I read in some earlier postings that you suggest folks who believe they can increase their scores should "clear the issue" and retake the GMAT. My math score was below my practice averages, and I think I can kick it up it a bit. I'm concerned, however, that studying to boost my score will cause me to sacrifice time spent on my applications/essays (I'd like to apply in early January - and took the GMAT for the first time on December 2). That said, what are my chances for admission at a top 5 school if I am...
Nationality: Saudi Arabian (living in US)
GMAT: Q45 (78th); V42 (95th); total 710 (94th)
Education: joint BS (Foreign Service, with honors certificate in Muslim-Christian Understanding) and MA (Arab Studies, with honors certificate in International Business Diplomacy) from Georgetown
Experience: 3.5 years as a director at a public relations firm, 1.5 years as a senior analyst at a venture capital firm
Extracurriculars: 4 years almost full-time non-profit work (organizing Model UN conferences) during college, Habitat for Humanity, radio DJ (again, in college), step aerobics
I'm a very strong writer, and I'm confident that I can prepare some terrific essays - given the time to write/edit/rewrite/wash/rinse/repeat.
So, given the above, what's the likelihood that I can get myself into a top 5 school without retaking the test? Or should I bite the bullet and sit through it again? I'm pretty sure I can bolster my quant section, but I'm a little concerned that I won't pull off the same performance in verbal...