I took the math GRE over the weekend. I did every official practice test published by ETS, worked through the Princeton Review, through two tests by a fellow named Gilad Pagi, and worked through most of Agrawal's GRE prep book, and I still didn't feel prepared once I had a look over the actual test. Besides, I am just so slow when it comes to calculations. I honestly have no idea how I did; I had to guess on quite a few of them. I am pretty worried about getting into a graduate school. I have a excellent undergraduate GPA, a paper published in the professional level mathematical journal Operators and Matrices (and I am working on another, which I will definitely mention in my application), and can get good letters of recommendation, but I am very anxious over this GRE. I am not really aiming for the top programs anyway. Do I have any chance?

I am find it so exasperating that graduate schools are more concerned about prospective students being able to do inane Calculus problems within 3 minutes rather than knowing, e.g., a few things about completely positive maps, von Neumann Algebras, etc. If I do a MS in pure math first and then apply to a PhD program, do I have to provide GRE scores even if I have an MS? If this is possible, maybe I'll go for an MS first, since most MS programs don't require the GRE, and I shouldn't have any trouble getting into an MS program.