I'm currently a master's student and have been getting straight A's so far. My plan was to apply for the Fall of 2010. However, I was speaking to one of my professors today and told him I was interested in getting a Ph.D. He said that via recommendations, he's sure I could get into UC Davis for this coming fall instead, even though the deadline is this Thursday. I do have an old GRE score from 4 years ago that is still applicable (I am currently registered to retake it this April).
Anyway, so the choice is to go to UC Davis this fall, or wait a whole year more to see if I can get into a better school. I'm not really in any hurry, but perhaps it would be better to just get started. In that year, I would have completed my master's degree with probably a 4.0, probably have some published research, and have a much improved GRE score (I scored a 700 before without really studying and without my more polished knowledge of physics due to my last year of classes).
Is it worth waiting a whole year for the possibility of getting into a better school?