A Chinese millionaire fails to pass university entrance examinations for the 27th time.
Liang Shi, 56, learned on Friday that he had only received 424 out of 750 points.
The score falls 34 points short of the minimum required to apply to any university in China.
This year, about 13 million students took the tests. Mr. Liang has already received local media attention for his attempts to further his education.
Mr Liang, who has taken the examinations dozens of times since 1983, told local media that he was dissatisfied with his results this year and wondered if he would ever achieve his objective.
“I used to say, ‘I just don’t believe I’ll make it,’ but now I’m torn,” the Sichuan-based guy told Tianmu News.
The notoriously rigorous Gaokao exam examines high school graduates on Chinese, mathematics, English, and another science or humanities subject of their choice.
According to Chinese government data, just 41.6% of exam candidates were admitted to universities or colleges in 2021.
In a society where a degree is regarded necessary for a successful career, the Gaokao is viewed as a make-or-break opportunity, particularly for individuals from lower-income families.
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Since the 1950s, the tests have been the focal center of the country’s education system, though they were suspended during the Cultural Revolution.
Mr Liang stated that he had always hoped to be accepted into a prominent university and become a “intellectual.”
He worked numerous jobs after failing his first attempt in 1983, when he was 16, but continued to apply every year until 1992, when he was deemed too old.
Mr Liang established his own timber wholesale firm in the mid-1990s after the mill where he worked went bankrupt the same year.
He quickly became a lot more successful businessman than a student, earning one million yuan in one year and then launching a construction material company.
However, when the Chinese government eliminated the age limit for the Gaokao in 2001, he resumed his schooling. He has only missed the annual tests owing to illness or a hectic job schedule.
According to him, the rationale for his repeated attempts has switched from influencing his fate to being hesitant to give up.
“I think it’s such a pity if you don’t go to college, your life won’t be complete without higher education,” he told The Papers in 2014.
On June 7, this year, he returned to a test center to retake the examinations.
He was known as “the No.1 Gaokao holdout” since he had stopped drinking and playing mahjong in order to concentrate on his studies.
But, once again, it was not to be.
Mr Liang has stated that, in contrast to past years, he is beginning to feel defeated.
“I’ve been thinking about whether I should keep going,” he told Tianmu News. “Perhaps I should reflect on myself.”
Mr Liang expressed more reservations in an interview with a Sichuan newspaper.
“I might just give up (next year),” he admitted. “If I do attend it next year, I will give up my last name Liang if I fail.”