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55-year-old ‘King of gaokao’ fails China's university entrance exam for the 26th time

·2 min read

The 55-year-old Chinese man dubbed the “King of gaokao” failed to meet the standardized test score criteria for his dream university after taking the entrance exam for the 26th time.

Liang Shi received his gaokao results in Sichuan, southwestern China, on June 23. With a score of 428 points out of 750, he fell short of the 605-point minimum for admission to Sichuan University, one of China’s most prestigious universities.

Liang, who switched from the science exam to art and human sciences this year to increase his chances of success, said he was disappointed that his score fell below his target.

“I was expecting at least 200 points on my art and human sciences comprehension exam, but it was only 171,” Liang told the South China Morning Post.

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The gaokao exam, which is known for being notoriously difficult, translates to “high exam.” It is China’s annual standardized college entrance exam that is typically taken during the third and final years of high school.

This year, the university exam ended on June 8. There were 12 million students registered for the exam, which marks the fourth year that more than 10 million students have taken the gaokao, according to China’s Ministry of Education.

Liang was nicknamed “gaokao Dingzihu” by online users, which translates to “nail household,” in reference to individuals who refuse to leave their home or give up despite numerous failures.

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The 55-year-old owns a building materials company in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. He has been taking the gaokao irregularly since 1983. Liang 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. The policy on marital status and age was abolished in 2001.

Despite Liang’s failures, he said he will not give up. In the meantime, he is planning to rest for half a month to a month to recover from his failure.

“Last year, I spent about 10 hours a day studying despite interruptions from work or family matters,” Liang was quoted as saying. “I’ve already suspended my business because it’s difficult to run a business now due to the pandemic, so I’m hoping to spend the extra time on gaokao preparation for next year.”

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Featured Image via Commonly (left), Sixth Tone (right)

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