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## Main Question or Discussion Point

I am getting to where I am really trying to get myself in shape for the future. I plan on graduating next Spring, so I don't have much time left. The thing I am worried most about is my GPA--it's not the greatest. After finishing my second year, my cumulative was something around 3.0. Since then (fourth of five, now), I have found my motivation in physics, and ever since my third year I have been strongly applying myself. I am expecting that when the time comes, my GPA breakdown will look like this:

Cumulative: 3.5 (3.42 now)

Math: 3.5 (3.5 now)

Physics: 3.9 (3.9 now)

Edit: Forgot to mention here that I am also majoring in applied math, since I planned on taking all but two of the required classes anyway.

How much does this gap matter?

Also, how much weight is put on the physics GRE subject test? What about letters of recommendation? Does a lack of undergraduate research significantly hurt me?

Also, to what extent do the electives I take matter? To elaborate, due to the scheduling of classes at school, I will have room for taking additional graduate level courses (already taken one in particle physics), so I am wondering if this has any significance.

Basically what I am fishing for is if there are ways to make up for the lower cumulative GPA. I want to have the best shot at going to a great graduate school. I do not want to have the misguided mistakes I made early in my college career decide whether or not I am accepted to one of my first-choice schools (whatever they may be).

So what can I expect?

Cumulative: 3.5 (3.42 now)

Math: 3.5 (3.5 now)

Physics: 3.9 (3.9 now)

Edit: Forgot to mention here that I am also majoring in applied math, since I planned on taking all but two of the required classes anyway.

How much does this gap matter?

Also, how much weight is put on the physics GRE subject test? What about letters of recommendation? Does a lack of undergraduate research significantly hurt me?

Also, to what extent do the electives I take matter? To elaborate, due to the scheduling of classes at school, I will have room for taking additional graduate level courses (already taken one in particle physics), so I am wondering if this has any significance.

Basically what I am fishing for is if there are ways to make up for the lower cumulative GPA. I want to have the best shot at going to a great graduate school. I do not want to have the misguided mistakes I made early in my college career decide whether or not I am accepted to one of my first-choice schools (whatever they may be).

So what can I expect?