale specimens with the same shear span ratio 1.5, including 3 steel plate shear walls (SPSWs) with CFT columns and 3 reinforced concrete shear walls (RCSWs) with CFT columns and embedded steel plate, were tested under cyclic loading. The thickness of the steel plates in the shear walls changed from 2mm, 4mm to 6mm. Based on the experiment, the load-carrying capacity, hysteresis characteristics, ductility, stiffness degradation, energy dissipation and damage characteristics of the specimens were analyzed. Especially, the ratio of height to sectional thickness of the steel plates in the shear wall was considered. The result shows that both the SPSW with CFT columns and the RCSW with CFT columns and embedded steel plate have good seismic performance and are with important practical engineering value.