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Hey there, Actually your GMAT is very good, although if you believe you can get higher, by all means try! Buuut the thing that is weakening your application most now is your work experience, and 1.5 years is really a bit too much on the low side. I would wait one more year if I were you and apply in 2014 for the 2015 matriculation.
I understand that BITS Pilani students are extremely strong in all areas :academic and extra curricular. The are highly driven and are great achievers.( I am personally close to many of them). Your GPA and your involvement in extra curricular activities is impressive, and I am sure that getting a 750 + score should be easy for you .
I completely agree with you that you aim for top-tier schools such as Wharton, MIT, Harvard, and Booth.
However, I believe that your goal to apply to these schools in R-1 or 2 seems a little bit unrealistic to me even if you manage 750+ GMAT score. I would suggest that you wait for another 1-2 years, and get some leadership experiences, and then apply to your dream schools. I am not advising you to compromise on your goals;I am just suggesting that you get about two years of good work experience to strengthen this part of your profile.
I hope it helped.
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Just remember that you are applying to the best schools in the world and your peer group of applicants is going to be extremely motivated and accomplished. With this in mind, you have to determine if you are competitive on all fronts - including work experience. It is our belief that it is the quality of your work experience that counts, not the number of years of work experience that counts.
Also, I would recommend that you do not go about this process alone and work with an experienced admissions consultant. They should be able to help develop the strongest application, given your background, goals and expectations.
Good luck in this process and congratulations on setting your standards so high.
I heard from a few folks that if somebody has less than 1-2 years of work experience then, he must get a GMAT score of >=760 to ensure admission in the school of his choice. If someone has adequate work experience (3 or more years), then 700 and above will do provided the whole profile is strong enough to catch interest. Is this true or is it just a misconception?
I would say this is pretty much total nonsense. The schools evaluation of your candidacy is much more holistic than this, and it's not like (have less experience = have higher GMAT). I don't think there is a direct equivalence between the two, although it is true that if you have a very strong candidacy in general (which includes work experience startups, ECs volunteer work), then a lack of experience can be made up for.