“I worked so hard on this”
I regularly hear from students who are flabbergasted that their grade on some assignment doesn’t reflect the effort they put in. So I have to say this:
Your grade is not a reflection of the effort you put in—it is a reflection of your mastery of the subject matter.
I hate having to say this.
I hate it first because I don’t think I should have to say it. Who’s been teaching them effort is more important than quality?
I hate it second because if it comes to the point where this has to be stated out loud, there’s probably nothing to be done about it—if the student is working that hard and cannot master the material, it is unlikely that additional tutoring from myself will trigger enlightenment.