|All Reviews > Target Test Prep Reviews|
Joined: Aug 04, 2019
740 Q49 V42
I am happy when I am writing these lines. I have been on GMATCLUB for 1.5 years. I read some reviews of the people who had succeeded in GMAT and wondered whether I would one day be the one who writes the review. I love this community, and it is my duty and honor to share my experiences of my GMAT journey so that it can inspire and help someone out there. I will talk about my journey first and then summarize my key take-aways of GMAT. For that reason, my “briefing” will be rather long :)
MY BACKGROUND: I have an undergraduate degree of management and already hold a Master's degree. I need GMAT to apply for a good PhD in management program.
MY FIRST ATTEMPT: I learned MANHATTAN guides and did questions in OG and then took the GMAT. But I scored 540 in my first attempt, many questions in both Quant and Verbal sections not finished. I was rather shocked, especially by the Verbal result because I was quite good at English (I scored 9 on IELTS reading section) and cared a lot about languages in general. My conclusion was that I underestimated the GMAT.
PREPARATION: I started preparing seriously for the GMAT in the summer of 2019. I spent 2 months doing questions on GMATCLUB on a daily basis. My preparation was rather unsystematic. I then spent one year augmenting my quantitative and verbal abilities. After one year, I was more confident in my ability to ace the GMAT. I need a 700-level score to get in my desired PhD program. And because I still had to work and was already married, I had to balance my GMAT preparation and other life duties. I tried to spend most of my free time learning the GMAT. Sometimes I thought of giving up.
One day I read an online article by some person who writes that the key difference between the high-score test takers and the low-score ones is that the latter thinks of GMAT as something to get rid of while the former thinks of GMAT as an opportunity to learn something valuable. Then, I happened to read an article on Reddit, on which someone asked whether it is hard to get a high score on GMAT, and some tutor at Manhattan Prep wrote something like "It's all about determination and persistence, and it can be you. Why not?" I then thought of GMAT as an opportunity to learn something valuable, and the more I studied the more I saw the charm of GMAT. My GMAT preparation, though sometimes stressful, gradually became my daily hobby. I even did all the available questions of “Logical Reasoning” of LSAT.
MY SECOND ATTEMPT: Because of my demanding work schedule, I decided to take the GMAT on December 11th 2020. However, I did not sleep well before the test day and did not take the mock test. Perhaps I was overconfident with my preparation. I did not manage time well during the test and still left some questions unanswered in both Quant and Verbal sections. My score was 590 (quant: 42, verbal: 28), distressing me a lot, especially because my Verbal score was 28, even lower than my Verbal performance 2 years ago. The good point was that even I did not finish the Quant section, I scored 42, so my quant performance really improved. Thinking about my time spent on preparing for GMAT and what I had learned, I could not accept the result. I registered for my last GMAT attempt in 3 weeks and determined that it would be my last attempt.
THE LAST 3 WEEKS: I spent some time reflecting on the reasons for my results. The chief reason is a strategic reason. I felt that I could do any question in the GMAT last time but did not manage to do so. I broke down the reasons: (i) I did not manage time well; (ii) I did not really master some of quant concepts, a fact that takes me a lot of time on solving some questions, especially Data Sufficiency, (iii) the Verbal questions, especially Critical Reasoning ones, that I had done were harder than the actual questions on GMAT, so I kept spending too much time on each Verbal question, especially the hard ones; (iv) I did not write down the key points in RC, using up a lot of my valuable time in RC; and (v) I did not do the mock test to prepare myself for the stressful testing environment.
In 3 weeks, I studied between 6 to 8 hours a day. I spent spending time mastering the quantitative concepts of combinations, permutations, probability, and geometry. I knew that mastering these concepts is essential to getting a high score on Quant section. I also did quantitative questions of diverse topics (number properties, quadratics, rate and work problems, etc.) to train myself to "remember cold". Because the Data Sufficiency is a great opportunity to save time, I spent time understanding the conceptual nature of the topics involved, and when encountering a DS question, I spent time working with the Stem to understand the nature of the concepts tested. My DS performance improved on a daily basis, and I could solve DS hard questions in less than 1 minute. I also tried to do Verbal questions in a decisive way. Moreover, I reviewed intensively my performance in both Quant and Verbal sections. Why did I incorrectly answer this question? Why did I correctly answer this question but did so in more than 2 minutes? I focused on improving my weaknesses and augmenting my strengths. I did one mock test of GMATPrep because GMATPrep mock tests use the same algorithm as used by the real test. I scored 730 (Quant: 49, Verbal: 40).
