These are some comments from the New HSK takers

  1. Introduction to HSK Revised (Intermediate)
    1. The HSK Revised (Intermediate) fits the candidates who have learned Chinese over 800 hours with more than 1600 characters and about 3000 phrases. If you can get 5 or 6 in the current HSK (Elementary-Intermediate), you can pass the HSK Revised (Intermediate). To get A in HSK Revised (Intermediate), you at least can get 7 in the current HSK
    2. The revised HSK separates writing and speaking test from the HSK Revised (Intermediate) which is held in the morning. That is to say, candidates can choose any one or two or all of the three tests. The fee is paid separately. Candidates can get individual certificate for each test.
  2. Comments about New HSK Test
    1. A quick look at the above information will show that there are both gaps and overlap in the HSK coverage. If you've studied between 400 and 800 hours you could consider taking either the foundation or elementary / intermediate exam. Meanwhile, there's a great big gap between 2000 and 3000 hours of study - equivalent to about a year of full-time study.
    2. I think the HSK is generally a very well-designed exam - I found that preparing for the elementary and intermediate exam improved my everyday listening and reading a great deal. The listening in particular requires you to master a lot of colloquial Chinese usage, while the style of the reading pieces are similar to those you will find in the notices and newspapers you come across everyday.
    3. There are an increasing amount of good quality preparation materials for the HSK - but at the same time, there's also a fair amount of rubbish. One unfortunate habit of publishers is to print a 'comprehensive HSK course' which is actually just a bunch of sample exam papers with no guidance or explanation of answers. Another problem is that materials are very often in Chinese only - manageable for those at higher levels, but somewhat inconvenient for some. Still, it's all good practice.