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Jim S.

Caltech alumnus - SAT, College Apps, Math, Physics, English

Simi Valley, CA (93065)

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I am a Caltech Alumnus tutoring in mathematics, physics, foreign languages and English composition. I have experience tutoring in algebra, trigonometry, geometry, calculus, pre-calculus, AP Physics, and Mandarin Chinese. Exam prep emergencies are my specialty! I also give expert one-on-one assistance and guidance with your college applications and SAT prep.

A little about me: I majored in Applied Physics at Caltech. My SAT scores were 740 in English, 760 in math. My SAT Math Level 2 and Physics subject test scores were both 800. Having lived and studied in France, Austria and Taiwan, I am fluent in French, German and Mandarin Chinese languages with an excellent accent in each, and can tutor in foreign language conversational skills including pronunciation. I also tutor foreign students in English/ESL. My students mostly live in Simi Valley, Moorpark and Thousand Oaks areas.

In teaching mathematics, I am especially perceptive at determining where a student has a gap in understanding or a misunderstanding of mathematical concepts or techniques. Once I have grasped where the shortfall is, I find a way to explain it in very clear terms, enabling my students to make rapid progress in their understanding and in their capability to work homework problems and take exams.

When helping you to edit your writing, my best skill is to advise on word choices that express your thoughts with precision and impact, as well as ways to condense your writing to give it more punch. I'm also very effective at proofreading grammar, spelling and punctuation, and teaching how to avoid the most common errors students make in school essays or the SAT writing essay. In addition I've developed some special techniques to help you prepare for the SAT essay that have proven very helpful in boosting writing scores.

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Jim’s subjects

Corporate Training:
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading, ACT Science, ASVAB, Career Development, College Counseling, GRE, PSAT, SAT Math, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, TEAS
Special Needs:
Business, Career Development, Economics, GRE, Marketing, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word
Elementary Education:
Grammar, Study Skills, Vocabulary
American History, European History, Government & Politics
Chinese, ESL/ESOL, French, German
ACT Science, Physical Science, Physics
General Computer, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Word
ACT English, ACT Reading, English, ESL/ESOL, Grammar, Proofreading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, Vocabulary, Writing

ACT Math

Because I'm very effective at teaching prealgebra, algebra and geometry, I've been able to help students become very proficient at solving the kinds of problems that appear on the ACT Math exam.

The key to my students' success on this exam has been teaching them both test taking strategy and getting them very familiar with the types of problems that appear on the ACT Math test as well as how to solve them. I'm also great at finding out what it is they "don't get" and helping them "get it" so they'll succeed on the ACT Math test.

ACT Science

I majored in Applied Physics at Caltech, so I have a deep understanding and appreciation for the sciences, as well as for the skills of interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem solving that the ACT science exam tests for.

The enthusiasm I developed studying cell biology from one of the primary inventors of the field of electron microscopy (Dr. Jean-Paul Revel) and studying physics with Nobel laureate Dr. Richard Feynman is contagious, so I'm able to help inspire students of science with my enthusiasm.

I also have a gift for evaluating where a student's understanding is lacking or absent, so that I can supply just the right remedies for them to learn to score high on the ACT Science exam.


Over the years I've had several students in middle school and high school whose parents had them in treatment for ADD/ADHD. I've been very successful in teaching them mathematics and writing mechanics, and greatly improving their grades. It requires a teacher with great patience who's able to redirect the student's attention to their studies and to teach them in a fun and engaging manner that won't make it seem like a chore. I'd welcome the opportunity to help your ADD/ADHD student excel as well.

Algebra 1

I originally learned Algebra I in 7th grade before it became a state mandate to push every 7th or 8th grader who's able to into Algebra I. I took geometry the following summer and Algebra II with Trigonometry during 8th grade.

From 9th grade on I was called upon by friends in school to tutor them in algebra, and I rapidly became an accomplished algebra tutor during my high school years. In college I joined a Saturday program to teach middle and high school students algebra, gaining another 4 years experience.

More recently I've been called upon to help a college student who was taking College Algebra (the same thing as high school algebra!) and in danger of getting a D grade. I tutored her the last month of her semester and she scored so well on the final exam that she ended up with a B for the semester.

