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I have a bachelors in physics and math (graduated in may of this year), and have been struggling within myself to figure out if I would like to pursue a graduate degree in physics or engineering. During my time as an undergrad, my physics GRE scores were terrible. I had so much work and found myself trying to get good grades that I didn't fully comprehend all of the material I was being taught; it was more of a study-and-get-the-grade kind of thing. Not that i'm bad at physics, but the grade was important at the time and I felt swamped.

So I decided to not apply to grad schools until I could get my PGRE score up. Fast forward to this summer, and my score has improved dramatically. It is now at 800 which is fairly respectable as far as I can tell. The problem is, I haven't really done anything during that time except study for that test and I am afraid the schools I am applying to for physics will think poorly of me for this. I plan to apply to jobs and internships while waiting to hear back from these schools, however, so as not to waste away doing nothing and to get some work experience.

What should I put in my statement of purpose to improve the way those reading it view me, if anything?

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    Taking a semester off before grad school really doesn't sound like such a bad thing that'd need a ton of explaining. – Nat Dec 1 '17 at 7:06

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