Hey everybody, I am an electrical engineering and physics double major with a math minor coming out of a small liberal arts college. I take the GRE/PGRE in November and was curious about where I could realistically be accepted (I am aiming for physics graduate programs). I've heard extremely varied reports on the importance of the GRE, some don't consider it at all, and others weigh it heavily. I am aware that my GPA is very undesirable for top tier schools. My adviser informed me that a score in the 80 percentile range(I have taken the practice test on the ets website and think 80 is possible) could offset my GPA and render me admissible. As far as I know I have two professors who will give me very strong letters of rec (one of which claims he could not imagine writing a stronger letter), and several other good ones. After this summer I will have 3 summers (one at Stanford nanofabrication facility) and a semester of research experience, numerous poster sessions as well as 2 conference presentations. So my quandaries are as follows: 1.Given a strong performance on the PGRE is there a reasonable chance of being accepted in the top tier? If not, what are my chances for second tier(rank 10-25)? 2.Does my double major offset my GPA? 3.Will admissions boards look at my overall GPA (3.2) or be merciful and consider only my major gpas?(3.2/3.4) 4.How important is an upward trend in GPA? (First 2 years 3.0, last 2 years 3.5) 5.There is a chance I will be second author on a paper this summer, will it have a strong impact on my chances? Thank you in advance for your consideration and please be brutally realistic, this is my future.