I can’t fully explain why Target Test Prep is truly amazing without telling my story because I feel that I will sound generic and Target Test Prep will seem similar to other programs, whereas the details made the difference.
After trying almost every prep program under the sun, I found the answers to my quant problems (pun intended) in Target Test Prep.
To start my GMAT studies, I took a Manhattan in-person class in 2014, but I never attempted the official GMAT. At the start of 2017, I was committed to taking the GMAT and started sessions with one Manhattan tutor, and then another Manhattan tutor, but I wasn’t seeing much progress, and I was uneasy about the lack of direction with my study plan.
MARCH 2017: OFFICIAL GMAT TEST 1
630 (40Q, 36V)
While studying for the first official test, I also participated in Target Test Prep’s free Tuesday webinars, which I found via Forte Forum emails (I am a 2017 Forte MBA Launcher). I really enjoyed these webinars and the Target Test Prep instructor, Jeff Miller.
After my 630, I reached out to Jeff because I knew something was not clicking with my current Manhattan tutor/study plan. Jeff listened to my concerns and offered to squeeze me in for a session before my second official test, which was scheduled for two weeks after my first. I declined, due to the time constraint, but I knew that Jeff would be my first call if things did not go well.
APRIL 2017: OFFICIAL GMAT TEST 2
610 (34Q, 39V)
Things did not go well. In the cab home, I had Jeff on the phone and he told me that it was okay, that there is still plenty of time, and that we were going to make a plan.
Let me make this scenario clear: Jeff Miller, who was neither my tutor, nor had he received a dollar from me, graciously coached me on my previous studying and exam experiences, generously reached out to me on the day of my test to give me encouragement, and reassured me on my cab ride home. I was already impressed with his webinars, but now it was clear that he was going to be a staple of my support system. If you’re like me, you need a team, and I felt like Jeff was that guy on my sideline screaming “coach put me in!”
Up until this point, I had reframed from online tutoring because I incorrectly assumed that I needed the attention of an in-person tutor. If this is your concern, PLEASE believe that online tutors can be the same, if not better than in-person tutors. Jeff was extremely attentive, he created a personal connection right away, and the flexibility of online tutoring worked in my favor.
As a tutor, Jeff went above and beyond the call to duty. His goal was to always challenge me. During our sessions, I wanted to get every problem correct; it’s human nature. After a series of incorrect problems, when Jeff heard the frustration in my voice, he kindly reminded me that his purpose was to find the areas that I struggled with, exploit that weakness, build on it, and help me grow. It would be easy for me to ramble on about his intelligence and competence as a GMAT tutor. As I mentioned before, what made Jeff special as a tutor, was his personal touch, the fact that Jeff became one of my biggest cheerleaders and confidants.
Along with Jeff being an amazing tutor, TARGET TEST PREP WAS THE BEST QUANT PROGRAM. The program is rooted in an entirely online structure, which is not only convenient for the times that you didn’t want to carry the giant OG book, but also superior to programs who try to supplement methods of offline study. For me, this prep program wasn’t better than other online prep programs, it was better than ANY prep program.
The program provides questions, tracks answers, and analyzes performance for hundreds of GMAT-like problems. Many of the questions have brilliant and extremely helpful video solutions. The web interface of Target Test Prep is flawless. It is SO easy to use. Easy to follow, easy to learn, easy to practice, and easy to evaluate your performance. I highly recommend this program and came to lean on it throughout my studies for my next two tests.
JULY 2017: OFFICIAL GMAT TEST 3
640 (44Q, 33V)
Quant Improvement: 10 Points
Although this wasn’t much overall improvement, MY QUANT SCORE INCREASED 10 POINTS, proving the value of Target Test Prep. My verbal dropped six points, which killed my score. I made some poor verbal choices in my study prep, but eventually found the right path (through a recommendation from Jeff).
At this time, I couldn’t jump back into studying. A few days after my test I had set plans to go to Europe for two weeks. Compounded with the essays, applications, and recommendations that awaited my return, most of my go-to supporters advised me to either accept the score and move on, or decide when I returned in August. I’d like to pretend that I put the test on the back burner and held off on a decision, but the truth is that I talked Jeff that very night and told him that I knew I would take it again. He knew I would too.
When I got home from Europe I was so excited to start my essays. I tried to pick up GMAT studying, but I found that I was consumed with thoughts about my essays, and I couldn’t do both. The essays were fresh and new, and the GMAT was hard and sad. Underperforming on the test three times takes a toll on your soul. I say underperforming because from the time that I started studying with Target Test Prep in May to my last official test in October I had taken 8 practice tests, all of which I achieved a 700 – 740.
So, I had to make a plan to balance applications with studying. I would take August to do my essays, study for the GMAT in Sept and Oct, and take the test in late October. Let's all take a minute to laugh at that plan—HAHAHA—one month to write essays for the four round one schools that I was applying to. August quickly turned into September, and the essays were not done; I needed to figure out a new plan.
I waited until mid-September, when the essays lost their allure, and I had Jeff tutor me once a week to keep me steady with quant. In addition, I heavily relied on the Target Test Prep software to supplement his sessions and keep me entrenched in concepts. Jeff helped me focus on depth over breadth. It was better to master the bigger concepts than try to touch on every topic that my GMAT may or may not ask me. This advice made a huge impact.
OCTOBER 2017: OFFICIAL GMAT TEST 4
720 (Q48, V41)
Quant Improvement: 4 Points
Total Quant Improvement: 14 Points
14 points. I don’t think I need to say much after that. Thank you Target Test Prep and Jeff Miller!