TEST DAY: January 6th, 2021.
This time, before leaving home for the test, I kept in mind and followed my STRATEGY: (i) Strategic Skipping: I knew that I would have to resist the temptation to correctly answer ALL the questions: there are some questions that I can solve but in more than 3 minute, so I need to bravely skip some questions. After all, I do not need to score 800 on the GMAT. GMAT questions are smartly designed so that there is always a time-saving way to solve if the test taker really understands the concept involved. So if I do not see that ingenious way and if I spend about 2 minutes without seeing the way to solution, I will skip it; (ii) I will do the Verbal section first because the Verbal section will take up a lot of energy; (iii) On the test day I will bring an energy drink and some KitKat's to boost my energy.
I strictly followed my strategy before and during the test. My mentality was really good during the test. I did each question in Verbal section in a decisive manner. I managed the time quite well and finished all the questions in time. Then I took a break and moved into the Quant section. I aggressively "killed" each quant question, skipping some questions (not in a row). After half of the time allocated for the Quant section, I looked at the timer and saw that I was on the right track and pace: there were 32 minutes and 16 questions left. More importantly, except some questions that I had strategically skipped, I knew that the questions I had did were correct. I could see the traps set by the question maker. When there was less than 1 minute and 1 question left, I decisively chose a random question because I knew that that question could not be finished in less than 1 minute and I did not want to risk not completing the Quant Section. I took the second break, my mentality being very good. I took another Kit Kat and finished the Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing. After completing the Analytical Writing section, I clicked on "End Exam" button. At that moment, I thought that I would score 700-level, and then the result popped up, showing that I scored 740. After the test, I thought that I could have scored higher on Verbal section, but I were satisfied with my results and decided to go on with my application.
MY KEY TAKE-AWAYS:
(Some of my key take-aways are likely to overlap the insights shared by other people on the GMATCLUB forum.)
- Mindset: Think of GMAT as an opportunity to learn something valuable to you. And it is indeed. If you persist on a daily basis and have a good schedule, you will achieve your desired score one day.
- Approach: Master the fundamentals of Quant and Verbal sections first. To take a soccer analogy, GMAT does not test Messi-like skills but rather Zidane-like skills: GMAT tests how you master the fundamentals and strategically apply them in a stressful testing environment. Make sure that you correctly solve every easy and medium question before moving to hard questions. At the end of the day, the "hard" questions are the ones that you failed to correctly answer. You can save a lot of time on DS questions, even hard ones, by understanding the conceptual nature of each quant topic. The key to nailing the Verbal Section is to be able to eliminate 4 wrong answer choices. I like a quote by Sherlock Holmes - “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” This is exactly my approach to Verbal section. Hence, when you practice any Sentence Correction or Critical Reasoning question, make sure that you completely understand WHY each of the 4 wrong answer choices is wrong and WHY the correct answer choice is correct. In SC and CR, you should stick to official questions. Fortunately, questions designed by TTP are of high quality. In my opinion, questions in Verbal section even harder than questions in the real test. You should also study Quant and Verbal in parallel.
- Sentence Correction is the section that you have the great potential to improve. Make sure you master the basic structure of a sentence and grammatical topics and then focus on meaning and logic issues. On each SC question, I first read the stem to get a sense of the meaning of the sentence before I check each answer choice. Note: You must keep your mind open, because the intended meaning may be not the meaning in the original sentence (as in answer choice (A)) but rather the meaning in the correct answer.
- Critical Reasoning: The key to doing well with CR is that when you read or hear an argument, always ask the questions “What is the Conclusion? How did the author come to the Conclusion? What Assumptions did he make? Are they justified?” Be critical and make it your daily habits.
- Reading Comprehension section: Because RC takes up a lot of your valuable time, RC needs to be attacked strategically. You should train yourself to read and summarize academic articles (eg. Scientific American, Nature, etc.) In RC and Verbal section in general, alter all, it is all about reading skills, to quote GMATNinja. In doing RC, you should spend time writing the main idea or topic, dates, people’s names or main positions, key events, of each paragraph in a concise manner because doing so will help structure and navigate your reading. “A good memory is not as good as a bad pencil.”
- Study and Review what you have studied on a regular basis. Especially when you have to work, there are many things untangled in your mind. "Quality over quantity" is the motto of the preparation.
- Maintain your strong points and improve your weak points. Do not avoid looking at that fact that you did not understand well enough a particular topic or concept. Every mistake you make is indeed an opportunity to learn something useful.
