Just took the test and didn't do so well. I got a 690. 2 years ago, that would have put me in the 90+ percentile. Now, 690 is around 88 percentile.
I don't want to sit for that exam again, but I take it that I will have a small chance getting into a top 10 school with a 690. The top schools have an average GMAT score of around 720 or so, but what's the range? How low do they go?
As a reassurance, plenty of people get in top schools with a 690.
First off, congratulations! 690, even if it means a 88 percentile, means that you beat out 88 percent of the test-takers. That's pretty amazing!
With that said, while top 10 schools may have an average around 720 (probably more like 710-715, but who's counting?
), keep in mind that with such a huge sample size at big schools such as CBS, half of the matriculating students are below 710-720 (and of course, half are above). Everything's a bit relative and if you ask anyone, GMAT score is only one indicator. I don't know much about you and your profile, so I can't be a fair-er judge to you. At any rate, a lower GMAT score can be complemented by a higher GPA. Good work experience and proven leadership skills can also help. A 690 alone will not be the judge of all things, as Stanford rejected GMAT scores of 800's as well. It depends on your whole package.
Lastly, on the GMAT subject - if you're constantly scoring higher than a 730 on your practice exams and believe that your ability is 730 or above, I think you should do yourself a favor and retake the exam and get that score. Otherwise, I don't think a 690 or a 710 would really make or break your application to, say, Dartmouth Tuck or Northwestern Kellogg. If you're constantly scoring around the 700 (+/- 10 to 20 points), you have really got a score that is around your ability. And if that were the case and that you're gunning for a 730 or above, it would take more than just signing up for an exam - it would take additional hours and hours of practice before you'd hit a 730. I'm not trying to douse your fire, but I hope you understand that your 690 alone will most likely not be the key to a rejection. It would be a combination of different factors that attribute to a rejection. On the other hand, a 740 on GMAT will not be the only reason schools admit an applicant; it would also be a myriad of reasons (great interviews, great essays, great letters, good scores, and good work experience) that get this same applicant admitted.
If you truly want a "range" of scores, simply look at the class profiles of the published information on the school's website. All top schools will print out their mid-80 percentile (10%-90%) of the GMAT scores. A mid-80-percentile of 680-740 would put you at a more difficult situation whereas a mid-80-percenile of 640-720 would put you at a pretty good advantage.