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James P.

Experienced Teacher and Tutor

Wilmington, NC (28409)

Travel radius
20 miles
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Math, physics, and computer programming are the subjects I study the most. I have completed 21 credit hours in education instruction at UNCW, and I have taught math and electronics at the junior college level. I have a 4.0 GPA in math at NCSU including 18 hours of graduate-level math. Having much experience tutoring physics and calculus, I sympathize with students who struggle with these subjects, and I have had much success helping them.

I try to boil down a large amount of information into its simplest components so that one can put them together to understand more complex concepts without having to just memorize the information.

Creating problems that emphasize the points of weakness, I supply notes that can be taken home for further study. I can even provide flash cards if needed. Slowly expanding the level of difficulty to stretch comprehension, I try to throw in interesting facts along the way to give a hook to hang thoughts on and thus allow grasping of the ideas even better. I also can create a customized spreadsheet for the particular grading system of concern and project the grades needed to reach a target score.

My favorite hobby is to play classical guitar and sing in church settings as well as at weddings. A great deal of my free time is also spent in self improvement using books, videos, doing homework and taking tests to be the best tutor I can possibly be!

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James’s subjects

ACT Math

The ACT math test is often compared with the SAT but there are some notable differences. The SAT is more of an imagination test that only covers math through algebra 1 and geometry. The ACT is more practical in its nature but it also covers some algebra 2 questions such as basic complex numbers and trig. It also has more restrictive use of a calculator than the SAT so forget calculator APs. I will give you a free copy of the Princeton Review on the complete ACT test and I will walk you through several practice tests, assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Then I can give you strategic tips and point you to free videos that cover the topics you need to review.

ACT Science

I studied scientific concepts intently as an engineer and I am very familiar with reading and interpreting charts, graphs and diagrams. All of these skills are crucial for the ACT science test. It does not require much outside knowledge. The information you need to know is mostly contained in the paragraph provided, but one needs to have a plan of attack. For one thing, you should guess at every question using a process of elimination if need be. You should not take more than a minute on any question, and you should quickly assess whether or not a passage is too difficult to waste valuable time on. All questions have the same weight so answer the easier questions first.

Algebra 1

Topics I cover include the following: absolute value equations and inequalities, completing the square, distant formula, elimination method solving two equations, factoring difference of squares, factoring trinomials, factoring perfect squares, FOIL method, linear inequalities, properties of real numbers, Pythagorean theorem, Quadratic formula and equations ( parabolas ), radical equations and expressions, simplifying radicals, slope, and solving systems of equations by graphing. I tutored a student with a learning handicap for two months and he went from a C average to an A. At the end of the year he received an achievement award because of his progress in algebra.

Algebra 2

Topics include complex numbers, combinations, conic sections: circles, ellipses, hyperbolas, parabolas, direct and inverse variation, dividing polynomials, exponents, exponential and log equations, factoring with Berry method, inverse functions, logarithmic properties, introduction to matricies, nth roots and radical operations, operations on functions, polynomial functions, permutations, quadratic functions, radical equations and expressions, solving rational equations, rational exponents, graphing rational expressions, solving 3 equations in 3 variables, square root functions and inequalities, synthetic division, systems of equations, and intro to trigonometric functions.


I took a vocational aptitude test when I applied for the Coast Guard, and I made the highest score the recruiter had ever seen. I also took a vocational math test for a computer school, and I also scored almost 100%. Finally, I took a general vocational aptitude test which covered English, math, spatial recognition, logical reasoning, and mechanics, and I scored a 10 on all subjects including a perfect score on the math section. None of these tests allowed the use of a calculator.


I have been programming in C since 1986 when I was a design engineer writing C programs for biomedical engineering. I have kept up my C skills ever since with programming in operations research and information technology. I have a Microsoft visual C++ compiler which I use on a regular basis to write C programs. I am currently writing a technical paper which uses C programs to draw mathematical conclusions.


First semester topics I cover include the following: analysis of graphs, limits of functions, asymptotic and unbounded behavior, continuity, derivatives: concepts, at a point, and as a function, second derivatives, integrals: interpretation, properties, applications, technique, numerical approximation, fundamental theorem of calculus, and antidifferentation. Second semester topics include convergence tests for series, Taylor and Maclaurin series, use of parametric equations, polar functions, arc length in polar coordinates, calculating curve length in parametric and function equations, L'Hopitals rule, integration by parts, improper integrals, Euler's method, differential equations for logistic growth, and using partial fractions to integrate rational functions.

Discrete Math

Topics I cover include the following: combinatorics, probability, number theory, set theory and notation, logic, algorithms, graph theory, map coloring, truth tables, modular arithmetic, finite geometries, polyhedra, proof by induction, and Rubik's cube math just for fun.


I have used DOS since 1986 when I switched from using a computer with a UNIX like operating system. I learned to write a number of batch files and auxillary C programs in conjunction to perform very sophisticated operations on the PC computer in file management. I still have an XP computer as a backup which can execute DOS programs and DOS batch files and I still enjoy using it. It has lost popularity but it can be very powerful and very quick in file management operations. I can do things in DOS that are hard to do in windows alone.

Electrical Engineering

I have a masters degree and a bachelors degree in electrical engineering from NCSU. I have taught an electronics theory course at Durham Tech and I have done an extensive amount of electrical engineering
on a professional basis. I specialize in digital electronics but I have kept up my knowledge of analog electronics through teaching and tutoring. I feel comfortable with basic circuit theory and digital theory.