- During the last phase of your preparation, spend time doing questions of diverse topics in both Quant and Verbal sections.
- When you are confident with your preparation (perhaps when you are 90% correct in hard questions), make sure that you spend time doing mock tests. Formulate your strategy for the test day, implement your strategy and perfect it during your doing mock tests. I recommend that you spend at least 1 month doing and reviewing mock tests. This is a strategic investment to prepare you for the stressful testing environment.
- 1 week before your test day, make sure that you sleep well each day so that your brain can arrange what you have learnt so far and you have a sober mind before taking the test.
- Last but not least. The key to getting a high score on GMAT is to get a high score in Quant section and get a good enough score in Verbal.
The day when I was done with the GMAT, I felt empty because learning GMAT with GMATClub had been a part of my daily life, dawn till dusk, over the last two years. I want to thank you, the great and nice people on GMATClub. I have learnt a lot from the insights of @GMATNinja, @Bunuel, @daagh, @Karishma, @bb, some tutors at MANHATTAN GMAT that I forgot the names, and @Scott. Sometimes, the way to achievement is to put yourself on the right way. Fortunately, I found great friends on GMATCLUB to go along with me during this journey. Thank you.
Because old habits did hard, I will still be around on GMATCLUB. See you.
Joined: Apr 17, 2020
750 Q49 V44
I was blown away by TTP's program and customer support. I started my journey studying for the LSAT so I had a solid foundation for verbal. I had a good quant base but I was inconsistent (Q44-46 in mocks). After 4-5 months of self studying, I received the same mock score as when I initially started studying (710). I started TTP the next day. It was easy to follow and, if followed as planned, provides a very good foundation to tackle almost all Quant questions on test day. When I finished the program I was getting 730-770 on the mocks. What blew me away the most was the customer support. I scored a 710 on my last mock and panicked. I emailed Scott and within hours I received a call from one of the tutors (Jeff) who gave me some last minute tips and advice before my test. I ended up taking the exam online (710) and again in person (750).
Joined: Nov 04, 2019
490 Q28 V29 (Online)
TTP is a lengthy course. If you're looking for a shortcut, or have under 6 months to study (and you don't work in finance), this is probably not the course for you. I learned a lot from TTP and it helped me come a long way in my prep. I've struggled with math and timed exams for most of my life, and the improvement I experienced was immense. I climbed from a 21 to a 37, but it took me a year to do it. Although I didn't achieve my goal (I still may retake with extended time) I'm glad I spent the time working toward it with TTP. Jeff was always available to answer my questions throughout the course, and Scott took the time when I completed it to discuss my score. The course is easy to use and it meets you where you are. If you have the time, I definitely recommend using it.
I did not spend the time I needed to on the verbal section, simply because I devoted all of my time to Quant. This is not something you want to do, and if it means pushing your application out a year, consider that ahead of time. The verbal section is just as lengthy, but it definitely helps with the SC section and it has some tough CR questions that will help you truly understand what the exam is testing.
Joined: Apr 30, 2021
740 Q48 V44
I firmly believe that Target Test Prep is by far the best GMAT prep course on the market. The lessons are very informative and the enormous amount of repetitions you get with all the practice problems is invaluable. Quant is what TTP is known for so it was no surprise that I found this part of the course to be great. However, TTP also is in the process of rolling out its Verbal prep as well. For me, I found the Sentence Correction modules to be most helpful. Additionally, Scott and Jeffrey were extremely helpful and accessible throughout the whole process.
Studying for the GMAT is no walk in the park and it requires many hours of dedicated study. However, with enough time and effort (with TTP), I am confident that anyone can break 720+. Thanks TTP!
Joined: Mar 10, 2020
750 Q48 V44 (Online)
For someone like me who pretty much needed to start from scratch with quant, this course was amazing. It definitely takes many many hours of dedicated study, but if you put in the hard yards, it's impossible not to improve your quant score. It's very thorough and covers every topic so that you know the subject matter inside and out. No shortcuts here but it's worth it.
What I liked most was that it's a very structured/gated program - my tendency is to skip/rush ahead (and consequently to skip over valuable material) and this course doesn't really allow for that. I also found the targetted study practice invaluable - I could go through a bank of questions that focused on a particular topic I was struggling with until I had perfected it.
I'm so pleased with my 750 score! Thanks TTP!
