Target Test Prep GMAT Review: Your Quant Edge? - Financial Analyst Insider

Target Test Prep GMAT Review: Your Quant Edge?

If you need an extra edge for the GMAT quantitative section, Target Test Prep offers a highly focused and flexible solution that could make your life much easier. Target Test Prep is a small educational firm that offers self-guided courses on the GRE and GMAT quantitative sections.

In this article, we’ll provide an in depth review of Target Test Prep’s GMAT offerings. The article will cover how Target is different from other competitors and how to most efficiently use the platform based on your study needs.  I’ll also share with you my impressions after spending a few days using Target’s online GMAT test prep course.

GMAT Course Overview

Target Test Prep’s primary offering is a self-directed online course that covers everything you need to know for the GMAT Quantitative section. That last part is important. Target only covers the quantitative portion of the GMAT.

With a small team—its website lists five employees—it seems like Target is trying to do fewer things well, and indeed, the curriculum proves that Target has created an incredibly comprehensive program.

Program Structure

Target’s GMAT Quantitative course covers 20 chapters. Some chapters introduce problem types and test-taking strategies, while many others review key math concepts, from the rudimentary to the very advanced. Each chapter is composed of several lessons, over 500 in all, which are in turn accompanied by practice questions that reinforce each lesson’s theme.

After every few chapters, Target will have you take easy, intermediate, and hard review quizzes. These assessments reinforce what you’ve learned, and direct your attention to weak spots. Once you’ve completed the 20 chapters, you will then move on to six GMAT practice tests, which serve both as a capstone, as well as an indicator as to how to focus your final study efforts before the exam.

Pricing Options

Pricing is straightforward, and is based on access to the course materials. For maximum flexibility, you can purchase monthly access for a recurring charge of $99, or you can buy longer periods of access at a discount: $299 for four months, or $399 for six.

Flexible Preparation Course

The flexible preparation course represents Target’s core product offering.  Students have full access to all course features.  This option offers maximum flexibility with month to month access and the ability to cancel at any time.  Notable features include:

  • Over 500 individual quantitative lessons.
  • Access to 3,000 GMAT practice problems.
  • 800 high definition video based lessons.
  • Comprehensive analytics to track your progress.
  • Highly customizable practice test software.
  • Course availability on a month to month basis.
  • Available for $99 per month with the ability to cancel at any time.

Dedicated Study Course

This course option offers students a nice balance between extra course availability with a lower monthly price point.

  • Includes all features offered in the Flexible course.
  • 4 month course access.
  • $299 cost or $74.75 per month.

Maximum Learning Course

The Maximum course offers the lowest monthly price point in return for a full 6 months of course access.  Students that need more help on the quantitative section of the GMAT will get the most value from this course option.

  • Access to all course features.
  • 6 month of full access.
  • $399 cost or just $66.50 per month.

Tutoring Option

It’s also worth mentioning that Target offers private online tutoring at a rate of $300 per hour. It’s important to note that Target’s tutoring option includes all sections of the GMAT, not just the quantitative section.

If you are considering the tutoring option, we recommend you reach out directly to Target through their contact option on the tutoring page.

Unique Features

With its simpler approach to test prep, Target offers little more than the basics in its GMAT prep portal. But for the most part, this is more than enough. A page in your portal tracks how many lessons and questions you’ve done recently to help keep you on track. You can also take in-line notes on lesson material, or bookmark entire lessons to review later.

These are not ground-breaking features, but they ensure that as you progress through the course, you can smoothly tailor it to your personal learning objectives.  The objective is to improve your math skills, not to dazzle you with high tech features that you may not need.

Practice Question Format

We found one area that could use some improvement.  The practice tests do not use question adaptivity.  The adaptive question format is utilized by the GMAT as well as by many of the larger competitors in their test bank products.

If you plan to use Target’s math based program as a supplement to your primary study material, the lack of an adaptive practice question format is a non-issue.

GMAT Score Increase Guarantee

Target offers a very strong score guarantee policy.  If your GMAT math score doesn’t increase after taking Target’s course, you are entitled to a full refund of the course cost.

In order to be eligible for the guarantee, you do need to meet the following requirements:

  • You have taken the GMAT at least one time prior to using Target’s course.
  • Email your original GMAT score to team@targettestprep.com within 2 weeks of your purchase date.
  • Complete Target’s GMAT class in full.
  • Send your new GMAT score to the same Target email address within 2 weeks of taking the GMAT and receiving your new score.

