I was just reading in the answers to some other questions (here and here) that it's not necessarily disadvantageous (and it may even be advantageous) to take a year or semester off after finishing my bachelor's degree before applying to math PhD programs, but I'm not really sure what to do during that year. If the below section is too long, the TL;DR version is: What are my options?
I honestly hadn't looked into any other options since I was planning on going straight to math PhD programs after I earn my Bachelor's degree in May of 2016, but this fall while I was dealing with some personal issues I ended up dropping one of the two graduate math classes I was enrolled in and I missed the September GRE math subject test (as well as the deadline for the October subject test).
While I'm planning this spring to take the GRE math subject test (for real this time) and enroll in another one or two graduate math classes, it's looking like I might have a better chance at PhD program admissions if I wait to apply for admission in the Spring or Fall of 2017, rather than the Fall of 2016. I might apply to a couple of PhD programs for Fall 2016 admission, but I don't want to spend a lot of money on application fees when my application isn't as strong as it could be.
If I do end up taking a semester or a full year off, I want to figure out something productive to do so that the time won't be wasted. I came up with a few options: applying to PhD programs abroad that don't require the GRE (I speak English and Russian, so Canada, England, and Russia), applying to less competitive US PhD programs, or working a full- or part-time job (teaching? computer science?) and using that money to pay for simultaneously taking one or two graduate math classes.
However, I'm not sure if it's kosher to apply for a PhD program if I only plan on staying for a semester or a year. On the other hand, I don't know how feasible it is to both work and take graduate math classes, so I'm pretty uncertain about what to do. Does anyone have advice about the options I have?