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Congrats for getting a decent score and also for, more importantly, getting over the nemesis for the time being. For few days, you can go out and have fun. Introspection should follow.
If you remember, not many days ago, while discussing PR scores under my musings thread, I cautioned you against taking ETS lightly and also advised you to postpone your GMAT date if you were not feeling confident in verbal.
Unfortunately during the actual GMAT worst happens. It is very very rare that one outperforms one's maximum actual potential demonstrated in practice tests. It is not that rare that you are averaging 700+ in practice tests but end up with a 630 in actual exam.. but unfortunately it never happens ( May be 1 in 10,000) that you average 650 in practice tests and you end up with a 720!!
Obviously your problem is verbal. And .. you have to go quite a bit of distance. 26 in verbal will certainly keep you out of top 15 schools and if you want to go to second tier schools.. you might get in..but with absolutely no chances of scholarships.
I would advice that study very very hard for verbal. Do excessive readings and more importantly esoteric ones. I have a firm belief that gmat verbal requires a very solid foundation of language. Test taking strategies can help you up to a point but first you need a good sense of language. And the good news is you can do it even now at this stage of your life. You also have time.. I suspect you are targetting fall 2005.. you can take the exam as late as november end so that you have one month after that to nail the essays. If you study very hard during these 4 months .. Iam sure you can reach till atleast 35 scaled score if not 38+. Assuming you repeat your excellent peformance in quant and again nail 50-51 in that.. you have 710-720 in your hand.
Infact even if you reach 30-31 in verbal, which iam 101% sure you can, with 50 in maths you will touch 670+, a score which will keep you in reckoning for top schools.
I wish you good luck.
Check out this awesome article about Anderson on Poets Quants, http://poetsandquants.com/2015/01/02/uclas-anderson-school-morphs-into-a-friendly-tech-hub/ . Anderson is a great place! Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I...