Hey goh4n - thanks for reaching out to the 'Snark - we know how frustrating this whole process can be!! Especially when you scored exactly the same on verbal and quant and yet the total went down. That's crazy! We completely understand how you feel.
Because you are on the young side, we would encourage you to try the GMAT again. It's only one part of the application but given your very common background, a higher score can help. Obviously it's that verbal side that's weighing you down, so focusing there and figuring out the sneaky ways that the GMAT test-makers create those questions might show you how to crack them. There's lots of resources here on GMAT Club and maybe you'll want to get some targeted help on verbal from a GMAT prep firm. Your IR from the first test is strong which is good to see, and the overall landscape of those GMAT scores is fine, but for the blip on verbal. The good news is that there's often a disproportionate impact to the total score when the verbal goes up - even if you only bump verbal a couple points, it could make for a much higher total. The average GMAT for successful Indian applicants is around 720 so that should be where you aim.
But you should also know that even with the 690 score you could still get into a good school - and we don't mean "top 50." There's plenty of great schools like Georgetown or Emory or even Cornell and many others that are open to applicants with <700 scores. It really comes down to the overall pitch and, in many cases, the career goals that you have, and the stories you present to show leadership. This is going to be as much of a challenge for you, probably, as the GMAT has been though. So - you're probably not going to want to hear this but - you should prepare yourself for this process taking two years. You can apply with your current score in Round 2 (we're guessing you don't have any apps ready for Round 1) and it might work, but it might not - which means that our best advice is to hit the ground running NOW in all aspects of your life, especially your career, to dive in and make a difference in the projects you're involved with. Build up a track record of success. The profile you're presenting is very common which means you need to show how you're unique, based on your contributions. Many of these take time to manifest. Ask around at work, volunteer for the big projects, suggest some ideas to improve the company and implement them. These are what the adcoms will notice the most - that's how you get in even with a slightly lower GMAT score.
And to be clear: Your GMAT score really isn't bad at all - you should not be at all ashamed! EssaySnark couldn't get a score that high if we tried today!! It's just that all of this stuff is so darn competitive which throws the perspective off. You are definitely qualified for some good schools - but what will matter is the entire presentation of your profile, and what tips the scales is the stories of achievement and impact. So start putting the wheels in motion for that now, to be a leader among your peers, and it will all build up to a better chance of success, both in MBA admissions, and in life in general.
And good luck!!! We have a gazillion Success Stories on the blahg from people who started in your shoes and turned it around to an admit at a great MBA program - here's just one of many
- there is hope for you!
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