I have several current references (students and their parents) who will tell you that I have a keen ability to discover what it is that's blocking a student's understanding of algebra, and rapidly helping them to overcome it.

Algebra 2

I first studied this subject at my local high school while I was in 8th grade, and the following summer took "College Algebra" at a local college to follow up. It turned out to be exactly the same topics: systems of linear equations,matrices and determinants, conic sections, probability theory.

During my 3 years of high school, I tutored many friends and classmates in Algebra II, and became a very accomplished tutor in this subject. The standardized exams that test it are the SAT and especially SAT Math Level II exams. I scored 760 and 800, respectively, on these two tests.

My real strength is in discerning what step or concept my student has difficulty with, so that I can clarify that particular issue once and for all. This enables my student to make rapid progress in improving a grade by aceing homework assignments and subsequent math exams in class. I help
both students who want to accelerate and those who are having difficulty in the subject.


Over the years I've had several students in middle school and high school who have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I've been very successful in teaching them mathematics and writing mechanics, and greatly improving their grades. It requires a teacher with great patience who's able to discover their likes and dislikes, develop a strong rapport with them, and teach them in a fun and engaging manner that won't make the work seem like a chore. I'd welcome the opportunity to help your Asperger's Syndrome student excel.


I have 20 years of highly successful experience in sales management, market research, product management and marketing management in the electronics industry. My job titles have included Director of Far East Sales, Product Marketing Manager, Product Manager and Market Research Manager at companies including TRW, Northrop Grumman, Lucent Technologies, Agere Systems, Perkin Elmer, JMAR Precision Systems and Eaton Corporation.

During my career I spent 120 days a year for 10 years traveling on business from Japan to India and from China to Australia, attending trade shows, giving technical seminars in Mandarin Chinese to customers, and providing sales training to international sales reps.

I also have 8 years experience as a contingency recruiter ("headhunter") working for electronic and biotech manufacturers, recruiting specialist design engineers, project managers, program managers, and mid-level individual contributors to top management employees in sales, marketing, HR, I.T., finance and accounting. On the engineering side I've recruited electrical, mechanical, software, firmware and audio/acoustic engineers.


In the past 2 years I've very successfully tutored capable AP Calculus AB and BC students who wanted to raise their class grade and/or boost their AP Calculus exam score. This year I also have two AP Physics students I'm tutoring for both physics and calculus.

I first took Honors Calculus at a local college when I was in 9th grade. I'm very good at helping students understand the material tested on the AP Calculus AB and BC exams and how to boost their AP Calculus test score, and we do a lot of timed practice tests as well as going through solutions together to the problems missed and special techniques to get speedy answers.

I majored in Applied Physics at Caltech, so I studied advanced calculus extensively and tutored high school students in math while I was in college.

In teaching mathematics, I am especially perceptive at finding out what a student doesn't get in concepts or techniques. Once I know where the problem lies, I explain it in very clear terms, so my students get much stronger in their ability to work problems and take tests.

Career Development

I have 8 years experience as a contingency recruiter ("headhunter"), and have helped a large number of job seekers to elucidate their job skills and career desires, and to create and/or enhance their resume for targeted jobs or careers. I've also counseled them on specific credentials, skills or experience they will need to acquire their desired next career position. In addition I've assisted them to identify likely employers for their skillsets in the geographic areas of interest to them, and researched for them the names, job titles and contact information of hiring managers in their field at these target companies. Finally, I've assisted them to create and/or enhance their LinkedIn profiles to greatly magnify their career potential and find suitable job openings through social networking. I have 16 million contacts myself on LinkedIn, which greatly facilitates my ability to advise clients on hiring managers at prospective employers.


I studied Mandarin Chinese in college and then went to the Mandarin Training Center at Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan for a year of one-on-one language instruction. Subsequently I spent 10 years managing Far East Sales, during which I traveled 3 times a year to Taiwan and Mainland China (PRC), giving technical seminars on RF and microwave electronic test equipment and automated test systems at trade shows and customer sites. This helped me to develop full fluency in Mandarin Chinese including business and technical vocabulary, with a very accurate Mandarin accent. I enjoy helping others who want to learn business or technical Mandarin develop fluency in conversational Chinese.