Joined: Apr 24, 2021
770 Q50 V45
I am 38, applying for an online MBA. My quant skills were rusty to say the least! Target was excellent in that the course builds confidence along with skills. Both the quant and the verbal effectively break down all concepts into simple components and then build them up to develop expert skills in applying skills on exam day. I found the sentence correction in particular to be refreshing in its refusal to accept 'awkwardness' as a valid reason to eliminate answer choices, instead striving to seek logical objective reasons for finding the correct answer in all cases. In my opinion this is the secret to unlocking the truly high verbal scores.
It's a great course with a huge amount of practice questions. Some are really tough, but working through it all really prepares you well for exam day.
Joined: Aug 03, 2020
740 Q48 V44 (Online)
TTP is unparalleled in getting you prepared for the GMAT. I started studying with Manhattan Prep books and found it helpful for general test knowledge, format, and strategies. But, the style of just reading content and no practice wasn't working for me and I was scoring in the low/mid 600s on practice tests (used Veritas for this initially) and wasn't improving. After the holidays, I needed a new way to study that would keep me engaged and on track.
I took the leap and tried TTP and while it's intensive and lengthy, it's worth it. I was getting 49s in Quant on the OG tests after TTP and got a 48 on the actual GMAT online. I also did the beta Verbal course on TTP and think it has great potential - I liked the SC parts but felt the critical reasoning content to be overkill, especially after reading through MP. RC has always come pretty naturally to me so I didn't mind that they didn't have this up and running yet.
I'd recommend following the plan they outline. I printed the review sheets, took notes on them, etc and made flash cards before the bigger tests. I don't think you need to do ALL the quizzes tbh - for some of the later chapters, I followed the accelerated plan and then came back to the quizzes I didn't do if I felt like I needed more targeted practice later.
First time cold test (veritas test): 550 (33Q, 33 V)
after Manhattan (veritas test): 620 - 650 (~43 Q, ~35 V)
After TTP (OG Tests): got scores between 680 and 750, high of 49Q and 44V
Actual GMAT: 740 (48Q, 44V)
Joined: Apr 08, 2021
720 Q49 V40
TLDR: I have so much love for TTP.
After scoring a 610 (Q40, V33) on an initial GMAT practice test, I spent weeks (maybe months) trying to decide what prep course to invest in. TTP was the one course, no matter what website I was on, that had the (seemingly) most consistently positive and authentic reviews.
Just over 3 months later, I totally see why. With TTP (and TTP only), I improved my GMAT score from a 610 to a 720 (Q49, V40.) The learning path is clear, extremely comprehensive and provides endless amounts of relevant practice problems.
On test day, there was not a single quant problem that was unfamiliar to me - The real GMAT was straightforward and predictable thanks to the thousands of practice questions TTP offers. (It feels absurd typing this because my reach goal before studying with TTP was a Q46.)
The TTP team has created an insanely special program. Seriously, trust TTP.
Joined: Feb 19, 2021
710 Q47 V40
I initially used Target Test Prep due to the sheer depth it provides in the quant section. It had been about 4 years since I last took a math course, so I knew I was going to be in for a rough time. The first mock test I took, I got around a 34 on Quant- heartbreaking!
Immediately after, I signed up for Target Test Prep, and went through the modules over the course of about 4 months. The quant section itself has everything you need, and throws almost every type of question you'll see (and more!) in the practice exams. I ended up leveraging TTP and Gmat Club practice questions to get a 47, which was an unbelievable journey for me from my initial abyssal score.
The newly added verbal section was also helpful, particularly in SC, which helped boost my knowledge of key rules and easy ways to eliminate obvious errors in many questions.
Finally, the team at TTP is incredibly helpful, and involved with the community- almost any question I had was answered within a business day (often faster)!
Cannot recommend the product enough if you're looking for a huge improvement and have the time and energy to expend for a full revamp.
Joined: May 26, 2019
720 Q49 V40
I signed up with TTP when I had already given GMAT once and scored a Q46 in it. And I needed a bump on that quant score. The beauty of TTP is that they keep the focus on simplicity, irrespective of the difficulty of question. The sheer exhaustiveness of the course including 100+ questions on crucial topics such as number properties, geometry make sure that much of the formulas, concepts become second nature to you. These really help when you're operating under timed conditions. Highly recommend TTP for Quant.
And as a side note, their free verbal module, especially SC, is superb as well. It may require a certain degree of base knowledge, so maybe more suitable for native speakers, but it is superb in terms of going the distance in explaining the things. Subjunctive vs Indicative; Parallelism; Modifiers. It's a bonus