Liang Shi, the 56-year-old Chinese millionaire dubbed the “King of Gaokao,” has failed China’s notoriously difficult entrance exam for the 27th time.
Falling short: After living “the life of an ascetic monk” for a few months to study for the test, Liang fell 34 points short of the Sichuan provincial baseline score for getting into university.
“Before I got the result, I had a feeling that I wouldn’t be able to get a high enough score to enter an elite university,” Liang told AFP. “But I didn’t expect to not make it into the ordinary ones.”
About the exam: Liang, who studied for 12 hours a day, took the exam (gaokao) along with 13 million high school seniors. The annual standardized college entrance exam is typically taken during the third and final years of high school.
The maximum score on the test is 750, and test takers are required to earn more than 600 points to secure a place at China’s top universities.
About the millionaire: Liang is a former factory worker who now owns a construction materials business in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Although he does not need to, the self-made millionaire has been dreaming of going to college for decades.
“It’s an uncomfortable thought that I didn’t manage to get a college education,” Liang told AFP. “I really want to go to university and become an intellectual.”
Failed attempts: Liang has been taking the exam irregularly since 1983. He had skipped the exam 14 times due to his work obligations and past policies that required exam-takers to be unmarried and under the age of 25. However, the policy on marital status and age was abolished in 2001.
After failing the exam 27 times, Liang is unsure whether he will retake the exam next year.
“If I truly can’t see much hope for improvement, there is no point doing it again. I really did work very hard every day,” he said. “It’s hard to say whether I will keep on preparing for the gaokao next year.”