College Counseling

I have been active for 20 years in counseling high school students in how to find the colleges compatible with their career goals and educational achievement, and how to get the right preparation for excellent universities including our best public universities and the Ivy Leagues. I use resources such as online databases available by paid subscription only and my own experience and my children's' experiences applying to schools such as UC, USC, Caltech, Columbia, Stanford and Princeton Universities, as well as local schools like Pepperdine, CLU and CMC. I help students realize what SAT/ACT range and GPA range they need to have a very good shot at the colleges they're interested in, and to discover additional colleges they ought to be considering based on their interest and achievement profile. I also assist them to optimize their college admission essays and how they present their credentials to each college. I have special expertise in how to get into science and engineering programs at elite schools, because I was fortunate to attend Caltech myself, majoring in Applied Physics.

Differential Equations

I first took a college course in ordinary differential equations while in 10th grade, and followed that up at Caltech with an advanced course that included partial differential equations as well. As an Applied Physics major, I had many opportunities to apply differential equations to problems in electromagnetic theory, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and analytical mechanics. I have a rich background in the methods of solving differential equations, including the use of LaPlace Transforms, etc.


I've had a number of math students with dyslexia, requiring an extra measure of understanding and patience on the part of their teacher. Since I possess that understanding of this issue and am blessed with great patience, I've been very successful helping dyslexic students to master algebra, geometry and even calculus. I'd welcome the opportunity to help your dyslexic student to excel.


As a result of having spent 5 years studying foreign languages in the USA, Austria, France and Taiwan, and becoming fluent in 3 foreign languages myself (French, German and Mandarin), I have a keen appreciation for the challenges of people seeking to learn or improve their English. I spent 9 months teaching ESL at the Taipei Electric Company in Taipei, and became skilled at teaching not only English language skills but also teaching about American society and culture. I'm very good at teaching grammar, vocabulary and writing skills, as well as helping develop conversation skills and accent improvement.


I first started learning French from a native speaker while I was spending my last year of high school in Austria to learn German. This training, together with my musically trained ear, enabled me to develop a robust Parisian accent in French that native speakers have always admired about me. Consequently, one of my specialties is teaching others to develop excellent pronunciation in French.

I followed that first experience with an intensive French class in UC Berkeley's summer session, and the following year went to the University of Dijon in France to develop fluency in the language. Another of my specialties is helping students of French to develop conversational fluency in the French language.

Since returning to California I've kept up my French by seeking out opportunities to converse with native speakers and by listening to and translate French poetry sung by famous French musicians, and by watching French culture on DVD.

Because of this background I especially love using French poetry and songs to teach about the marvelous culture of France (including French history and philosophy) as a vehicle to learn the language.

General Computer

I have frequently taught people with little or no computer experience everything from how to power on and off and how to use a mouse to using Microsoft Windows, MS Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook for using e-mail and the calendar. I've also taught how to use ACT! and other CRM systems, and light hard drive maintenance.


I tutored several students who were in danger of failing their geometry class to catch up speedily and pass their geometry class by the end of the semester, sometimes with only 3 weeks to go before the semester ended. Because of my deep experience in teaching math to kids, I'm also good at helping home-school students whose parents may be tearing their hair out trying to explain geometry to their kids.


I have 13 years of highly successful experience in B2B market research, product management and marketing management in the electronics industry. My job titles have included Product Marketing Manager, Product Manager and Market Research Manager at companies including TRW, Northrop Grumman, Lucent Technologies, Agere Systems, Perkin Elmer, JMAR Precision Systems and QLA.

The skills I developed working in marketing include:

- market research in high technology products such as RF, microwave, MMIC and fiber optic components, semiconductors, modules, equipment and software-driven systems, defining market sizes and market shares

- interviewing key customers to determine what sorts of products will meet their next generation requirements

- creating Marketing Requirements Documents (MRD) to help initial definition of a potential new product and assist with the "go / no-go" decision

- preparing SWOT analyses (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) for a high-technology manufacturer

- leading the product development process including stakeholders from engineering, operations and quality assurance

- preparing competitive analysis documents of my employer's products versus those of competitors to stimulate thoughts on new products that will bring us competitive advantage and for use as a sales tool in training the sales force

