Liang Shi, a 56-year-old Chinese millionaire, has made his 27th attempt at the challenging gaokao, the country’s most demanding university entrance exam.
Despite achieving success in his business ventures, Liang has not been able to fulfill his longstanding aspiration to study at the prestigious Sichuan University in China.
Known for its rigorous nature, the gaokao has become an important milestone for students aspiring to enter renowned universities in China.
Like India’s JEE (Joint Entrance Examination), the gaokao is famous for its intense competition and the immense pressure it puts on students.
Liang said he has made significant sacrifices to take this exam in recent years. Despite enduring derision from the media, being labeled the “resistant gaokao” and facing accusations that it is a mere publicity stunt.
“But despite months of living as ‘an ascetic monk,’ Liang was 34 points below the provincial baseline for admission to any university this year.” he told the AFP news agency.
“Before I got the result, I had a feeling that I wouldn’t be able to score high enough to get into an elite university,” he said. “But I didn’t expect not to reach the ordinary ones.”
Just before 10 p.m. on Friday, the nervous businessman dutifully entered his exam identification details and anxiously awaited the result. “Everything is done for again this year,” he said after the results.
Despite repeated disappointments, Liang remained determined and committed to keep trying.
However, after decades of persistence, he is not sure if his tireless efforts will produce positive results.
“If I really don’t see much hope of improvement, there’s no point in doing it again. I worked very hard every day,” he told AFP. “It’s hard to say if I’ll continue to prepare for gaokao next year.” he said.
He revealed that a life without preparation for the gaokao is almost unthinkable for him. “(If I were to) stop drinking gaokao, every cup of tea I drank for the rest of my life would taste like regret,” he added.
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