Millionaire takes China’s gaokao exam for 27th time, seeking university dream

In a sea of younger students taking China’s rigorous “gaokao” college entrance examination on June 7, 56-year-old Liang Shi stands out as a grey-haired, self-made millionaire attempting the test for the 27th time. Liang has come a good distance from working in a manufacturing facility to founding a thriving building materials business, but one ambition remains unfulfilled: attaining a excessive enough score on the challenging gaokao to review at the prestigious Sichuan University.
To put together for the examination, Liang has lived “the life of an ascetic monk” for the past few months, rising shortly after daybreak to check textbooks for 12 hours a day. “It’s an uncomfortable thought that I didn’t manage to get a college schooling,” Liang informed AFP. “I really need to go to university and turn out to be an intellectual.”
Over the previous four decades, the Sichuan native has taken the gaokao 26 occasions but has persistently failed to achieve the required outcome for his desired college. “They name me ‘the gaokao holdout’,” he mentioned, embracing a mocking nickname given to him by local media.
No sweat can decide one’s life trajectory, as a degree from an elite college offers respect, status, and higher job alternatives. Liang first took the exam in 1983 when he was solely 16. For the following decade, he tried to improve his rating till 1992 when he had to stop, because the check was restricted to single people aged underneath 25 at the time. When those limits had been lifted in 2001, Liang’s desire for a prestigious faculty education was reignited.
He has since taken the gaokao one other sixteen instances, including yearly since 2010, even when strict zero-COVID-19 restrictions made the exam more challenging than ordinary. Some online commentators have questioned whether or not his apparent obsession is just a publicity stunt. “What for?” Liang retorted. “No one of their right thoughts would spend decades taking the gaokao for a stunt.” He famous that he had to give up ingesting and enjoying mahjong during the preparation interval..

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