- identify highly suitable technology licensing and acquisition candidates to expand product line, reduce product development time, advance marketing objectives, and facilitate buy/build/partner decisions

- create competitive sales tools such as 20-page technical marketing product literature, color brochures, technical proposals and business case solutions, PowerPoint presentations, price lists and quotation templates

- prepare detailed technical proposals to generate new business, finding opportunities to create discontinuity between customers and incumbent suppliers, e.g. providing unsolicited proposals for new technology or advancing relations with new decision makers

- marketing plan development and strategic planning by individual country markets

- evaluate current, new and emerging technologies, and market potential to serve unmet customer needs

Microsoft Excel

I have 20 years experience using Microsoft Excel, and I currently use it for everything from making charts of assorted data that has to be sorted and creating colorful graphs from the information, to business and scientific calculations. I've also taught students who needed to pass a high school proficiency exam in Microsoft Excel (as well as MS Word and PowerPoint), and office staff who simply needed to upgrade their skills.

Microsoft Windows

I have been a Microsoft Windows user from the very beginning of its existence as a product. I personally use Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP on three different PCs now, and I'm a "power user" who performs routine maintenance weekly on 3 PCs (anti-virus and anti-malware, disk drive repair, disk drive optimization) as well as new software installation for advanced users, font installation, ripping music from CDs to MP3 players, and so on. If you need help with a Windows issue, chances are I can help you. If you need tutoring in how to use Microsoft Windows, I'm sure I can help you become proficient in using Windows.


I first studied college physics as a 10th and 11th grade high school student at a local liberal arts college, and then went on to major in Applied Physics at Caltech.

I have been tutoring students in Algebra I & II, trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus and physics for over 20 years now.

This school year I have two AP Physics students who wanted help with physics homework, help preparing for chapter tests, and a better understanding of the concepts of physics.

In the past 2 years I've also very successfully tutored capable Precalculus, Trigonometry, AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC students who wanted to raise their class grade and/or boost their AP Calculus exam score.


Pre-algebra is such a key subject because these days the schools are actually cramming the beginning parts of real algebra classes into the pre-algebra course. If a student gets off on the wrong foot here, chances are they'll do very poorly when they advance to a full-on Algebra I class.

I know where the key pitfalls and traps are that impede a student from learning what they have to know to advance to Algebra next year and to be very successful in that course.

I'm also very gifted at figuring out what a student misapprehends and why they're getting the wrong answer, so that I can help them correct those issues and move on from failure to success in pre-algebra and in years to come.


Last school year, I tutored a precalculus student who had been getting a D in this subject. To be frank, she hadn't put much effort into understanding or studying the material. By working with her on a regular basis, I was able to figure out where her difficulties were and set her on the path to success in precalculus. After 2 months of tutoring she scored an A on her final exam and was able to improve her semester result to a B. I'm also very effective at helping good math students become great math students by working with them to supplement what they're doing and learning in class.


I have been proofreading sales, marketing, engineering and academic papers for 20 years, much of that at Fortune 500 corporations. In high school I took the SAT only once (before there was a separate essay to score), taking it cold without any advance preparation or prep classes ahead of time, and scored 740 on the English section, including critical reading and writing-related multiple-choice questions. I'd be happy to assist you with any proofreading project you might have.

SAT Math

My own math SAT score was 760. My SAT Math Level 2 score was 800. I'm very good at helping students understand the material tested on the SAT and how to maximize their math test score, and we do a lot of timed practice tests as well as going through solutions together to the problems missed and special techniques to get speedy answers.

I myself majored in Applied Physics at Caltech, studying advanced math extensively and tutoring middle school and high school students every Saturday.

In teaching mathematics, I am especially perceptive at determining where a student has a gap in their understanding or a misunderstanding of mathematical concepts or techniques. Once I have grasped where the shortfall is, I find a way to explain it in very clear terms, enabling my students to make rapid progress in their understanding and in their capability to work homework problems and take exams.

I helped several students who scored in the 500's on the SAT math section to catch up rapidly and improve their score to 650 or above, sometimes with only 2 months to go before the retest date.

I've also helped very bright students to accelerate in math, finding ways to challenge them and keep them motivated.

SAT Writing

I've worked with many students on improving their critical reading, writing and math scores on the SAT, and help them with any areas of weakness they might have for this exam.

