Over 600 tutoring hours

Martina B.

Chicago, IL


Learn Science and Math with a Ph.D. Chemist!

In-person lessons
Replies in 5 hours
Background check passed as of 10/3/14
5.0 Avg. Rating
104 Ratings
5hrs Response Time
Brilliant, charming and engaging
— Doug, Chicago, IL on 4/11/13

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University of Belgrade
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Liberal Arts
Northwestern University


University of Belgrade (Chemistry)

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Liberal Arts (PhD)

Northwestern University (Other)

About Martina

Students from elementary through advanced levels can learn from a PhD chemist, who graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of Illinois (UIC). You can gain a deeper understanding of chemistry, natural sciences, mathematics and environmental science; develop good study habits, write a scientific thesis, or prepare for an exam. I also offer home schooling services and excellence coaching. Whatever your academic needs, you will learn from a highly motivated and organized tutor, who has excelled at learning her whole life.

My academic and professional highlights include: two awards for teaching excellence from UIC; six years of teaching university level chemistry; experience tutoring high school, college, and adult learners; three recognitions for professional achievement from Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS); The University of Belgrade Student of the Generation; high school valedictorian.

Learning is fulfilling and fun when you have the knowledge and the study skills required to succeed in school and in life. Give yourself an advantage by learning from a professional tutor with a scientific background, multidimensional experience, and an international perspective.

At CAS, I analyzed and edited highly complex patented chemical information, studied patent semantics, summarized recommendations for interpretation, and provided the Slavic language expertise for the MARPAT Group. As a Consulting Scientist for the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme, I researched forces driving the interactions between the world’s ecosystems and water resources. At the Millennium Project, a global futures research think tank, my contributions addressed the complex interplay of science and public policy, specifically chemical safety, chemical pollution of natural resources, and climate change.

My postdoctoral work at the Northwestern University School of Medicine focused on the computational simulations of the melatonin receptors. My PhD study at UIC focused on the determination of proteins implicated in the binding of environmental contaminants. During my studies at the University of Belgrade, I examined the chemical composition of hydrocarbon pollutants in the alluvial sediments of the Sava River.
Students from elementary through advanced levels can learn from a PhD chemist, who graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of Illinois (UIC). You can gain a deeper understanding of chemistry, natural sciences, Read more

12 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 5 miles of Chicago, IL 60610
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Brilliant, charming and engaging"

- Doug, Chicago, IL on 4/11/13

"I get it!"

- Sheri, Chicago, IL on 12/5/14


- Jason, Chicago, IL on 5/7/13

"Very effective tutor"

- Tonia, Chicago, IL on 4/5/13

"Wonderful tutor"

- Gretchen, Chicago, IL on 2/13/13
Vocabulary, Writing
ACT Science,
Organic Chemistry, Physical Science
Elementary Education:
Elementary Math,
Elementary Science,
Study Skills,
Test Preparation:
ACT Math,
ACT Science,
SAT Math,
Corporate Training:
Microsoft Excel,
Microsoft Word,

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

ACT Math

In the ACT Mathematics Test, students have 60 minutes to answer 60 questions. Three subscores are based on six content areas: pre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, coordinate geometry, plane geometry, and trigonometry. Students need knowledge of basic formulas and computational skills to answer the problems, but are not required to know complex formulas and perform extensive computation. ACT is scored based on the number of correct answers, with no penalty for guessing.

Pre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra
Pre-Algebra (23%). Questions in this content area are based on basic operations using whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and integers; place value; square roots and approximations; the concept of exponents; scientific notation; factors; ratio, proportion, and percent; linear equations in one variable; absolute value and ordering numbers by value; elementary counting techniques and simple probability; data collection, representation, and interpretation; and understanding simple descriptive statistics.

Elementary Algebra (17%). Questions in this content area are based on properties of exponents and square roots, evaluation of algebraic expressions through substitution, using variables to express functional relationships, understanding algebraic operations, and the solution of quadratic equations by factoring.

