I'll be applying to grad school next year. I'm slightly worried about the General GRE. Although it might sound superficial, my goal is to become a high energy theorist. So I'd like to apply to some top grad school like Princeton and what not. I have quite a solid background, I've done research the past 2 years, first one is a REU regarding a medium ion accelerator, the second one is with the high energy group in my university (mainly coding). I'll try to get into somewhere again next summer. By the time I am graduated, I'll have finished a standard undergraduate curriculum, a couple graduate courses (the quantum fields sequence, GR, and a couple other courses). I'll also have had some math background (the standard stuffs, topology, analysis and maybe more next year). My GPA is expected to be quite high. Right now it's 4.0 (there is no A+ in my university so the maximum is A). I talked to a couple people and I think realistically, there are some decent chances for getting into top graduate schools. However, I've heard that they will throw away applications with low general GRE score. I'm not a native English speaker and my vocabularies aren't that good at all. I may very well score poorly on the General GRE. I've practiced on some physics GRE material and I should do fine in that case. So, how much can a General GRE hurt me? what kind of score do I need? what are my chances (realistically speaking) of getting into top schools given that I do well in General GRE? and what if I do poorly on it? Any comment is welcome. Feel free to bash me if what I think is wrong.