Hi, I am new the forum and hope to obtain some valuable opinions from members on board.
First of all, I appreciate all of your attention and time to read/answer my questions.
Begin with a little background information about me. I am a domestic student; I go to a top 20 physics undergraduate school (US). I have a 3.6 GPA in my physics major. I have spent 3 years doing research in Condensed Matter (theory and experiments.) I have two strong letters from my academic research background and one letter from my industrial research background. However, unfortunately I don't have any publication, only have presentations and talks.
Earlier this year I took the PGRE and scored 880 (84th percentile.)
To be honest, I don't think I am a competent applicant to physics PhD programs. I think I am doing pretty average as far as my stats goes. I could have done better but there were various personal/family issues. Nevertheless, pursuing a career in condensed matter physics is my most sincere passion.
So let me get to the point. I took the Computer Based GRE General Revised Test just today. I got the result immediately and I scored a 160 (~750/760 on old GRE test.) My verbal was 149 which is something I anticipated. Reading has always been my weakness, especially with time constraint. Although I am not exactly sure what my writing score is, I think I did fairly well in terms of constructing arguments and analysis for the essay prompt. By the way, English is not my first language, so that might explain a little bit about my reading difficulty.
I was told several times that most physics graduate program don't put any emphasis on verbal section, so I haven't spent much time in reviewing the verbal materials like vocabs. What concerns me is my quantitative part, I believe 160 is fairly low for Physics student? Is this going to hurt my chance of getting into a good physics program?
I have the option to retake it in 21 days. Could you please advice me on this matter? Should I stick to my current GRE score or should I retake it in 3 weeks?
(I was expecting my quantitative score to be ~165, which is what I got in my practice test. However, I did poorly on time management today; I simply ran out of time to complete all the math problems.)
Once again, thank you for your attention.