Elementary Math

I have experience teaching math at the 6th grade level in a volunteer Christian setting. I have also taken a course in the psychology of education which includes elementary education. My specialty at UNCW was math for middle school students where I took special classes for 6th graders. I have spent many hours helping a first grader do her homework in a home setting.

Elementary Science

I taught science at the 6th grade level in a volunteer Christian setting and my enthusiasm for the subject was shared by my students. They especially loved my teaching of astronomy and physics. At UNCW I took a course in the psychology of education which included teaching methods for elementary students.


Topics include angle relationships, area overview, circles - inscribed angles, circles intro, deductive reasoning, geometric mean, inductive reasoning, isosceles triangles, parallel lines and transversals, parallelograms, proofs with angles, CPCTC, segments, and triangles, similarity, squares and rhombi, triangles (30-60-90) and (45-45-90), and triangle congruence (ASA and AAS).


I can teach you how to correctly answer 98% of 500 GRE math questions using my own personal thoughts and an actual GRE calculator. The ones I skip are the ones that will cause you to waste a lot of time. Assessing where your weaknesses are, I can write for you custom practice questions that will sharpen your needed skills. With the first lesson, I will give you a free copy of the latest edition from the ETS entitled "Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions" This book is full of information, tips, strategies, content based questions, and three realistic test sets that you can use to time yourself at home.


Topics I cover include the following: kinematics ( vectors, vector algebra, components of vectors, coordinate systems, displacement, velocity, and acceleration), Newtons laws of motion, work, energy, power, systems of particles, linear momentum, circular motion and rotation, oscillations and gravitation, electrostatics, conductors, capacitors, dielectrics, electric circuits, magnetic fields, and electromagnetism.

I have also tutored an AP physics C student for both courses I and II and he passed the placement tests as well as making 100% on his final physics project. He went from being shy about physics to pursuing an electrical engineering degree at NCSU.


Topics I cover include the following: operations in the right order, evaluate expressions, identify properties, equations with variables, coordinate system and ordered pairs, inequalities, absolute value, adding and subtracting integers, multiplication and division with integers, different ways to solve equations, calculating the area and perimeter, solving inequalities, understanding inequalities and equations, monomials and adding or subtracting polynomials, powers and exponents, multiplying polynomials and binomials, factorization and prime numbers, finding the greatest common factor, finding the least common multiple, integers and rational numbers, learn how to estimate calculations, geometric sequences of numbers, scientific notation, fundamentals in solving equations in one or more steps, calculating the circumference of a circle, linear equations in the coordinate plane, the slope of a linear function, graphing linear inequalities, solve systems of equations by graphing, rates and ratios, proportions and percent, solving problems with percent, the mean, the median, and the mode, stem-an-leaf plots and box and whiskers plots, calculating the outcome, combinations and permutations, finding the odds, probability of events, geometry - fundamental statements, circle graphs, angles and parallel lines, triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons and transformations, measure area, pyramids, prisms, cylinders and cones, square roots and real numbers, Pythagorean theorem, and an introduction to trigonometry.


Topics I cover include the following: sets, real numbers, complex numbers, solving inequalities and equations, properties of functions, composite functions, polynomial functions, rational functions, trigonometry, trigonometric functions and their inverses, trigonometric identities, conic sections, exponential functions, logarithmic functions, sequences and series, binomial theorem, vectors, parametric equations, polar coordinates, matrices and determinants, mathematical induction, and limits.

SAT Math

There are many books and videos out there with strategies on how to make the SAT easier. Everyone seems to have their own ideas. I do subscribe to the idea of back solving answers from the multiple choices available and I encourage plugging in random numbers for variables to test algebraic equalities and inequalities. I give my students a free copy of the official SAT study guide which includes 10 practice tests. I go over with the student as many of these tests as he/she would like. We can even practice some timed test.

Study Skills

I believe I have good study skills as I made a 3.6 while attaining my BS degree in electrical engineering. I then continued to take graduate courses and earned my MS degree with a GPA of 3.5 Around 2004, I took classes in education at UNCW and I completed all the course work with a GPA of 3.5. The only thing I lack to have a teaching license is the internship. I have experience teaching Math and Electronics at the two year college level and I worked as a Substitute teacher for several years. I was very successful in tutoring a student in math and physics at the High School level for over one year. He was really struggling with the material and did not think he would be accepted at NCSU. Now he is in his 2nd year there and doing very well.


Topics I cover include the following: the unit circle, graphs and properties of circular functions, angles and rotations, right triangle trigonometry, graphs of transformed trigonometric functions, fundamental trigonometric identities, proving trigonometric identities, sum difference double and half angle formulas, inverses of trigonometric functions, solving trigonometric equations, right triangle applications, law of sines and cosines, modeling periodic phenomena, trigonometric form of complex numbers, De Moivre's theorem and nth roots, polar coordinates, parametric equations, recursive and nth term definition of a sequence, arithmetic sequences, geometric sequences, series and summation notation, and infinite geometric series.

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NC State (Electrical Engineeri)

NC State University (Master's)

Great Tutor! Always prepared, prompt, and patient James has been a wonderful tutor to help our daughter, who had been struggling in Pre-Calculus. He was always very prompt and, more importantly, very patient in working through the problems and explaining the solutions in ways that she was better able to understand. I was very impressed with the preparation that went into each two hour lesson as he clearly spent a great deal of his own time behin ...

— Melissa from Wilmington, NC on 6/27/14);

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $25.00

Cancellation: 1 hour notice required

Travel policy

James will travel within 20 miles of Wilmington, NC 28409.

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