No! Although Pier Giorgio took his studies very seriously, he often struggled in school. In fact, on two separate occasions, he had to repeat coursework. However, the Italian educational system is much different than in the United States. So, Pier Giorgio was actually able to repeat a grade while going on to the next grade at the same time! But to do this he had to go to a different school where he was required to pass exams for both the courses he failed and the grade he was in. After successfully completing the requirements forr both grades in one year, he was able to return to his regular school and rejoin his classmates. Confusing but true!
Pier Giorgio explained the situation in a letter to his friend Carlo Bellingeri on October 26, 1917:
"Maybe you already know that I failed. I really didn’t think about flunking Latin, I was worried about composition and instead the opposite happened. I will go to the Sociale, where I’ll attend second year classes in hopes of taking the first year exams in February."
Pier Giorgio was disappointed when he failed because he knew it disappointed his parents. However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. To make up the year, he transferred to the Sociale -- the Social Institute of Turin -- which was run by the Jesuit Fathers. At the Sociale, the seeds of his spiritual life were planted and nourished and he later grew to become "the Man of the Eight Beatitudes."