- Apply to more than "a limited number" of schools. It's really competitive out there and if you're not currently in the field, you might not realize how much. Top schools get hundreds of applicants competing for around 6-10 spots. (Last year, out of Brandeis MA, I applied to 26 PGR-ranked PhD programs. I was accepted to 2 and waitlisted at 3.)
- Apply to MA programs, if you can afford to go to a not-fully-funded program. Without a strong academic background in philosophy, this is your best bet.
- If it's feasible, retake the GRE. It's not the biggest deal, but the 160 verbal score might be hurting you somewhat.
- Make sure your sample lines up with your stated AOIs, and that it's appropriate in terms of scope and structure-- the best way to get a feel for this is to read others' successful samples (preferably read some within your subfield). It's great that you're getting feedback on your sample from advisors; it can also be a good idea to get feedback from peers who have more recent experience with the app process from the applicants' side.
- Join the facebook group! It's more active than this forum, and there's a lot of info there. IME, it can help to be part of a group (virtually or otherwise) of peers who are going through or have recently been through the app process.