In the case of writing, a portion of the score comes from answering multiple choice questions about writing errors, so I use the writing guide used in Stanford University freshman English classes, which includes many online exercises in every aspect of grammar and punctuation so that the student becomes well-practiced in identifying sentence errors to maximize their score on this portion of the SAT.

The rest of their writing score comes from the essay they write, so I have them write a number of essays in response to real SAT essay prompts, and after each one we discuss how to improve their essay by making their introductory thesis paragraph, the supporting facts paragraphs, and the counter-example paragraph to potential counter-arguments more effective, in addition to the final paragraph which sums everything up and needs to be very persuasive.

Study Skills

I have a strong ability to teach methods for students to organize their studies, their homework and their time. One of the students I coached in middle school and high school raised his cumulative GPA from 3.2 to 4.0 between 7th and 12th grades, graduating as a valedictorian of his senior class. While not every student will make such a stellar improvement, I can definitely assist students to develop and execute on a plan of attack that will significantly enhance their results on quizzes, tests, report cards and standardized exams. I have also assisted several students who were getting D or F grades in math to pass the courses I was brought in to help them with during the last month of the course, and to obtain B or A grades the following semester. I am a specialist in emergency help for students who are very behind in their work, helping them organize and learn the material to get caught up quickly and to begin achieving at the highest level commensurate with their abilities.


The TEAS exam for nursing school admission covers reading, math, science, and English and Language Usage. The content is fairly similar to what one would find in an ACT exam, with additional questions corresponding to the easiest portions of the SAT Subject Tests in biology and chemistry. I have been teaching the SAT and ACT for several years, and I majored in science at Caltech, where I studied chemistry, biology, mathematics and physics. I have a particular skill at determining where a student is not understanding a subject, and helping them to fill in that gap so that they can score much higher on standardized exams. My educational and teaching background are very well suited to helping students score high on the TEAS exam for successful admission to nursing school.


Trigonometry is a really key subject to master if students want to be successful on their SAT exam and on their SAT Math Level II subject test as well. It's also an important key to success in learning physics and helps boost calculus test results too.

I first took a trigonometry class at my nearby high school while I was an 8th grader, and then took a college trigonometry class the following summer. Guess what, the content was identical, so I snagged an A in the college class as well!

It excited my imagination to learn that trigonometry could be used to determine the size of the earth and of the moon through simple measurements here on the ground, and to understand how electricity works through a knowledge of trigonometry as well. To this day I find that exciting my students with the many fascinating applications of trigonometry is very helpful in motivating them to learn trig.

I'm very effective at teaching students exactly what they need to know to succeed in their trig class, homework and exams, and in overcoming any obstacles they may have in grasping the material and the techniques they need to know.


I have 20 years experience writing technical marketing materials for electronics manufacturers, and 10 years experience tutoring middle school and high school students in their essay and research report writing assignments. In addition I have several years experience helping students prepare for the PSAT and SAT writing exams, including multiple choice questions to identify common writing errors, vocabulary building, and help with the mechanics of writing such as spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and optimal word choice/selection. I've also helped quite a few students with their college application and scholarship application essays. If you need help to improve your writing and your vocabulary, I can definitely help you with that. On top of that I have experience teaching English speaking and writing to students of other countries, including a year teaching English at the Taiwan Electric Power Company in Taipei. My experience studying 3 foreign languages abroad helps me to appreciate the difficulties experienced by foreign students trying to learn or improve their English here in the USA.

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California Institute of Technology (Applied Physics)

The Best Tutor You Will Find for Calculus/Algebra/Trigonometry!!! I cannot thank Jim enough or recommend him more for any of your high school/college math courses! I called on Jim for help with my M25s calculus with analytic geometry course which I was struggling with in the beginning of the semester. I failed my first test, managed a 70 (due to partial credit) on my second, and knew that I needed help because I just was not understanding the concepts. After usi ...

— Christopher from Moorpark, CA on 5/15/14);

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $50.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

I teach groups at the same rate as 1 person, if all are studying the same subject. Discounts available for students with a regular tutoring time throughout the school year for at least 3 hours a week.

Travel policy

Jim will travel within 10 miles of Simi Valley, CA 93065.

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