The full score guarantee is included here.

Which Course Should I Choose?

As I will discuss shortly, Target offers a very high quality of instruction, and students who follow its regimen are almost surely going to meet their goals. That said, its simple design lacks for interactivity, and may not be the right fit for every student.

As such, I would recommend that students try the course first with Target’s $1, five-day trial. Unlike some other companies, Target does not hide later parts of the course for non-subscribers, so your trial will give you a complete sense of what the course is like.

Selecting the Right Course

The best course option will depend on your exam date and your quantitative starting skills.  If you have strong math skills and just need to brush on up on a few specific areas, you will probably do best with the Flexible course option.

If your math skills need a more significant upgrade, your best option is to choose the Dedicated or Maximum course and take advantage of the lower per month price points.

For students whose test date is a few months out, be sure to take advantage of one of the longer subscriptions, which come at a lower per-month price.

Using the Platform

Target Test Prep is a smaller player in the test prep business, but its prices are affordable, and its course offering is highly focused and targeted.

I used Target for its five-day trial period. During that time, I came to appreciate the excellence of Target’s teaching. Its course content is thorough and effective, and students who follow the program carefully will likely see significant improvement in their math skills.

Keep in mind the video presentations, may not be as dynamic as some of the larger competitors, however this is because Target’s focus is on the content quality rather than the presentation.

Quality of Instruction

Before beginning the course, your first step is to print out note-taking sheets with boxes for each of the 500 lessons, and to begin writing out “Must-Know” tips on flashcards for gradual memorization.

While hand-written notes are well known to improve learning outcomes, this amount of writing seemed daunting.  However, by going through the process, you will be amazed at how much material you will begin to commit to memory.  You may want to break up the process over multiple days.

Traditional Teaching Format

As with any old-school teacher, Target’s tough exterior belies an ocean’s worth of competence and support. Each chapter is expertly broken down into dozens of individual lessons, and the course content progresses very smoothly.

The lessons themselves contain practice exercises that directly reinforce what you’re learning. Unclear on something? Each exercise has a video explanation and tutors provide live support as needed.

Afraid of forgetting something? A series of review tests follow every few chapters, following the “spaced-repetition” model of gradual learning.

Practical Learning Method

As I worked through the course, I grew to appreciate how Target presents simpler questions upfront, and then builds on them as chapters progress. As an example, data sufficiency is a devilish part of the GMAT.

Target began by showing me how to separate answers A/D from B/C/E, and to work logically to eliminate one group of options.

Not long after I’d had some practice doing this, I found myself able to answer questions at a surprisingly fast clip. These are the types of tactical advantages that a good GMAT prep course will give its students.

Ease of Use

Keep in mind that much of Target’s course material is text based. Lessons take the form of a few, medium-to-long paragraphs that you will need to read carefully before answering the practice questions.

I found it most effective to break up the lessons into smaller bite sized pieces.  Small study sessions followed by practice questions were most effective for me.  You will want to keep this in mind especially if you have a tight window for your scheduled testing date.

Prep Course Portal

Target’s practice portal is straightforward. You can easily navigate between chapters from the homepage. The analytics page tracks your performance by question type and content area, and you can easily review your notes and bookmarks from a tab in the main menu.

As mentioned previously, Target provides few frills, but offers all the standard tools you need to make study time focused and efficient.

Final Thoughts

Students looking for an extra quantitative edge will be well served by looking into Target’s GMAT course.  The course offers a unique approach to gradually improve your math skills.  This structured approach stands in contrast to some of the more uniform teaching methods offered by other competitors.

Keep in mind that students looking for a comprehensive GMAT prep course will need to consider alternative options for the verbal section of the GMAT.  However students looking for an extra boost in their math skills will find a very helpful roadmap.

Target GMAT Course Trial Access

Target also offers a $1 trial of its GMAT course.  The 5 day trial includes full access to all course features and options.  This is notable because many free trial offers from other competitors only include access to limited course features.

Pros

  • Target covers the GMAT Quantitative section from every angle, and students who stick to its regimen are highly likely to succeed.
  • You can tell that Target’s lessons have been crafted by expert educators, as the content flows well and is frequently reinforced.
  • Very reasonable price point with highly flexible course options.

Cons

  • Target’s GMAT course only covers the quantitative section of the GMAT.
  • The practice question test bank doesn’t offer an adaptive question format.
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