I've lurked before, and I hate to add my scenario to the dozens already posted but I've gotta ask...
All the scenarios I've seen listed here with "bad" scores seem to be around 700. But what about 520 (16th percentile)?
I don't have any excuse, but I wasn't able to concentrate on studying as much as I had hoped to b/c of other tests/commitments. I feel incredibly confident that with better preparation, I could do MUCH better- at least 200 pts.
I've already applied to 5 grad schools before I found out my score. My advisor gave me the grad school book distributed by AIP, and I've been flipping through that. However, I've been finding it difficult to figure out which schools I could even consider a "safety" school (I prefer the western or southwestern schools). Am I pretty much SOL, and need to start sending out my resume for jobs?
If it helps,
-3.3 GPA/3.4 GPA Physics (strong for my college)
-800 Q/630 V General GRE
-1 year research experience, including a summer grant (no pubs yet though)
-good recs (including one very strong one)
-looking for exp. condensed matter (nanophysics- which I do research in)
I really just need help with the "safety school" concept- it looks like every program is selective, the ones w/o minimum required GRE scores still have high average scores, and it is hard to figure out from 2008 Graduate Programs which schools would even glance at my application past my Physics GRE score.