Intermediate Algebra/Coordinate Geometry
Intermediate Algebra (15%). Questions in this content area are based on an understanding of the quadratic formula; rational and radical expressions; absolute value equations and inequalities; sequences and patterns; systems of equations; quadratic inequalities; functions; modeling; matrices; roots of polynomials; and complex numbers.

Coordinate Geometry (15%). Questions in this content area are based on graphing and the relations between equations and graphs, including points, lines, polynomials, circles, and other curves; graphing inequalities; slope; parallel and perpendicular lines; distance; midpoints; and conics.

Plane Geometry/Trigonometry
Plane Geometry (23%). Questions in this content area are based on the properties and relations of plane figures, including angles and relations among perpendicular and parallel lines; properties of circles, triangles, rectangles, parallelograms, and trapezoids; transformations; the concept of proof and proof techniques; volume; and applications of geometry to three dimensions.

Trigonometry (7%). Questions in this content area are based on understanding trigonometric relations in right triangles; values and properties of trigonometric functions; graphing trigonometric functions; modeling using trigonometric functions; use of trigonometric identities; and solving trigonometric equations.

ACT Science

In the ACT Science test, students have 35 minutes to answer 40 questions. The test measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning and problem-solving skills required in the natural sciences.

The content includes biology, chemistry, physics and the Earth/space sciences, for example, geology, astronomy and meteorology. Advanced knowledge in these subjects is not required, but background knowledge acquired in general, introductory science courses is needed to answer some of the questions. The test emphasizes scientific reasoning skills over recall of scientific content, skill in mathematics or reading ability.

The scientific information is conveyed in one of three different formats:

Data Representation (38%). This format presents graphic and tabular material similar to that found in science journals and texts. The questions associated with this format measure skills such as graph reading, interpretation of scatter plots, and interpretation of information presented in tables, diagrams and figures.

Research Summaries (45%). This format provides descriptions of one or more related experiments. The questions focus on the design of experiments and the interpretation of experimental results.

Conflicting Viewpoints (17%). This format presents expressions of several hypotheses or views that, being based on differing premises or on incomplete data, are inconsistent with one another. The questions focus on the understanding, analysis and comparison of alternative viewpoints or hypotheses.

Algebra 1

This course represents the bridge from the concrete to the abstract study of mathematics. Topics include simplifying expressions, evaluating and solving equations and inequalities, and graphing linear and quadratic functions and relations. Real world applications are presented within the course content and a function's approach is emphasized.

Algebra 2

This course builds on algebraic and geometric concepts. It develops advanced algebra skills such as systems of equations, advanced polynomials, imaginary and complex numbers, quadratics, and includes the study of trigonometric functions. It also introduces matrices and their properties. The content of this course are important for students' success on both the ACT and college mathematics entrance exams.


Explore the roles of essential biological molecules: proteins, lipids and carbohydrates. The course examines the structure of proteins, their function, their binding to other molecules and the methodologies for the purification and characterization of proteins. Enzyme kinetics and mechanisms are covered in detail. Metabolic pathways are examined from thermodynamic and regulatory perspectives.


An introduction to the fundamental principles of chemistry, including chemical stoichiometry; the properties of gases, liquids, and solids; solutions; chemical equilibria; atomic and molecular structure; bonding; an introduction to thermodynamics; reaction kinetics; and a discussion of the chemical properties of selected elements.


This course reviews major ecological concepts, identifies the techniques used by ecologists, provides an overview of local and global environmental issues, and examines individual, group and governmental activities important for protecting natural ecosystems. The course provides technical information, directs the student towards pertinent literature, identifies problems and issues, and considers appropriate solutions and analytical techniques.

