I intend on taking the GRE but I haven't had the time to study much and so now I feel I am facing the option of either
- Taking the GRE anyway, most likely getting very unimpressive scores and applying to academic programs with these scores, or
- Cutting my losses and applying for programs the next time they announce applications (which, in some cases, is a year from now).
Is it possible to apply with my first scores as some sort of "provisional" score and inform them that I will be re-taking the rest soon? How much does a "bad first time, better second time" affect how admissions reviewers see applicants? In the case that extra background information would be helpful, I am a non-traditional student who already has a (short) record of research experience.