The Beginner HSK is much like a dinner party with officials from the National Tourism Administration of China. Drop by for a quick test and you'll find the conversation regularly returns to a few basic themes: how we are feeling about China, how much we are enjoying the country, and how exciting it is to be learning Chinese.
In sharp contrast to this benevolent paternalism, the Advanced HSK is more like the mythical Cretan maze that devours all who enter: dark, foreboding, and filled with various fantastical creatures whose names are only dimly known to the outside world. This is the case with these two Advanced reading passages at least. If you can skim through them and retain enough of the sense of the original to successfully answer our questions about them, and also complete these questions in the approximately twelve minutes you'll have on a real test, you are ready to tackle the Advanced HSK. Good luck!