Elementary Math

3rd Grade: Master basic concepts related to numbers and skills in applying those concepts to solving basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. Study fractions, measurements, volume, mass, time, area, graphing, and interactions with money.
4th Grade: This course is a balanced, integrated mathematics program that includes continual development of whole number concepts, whole number computation, mental math, problem solving, patterns, functions, measurement, geometry, fractions, decimals, statistics, and probability. Word problems are incrementally developed and continually practiced.
5th Grade: Practice solving word problems and using fractions and decimals. Master the fundamental skills and concepts of mathematics. Work with percentages, basic geometry, the number line, and negative numbers.
6th Grade: Math is important to real life, science, and most other areas of study. Concepts include decimal numbers and money, fractions, graphs, linear measure, area, perimeter, volume, percent, ratio, unit conversion, probability, exponents, angle measurements, coordinates, and integers.

Elementary Science

Elements of earth, life and physical science are introduced.

Matter and its properties;
Rocks and minerals;
Life cycles.

First Grade:
Changes in states of matter;
Seasonal changes;
The ocean and its effects on humans.

Second Grade:
Relationship between matter and gravity;
Sound and light as energy forms;
Major land forms;
Oceans effects on humans;
Fossils are used to learn the past;
Organisms are categorized based on physical features;
Changes in ecosystems.

Third Grade:
Simple machines and their effect on forces;
The water cycle;
Rock classification and formation;
Effects of plate tectonics;
Interactions of Earth, Moon and Sun;
The structure of the Solar System;
Natural selection and its effects on populations;
How the Sun’s energy flows through ecosystems.

Fourth Grade:
Simple atomic and molecular structure;
The Sun's effects on air;
Charged particles exert electrical and magnetic forces;
The cell as the basic unit of life, its parts and functions;
The theory of evolutionary change;
The role of diversity and interaction in ecosystems;
Classification of rocks and their formation;
Energy can be transformed from one form to another.

Fifth Grade:
The atomic structure of elements and compounds;
The organization of the Periodic Table;
The Sun and its effect on air and changing weather patterns;
The Earth’s layers;
The relationship between plate tectonics and convection currents;
Objects and processes outside our Solar System;
Inherited and genetic characteristics;
Anatomical systems and how they work together to maintain life.

Sixth grade:
Temperature vs. heat;
Heat transfer;
Food chains and food webs;
Human impacts on ecosystems.

Eighth grade:
Observing and defining motion;
Forces and their effects;
Basic atomic theory;
Periodic table;
Metals, non-metals, inert gases;
Electrons beyond the Bohr model;
Ions and isotopes;
Physical & chemical properties;
Element vs. compound properties;
Chemical bonding;
Atoms and ions forming solids;
Phases and molecular motion;
Chemical formulas;
Chemical equations and conservation
of matter;
Exothermic vs. endothermic reactions;
Acids, bases and pH;
Density & buoyancy;
Sound and light energy.


Improve your written and oral communication in English. Develop your vocabulary and pronunciation. Learn the key elements of grammar and style. Identify the parts of speech. Recognize when and how to rewrite passive constructions. Punctuate the four kinds of sentences. Use other punctuation correctly, including apostrophes, semicolons, dashes, quotation marks, and colons for lists. Apply techniques for clearer writing. Eliminate acronyms, etc. Proofread efficiently.


General Educational Development (GED) tests are a group of five subject tests which, when passed, certify that the taker has the U.S. high school-level academic skills. The GED comprises five tests: Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts: Reading and Writing. I provide tutoring for the mathematics and science sections.

The 90-minute, 50-question GED mathematics test has two equally weighted parts, the first of which allows candidates to use calculators, while the second forbids their use. The test focuses on four main mathematical disciplines: number operations and number sense; measurement and geometry; data analysis, probability, and statistics; algebra, functions, and patterns.

