I did the exact same thing as twistor--I ran out of time and missed a few questions at the end. When I prepared for the GRE general, I only took a couple of days out of my physics GRE studies and crammed a bunch of vocabulary words. The stars aligned on this section, and I got a 690, which is high. My luck ran out on the quantitative, which I'd prepared for very lightly. Somehow I lost my test poise over a word problem about oranges and grapefruit--I guess I just wasn't used to that sort of question, and that kind of stupid-simple approach to math.
Anyway, there's no time now to retake the GRE. The rest of the numbers on my application aren't going to delight, with a ho-hum GPA, physics GRE, and all those score-type stuff. The non-number stuff is better. I went to a good school (Oberlin) and expect my recommendations to be good, especially if I can corner the flaky physicist that employed me after I graduated college. My personal statement should be interesting--I run with a pack of working visual artists. I'm applying to U Penn and NYU, UW Madison and U Minnesota. I want to study soft condensed matter.
Am I crazy?If it doesn't work out, I'll test again and go it again next year; still, I'm 25, and not getting any younger. Is there hope for the test-score underdog?