Norms for the COPSystem VIA Assessments

Norms for the COPSystem VIA are based on data gathered from 2015 through 2018 for a sample of 32,638 sixth through twelfth grade educational levels. The National sample was aggregated based on a weighted population of subjects from four geographic regions of the U.S. identified by the 2010 U.S. Census Report. The average age of the sample was 29 years old. Table 1 presents a summary of the sample sizes from each region by gender. These groupings were used to explore possible mean differences in vocational interests, values, and abilities as a function of where they live and attend school.

Table 1. — Summary of Normative Data by Region and Gender

Region Males Females Totals
West 5,995 5,157 11,152
South 3,342 3,474 6,816
Northeast 3,537 3,314 6,851
Midwest 3,633 4,186 7,819
Totals 16,507 16,131 32,638

Consistent with previous normative analyses, comparisons were made across gender, grade level, and region to explore which of these factors, if any revealed mean differences of importance. Of these factors, only gender revealed large and consistent mean differences. This suggests that scale means for males and females should be interpreted differently, as has been done in the past. Thus, all four regions were aggregated at the national level and two normative distributions, one for each gender, were determined for educational levels 6 through 12.

Similar analyses were conducted on the COPES Values and CAPS Abilities inventories. As in previous years, separate normative distributions were produced only when mean differences were observed that strongly and significantly influenced the interpretation of scores.

Normative analyses of the CAPS Abilities battery revealed mean differences as a function of grade level. The student profiles reflect this trend, such that grades 8-9 are combined separately from grades 9-12.

The multiple profiles discussed here have been developed using best practices methodology. Our goal throughout this process has been to increase the overall meaningfulness and effectiveness of the recommendations made by those who rely on the COPSystem VIA to assist them as they guide and influence examinees during their career exploration process.

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Learn more about the career clusters measured by the COPSystem.