Career Orientation Placement and Evaluation Survey (COPES)

Quick Facts

Range: Grades 6-12, college and adult

Length: 128 items

Norms: High school and college combined

Administration Time: 20-30 minutes


  • Explore the importance of personal values for occupational choices
  • Identify how your work values relate to career choice
  • Compare your personality with important job characteristics to learn where you are most compatible

Personal values play an important part in occupational selection and job satisfaction. The Career Orientation Placement and Evaluation Survey (COPES) provides a measure of values to supplement programs in educational and industrial career counseling. COPES scores are keyed to the 14 COPSystem Career Clusters enabling examinees to discover which occupational areas match their personal values.

(A) Investigative vs. (I) Accepting
Satisfying intellectual curiosity and solving complex problems are activities valued by those individuals at the Investigative end of this scale. Such people exhibit a strong desire for knowledge and mastery of information. In the workplace, they enjoy solving complicated problems and working with complex ideas. By contrast, people whose scores fall at the Acceptingend of the scale value clear-cut activities that do not involve too much complexity. These people prefer to follow proven workplace procedures rather than have the responsibility for developing new methods.

(B) Practical vs. (J) Carefree
Interest in the details of day-to-day operations is the hallmark of people who score toward the Practical end of this scale. Such persons value activities that focus on maintaining equipment and developing personal abilities to maximize efficiency in the work environment. People who score toward the Carefree end of the scale are more likely to be concerned with the creative aspects of projects and to enjoy activities requiring imagination. They are more likely to focus on present enjoyment rather than plan for the future.

(C) Independence vs. (K) Conformity
A desire to be independent from rules and social conventions is the mark of a person scoring at the Independence end of this scale. Such people value self-direction and prefer to work in areas where they will not be restricted by outside regulations, or much influenced by social custom. Persons scoring toward the Conformity end of the scale prefer to work under close supervision where directions are clear and a proven method is in place. Such persons prefer structured rules.

(D) Leadership vs. (L) Supportive
Making decisions, directing others and speaking for the group, are the activities valued by people scoring toward the Leadership side of this scale. Such people prefer to play a primary role in workplace activity and enjoy being viewed as important. People scoring toward the Supportive end of this scale prefer to follow the lead of others and are most comfortable when they do not have the responsibility of directing or representing anyone else.

(E) Orderliness vs. (M) Flexibility
Keeping things tidy and in the proper place, are major concerns for individuals scoring at the Orderliness end of this scale. Such persons value activities that involve maintaining order and proceeding according to a well conceived plan. People scoring toward the Flexibility end of the scale prefer not to concern themselves with being orderly and enjoy being able to deal with things as needed rather than conforming to a predetermined plan.

(F) Recognition vs. (N) Privacy
To become famous and to know important people are major values of persons scoring toward the Recognition end of this scale. Such persons seek the admiration of others as well as the rewards of honorary degrees. Persons scoring toward the Privacy end of this scale value keeping their activities private and are not concerned with being considered a famous person.

(G) Aesthetic vs. (O) Realistic
Appreciation of artistic expression is of great importance to persons scoring at the Aesthetic end of this scale. Such persons enjoy approaching work activities with artistic and emotional sensitivity. Persons scoring toward the Realistic end of the scale prefer activities that do not involve artistic expression or appreciation.

(H) Social vs. (P) Reserved
Working with and helping others are important values of persons scoring toward the Social end of this scale. Such people prefer to be in a friendly, social work environment. People scoring toward the Reserved end of this scale prefer to work alone, concentrating on their own projects without being required to help or work with others.