The 80-minute GED science test of 50 multiple-choice questions covers life science, earth science, space science, and physical science. It measures the candidate's skill in understanding, interpreting, and applying science concepts to visual and written text from academic and workplace contexts. The test focuses on what a scientifically literate person must know, understand, and be able to do. Questions address the National Science Education Content Standards and focus on environmental and health topics (recycling, heredity, and pollution, for example) and science's relevance to everyday life. Students should expect to see tables, graphs, charts, and diagrams, as well as complete sentences. Most questions on the science test involve a graphic, such as a map, graph, chart, or diagram. Subjects covered include photosynthesis, weather and climate, geology, magnetism, energy, and cell division.


Geometry introduces the study of points, segments, triangles, polygons, circles, solid figures, and their associated relationships. Abstract reasoning, spatial visualization and logical reasoning patterns are improved through this study. The focus is on comparisons between these figures concerning surface areas, volumes, congruency, similarity, transformations, and coordinate geometry.


Learn the key elements of grammar and style. Identify the parts of speech. Recognize when and how to rewrite passive constructions. Punctuate the four kinds of sentences. Use other punctuation correctly, including apostrophes, semicolons, dashes, quotation marks, and colons for lists. Apply techniques for clearer writing. Eliminate acronyms, etc. Proofread efficiently.

Microsoft Excel

In Introduction to MS Excel, students learn to move and copy data, learn about absolute and relative references, and work with ranges, rows, and columns. They also learn how to navigate worksheets and workbooks. Next, they enter and edit text, values, formulas and pictures, and they save workbooks. We also cover simple functions used in formulas (including SUM, AVERAGE, and COUNT), basic conditional formatting techniques, printing, inserting screen shots, and working with large spreadsheets. Finally, students create and modify basic charts.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Learn to develop presentation materials. Create text, charts and graphs to be used in electronic presentations or handouts. Work with slide masters and templates, create objects and use clip art. Learn how to apply transitions for electronic presentations. Create templates and adjust background settings, work with graphics, apply animation, hide slides, create handouts and notes.

Microsoft Word

I. Learn to create and edit Microsoft Word 2010 documents: create new documents and use Word templates; format Word documents; add page numbers, headers and footers, spell and grammar check documents.

II. Learn to use Word 2010's advanced editing tools: work with tables and images, including formatting tables, placing and sizing images, wrapping text around images, and using borders and effects. Adjust page orientation and layout. Work with columns, page and section breaks.

III. Learn to work with tables of contents, footnotes and endnotes; insert bibliographies and indexes; use comments; track changes, including accepting and rejecting changes; compare and combine documents; create envelopes and labels;
use bookmarks and add watermarks.

Physical Science

This college preparatory course is designed to serve as a solid foundation for the study of the Physical Sciences. Topics to be investigated include: phases of matter, force and motion, work, simple machines, conservation and transformation of energy, heat, waves, sound, light, electricity and magnetism. Students develop inquiry and problem solving skills within the context of scientific investigation. Students apply what they learn to everyday situations by conducting investigations, then formulating and testing their own hypotheses.


Study fractions, decimals, percents, positive and negative integers, and rational numbers. Become proficient in using ratios, proportions and solving algebraic equations. Develop and expand problem solving skills (creatively and analytically) in order to solve word problems. Use manipulatives and calculators. Successful completion of this course prepares students for success in Algebra 1.


This course will help you excel in a high school or college level pre-calculus class. Review algebra topics ranging from polynomial, rational, and exponential functions to conic sections. Trigonometry concepts, such as Law of Sines and Cosines, will be covered. Students will also be introduced to analytic geometry and calculus concepts, such as limits, derivatives, and integrals.


The course covers the basic principles of the theory of probability and its applications. Topics include combinatorial analysis used in computing probabilities, the axioms of probability, conditional probability and independence of events; discrete and continuous random variables; joint, marginal, and conditional densities, moment generating function; laws of large numbers; binomial, Poisson, gamma, univariate, and bivariate normal distributions.


