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I'm in almost the exact same situation as you! Scored a 39Q and 41V, and my total score is above the median for the schools I'm applying to. However I think I can do better in math and I'm taking the exam again in a few weeks. I am concerned that my verbal will go down (I wasn't doing THAT well in practice exams) and my math will stay around the same.
Heres's my solution/advice and what I did. Since your first score is solid, send your score report to all the schools you are applying to. Take the exam again, and send no score reports the day of the exam. If you are happy with your new score, then send the updated report. If you are not happy, don't send it, and the school will never know you bombed the 2nd time around.
My only question. Say my total score goes down 10-30 pts, but my Quant goes up. I'm not sure if I would send the updated scores. On one hand, my overall score will be lower. But on the other hand, my new quant could show them I'm capable. Thoughts?
congrats nazrahman on your score. That is a gr8t score. Tony touch's advice is clever. You should do that.
Tony touch, if your second time around's score is lower, despite your higher quant score, don't send it unless the school requires you to prove your higher quant capabilities. Schools care more for the final composite result for their own records.
a 41/42 verbal is very good and therefore the scores can potentially go up after practice. It however depends on whether the first attack at GMAT was made after a thorough preparation or not. If not, definitely a second try is warranted and as many of the posters on this board have commented, it helps (However there are sad counter examples also !). Most schools look for a balanced score - 80% percentile for both verbal AND quant is probably the cutting line as many applicants seem to have experienced. If you have therefore 85% on BOTH quant and verbal, you have an advantage rather than a 96% in verbal and a very low quant. I would fully agree with Tony's advice for reporting, but would advise for a second attempt only after a VERY thorough preparation.
As you know, your score is very good. I freaked out on the math a little bit the first time I took the test. There is no guarantee that you won't again if you take the test again, but it's worth a shot. You might not score a 42 on verbal (you might score lower or higher) . However, I believe that someone with sound enough reasoning skills to score 42 on verbal can do significantly better on math.
Taking the test again is worth a shot, and maybe you'll have the right combination of circumstances to contribute to a calm and composed dispostion. Good luck!!!