Understand the critical difference between proofreading and editing. Correct without changing the meaning of the text. Learn to perfectly proofread each of these problem areas:
Spelling errors and spell-checker oversights;
Grammar flaws;
Omissions, transpositions and repetitions;
Capitalizations and abbreviations;
Names and addresses;

As a PhD chemist, I have written numerous scientific articles and reports, including a review of water security issues for the UNESCO World Water Assessment Program. I also write poetry and publish a weekly newsletter about the live music and dance events in Chicago. Let me help you improve your proofreading skills by fine-tuning your spelling, grammar and style.

SAT Math

The mathematics section of the SAT exam includes questions on arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability. Prepare for it by learning, refreshing and reinforcing the concepts, definitions and formulas. Then, gain confidence and test taking speed by practicing problems of varying degree of difficulty, establishing patterns, and developing the flexibility necessary to solve a "new problem" in your own way.

Study Skills

Acquire study and test taking skills that will be essential for your academic success! Learn and apply tips for effective note taking and in-class listening skills. Master time management. Adopt basic guidelines for concentration and control your study environment. Apply SQ3R, a winning reading/study system. Improve your retention and remember concepts, definitions, formulas, vocabulary, and more. Employ strategies to use for difficult test questions and time constraints.

Optimize your learning potential with a mentor, who was twice awarded for teaching excellence. Develop your study habits with a highly honored academic, who applied hers to become the University of Belgrade Student of the Generation, and a high school Valedictorian.


The TOEFL test measures your ability to use and understand English language at the university level. It also evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.

There are two formats for the TOEFL test. The format you take depends on the location of your test center. Most test takers take the TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT). Test centers that do not have Internet access offer the Paper-Based Test (PBT).

Prepare for your TOEFL with a Ph.D. professional and a former international graduate student. I have first hand experience with TOEFL and an excellent command of spoken and written English language. I have also taught undergraduate and graduate chemistry classes, presented at conferences, and written numerous scientific papers and reports.


Master the six trig ratios: sin, cos, tan, cot, sec and csc (SOH CAH TOA). Apply these ratios to solve for missing information about any right triangle. Learn the trig function values for 0, 30, 45, 60 and 90 deg angles, and evaluate other angles using a calculator. Understand the 30-60-90 and 45-45-90 triangles. Convert degrees to radians and vice versa. Graph trig functions and perform amplitude and period transformations. Use the unit circle definition of trig functions. Predict the sign of trig functions for angles in various quadrants. Learn to derive and apply trig identities. Apply law of cosines and law of sines to solve for unknown sides and angles in any triangle. Solve navigation word problems.


As a Ph.D. chemist, I have written numerous scientific articles and reports, including a review of water security issues for the UNESCO World Water Assessment Program. I also write poetry and publish a weekly newsletter about the live music and dance events in Chicago.

Whether you have trouble shaping your ideas, writing persuasive arguments, or fine-tuning your grammar and style, I can help you improve your writing skills. Start today and unlock your creativity!

University of Belgrade
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Liberal Arts
Northwestern University


University of Belgrade (Chemistry)

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Liberal Arts (PhD)

Northwestern University (Other)

Brilliant, charming and engaging — 5 1/2 months later and my review remains as glowing as it was on 10/31/12...if not more glowing. My daughter looks forward to her sessions with Martina and I look forward to stress free home work sessions. Martina is wise and engaging and clearly loves what she does! Original review: My 15 year old daughter was completely focused and engaged for all of her two hour chemistry tutoring session. ...

— Doug, Chicago, IL on 4/11/13

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $55.00

Cancellation: 12 hours notice required

Travel policy

Martina will travel within 5 miles of Chicago, IL 60610.

Background Check Status for Martina B.

Martina B. passed a background check on 10/3/14. The check was ordered by another user through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

After sending a message to Martina, you will be able to order a new background check for $7.99. As part of your tutor selection process, we encourage you to run updated background checks. Please also review the safety tips for hiring tutors.