IRIS Troubleshooting Tips and FAQ

Troubleshooting Scanning Problems:

When you are ready to scan your COPSystem forms, you click Scan and the scanner does not begin feeding forms.
Your scanner has not been configured to communicate with IRIS

  1. If you have a Scantron OpScan 4 ES or iNSIGHT 4 ES model scanner, you may find configuration instructions here: IRIS Configuration Guide for 4ES Scanners
  2. Some scanners require configuration sheets. Be sure your configuration sheet has been filled in correctly. Here are samples of properly filled out configuration sheets for OpScan®, iNSIGHT™ and ScanMark scanners. If you are using an OpScan® or iNSIGHT™ scanner, be sure to fill in the Host Port side of the configuration sheet as well as the Mandatory Grids on the Auxiliary Port side. Scan the Host Port side first and then walk through the Utilities Menu again to scan the Auxiliary Port side. Now your scanner should be configured to “talk” with IRIS. See Appendix B of your scanner’s Operator’s Manual for detailed instructions.
  3. If you are using an iNSIGHT™ scanner, be sure your scanner’s connection to the PC is set to RS-232. This setting is found in the Defaults submenu of your scanner’s Operator Panel Menu. See page C-3 of your iNSIGHT™ Operator’s Manual for detailed instructions.
When using an USB-To-Serial adapter to connect your scanner to your PC, IRIS cannot communicate with the scanner.
  1. Be sure you fully install your adapter software and reboot your PC before you plug the adapter into your PC. Make sure your adapter is plugged in before opening IRIS.
  2. Make sure your COM Port settings in IRIS under Scan → Scanner Options match those of your adapter. Your adapter’s COM Port is listed in Windows Device Manager under “Ports (COM & LPT)”.
IRIS returns an “Illegal Data Stream Error…” while your COPSystem forms are being scanned.
IRIS is not receiving the data that it expects from the scanner. There are many possible causes for this error message:

  1. If you are using an iNSIGHT™ or OpScan® scanner, make sure your scanner is configured for Image Mode in the Defaults Menu. Hold down both buttons on your scanner, select Yes for Background Menu, No for Utilities and Yes for Defaults. See page C-3 of your scanner Operator’s Manual for detailed instructions.
  2. Make sure all your forms have been filled out completely, with a # 2 pencil, and the marks are dark.
  3. Make sure you are scanning the forms in the proper order: COPS, CAPS, then COPES.
  4. If this is the first time you have tried to scan COPSystem forms, be sure your scanner is Pencil Read only. If your scanner has the ability to scan both pencil and ink, be sure it is configured in Pencil mode. If your scanner has an Ink Read Head or is in Ink-Read mode, the COPS and CAPS forms will not scan correctly.
When you scan a set of COPSystem forms, IRIS creates three lines of data instead of just one. When you print your results, you receive one COPS, one CAPS, and one COPES printout instead of one combined COPSystem report.
With your data file open, access ‘Select Test’ through the Scan menu and make sure COPSystem is the ONLY line with a check mark. For printing, click on the ‘Test(s)’ tab and be sure that COPSystem is the ONLY line with a check mark.

Now you will receive a combined COPSystem printout.

Your scanner stops scanning, but no error message appears in IRIS. After a minute, a message appears indicating that IRIS has not received any data.
Due to the scanner’s design, it is possible an error will occur while scanning that will cause your scanner to stop. Check your scanner’s display window to see if there is an error message displayed. If the scanner has jammed or was unable to read a sheet, be sure to rescan the sheet or sheets associated with the error. When you are ready to proceed, click ‘OK’ then ‘Continue’ in your IRIS Scanning window. You may need to press Pause’ then ‘Continue’ to restart scanning.

Troubleshooting Viewing and Printing Results:

IRIS takes a very long time to print my results.
Check your IRIS version to be sure it is up to date. Our current version is 1.8.7.

To check your version, select ‘Help’ at the very top of your IRIS screen, and go down to ‘About’. You will see your current IRIS version listed.

If it is not current, please call or email our Technical Support Department to receive a free update. Call 800-416-1666 or email

After printing your results, the printout has a test invalid message. When viewing your results, you see question marks (?) instead of numerical results.
There are a few reasons why your results will be invalid:

  1. The COPSystem norms require that you fill in both the Gender and Grade Level on every COPS, CAPS, and COPES form. If one of these bubbles is not filled in, you might receive invalid results.
  2. Your COPSystem forms must be scanned in the correct order: COPS, CAPS, then COPES.
  3. Try calibrating your scanner. A scanner out of calibration will not pick up all the bubbles on the forms. For OpScan® and iNSIGHT™ scanners, see Appendix A in your scanner’s Operator’s Manual for detailed instructions. For ScanMark and Clarity scanners, see Chapter 4 of your scanner’s User’s Guide for detailed instructions.
  4. If you have an iNSIGHT™ model scanner, try unplugging your scanner from the wall socket and wait for five minutes. Plug the scanner back in and try to scan again.
  5. Be sure to remove and self score the CAPS Manual Speed and Dexterity (#8) test before you begin scanning. Mark the score on the CAPS name page in the area titled DO NOT MARK HERE, and fill in the appropriate bubbles. If the forms are scanned out of order, you may receive a test invalid message and question marks when you View Results.
  6. Check to make sure all questions on the COPS and COPES forms have been answered, and at least one question has been attempted on each of the eight CAPS subtests.
  7. Note: After these steps you will need to rescan these sheets.
You receive a message in the CAPS area of your printout stating, “Test Invalid: Missing Subtest.”
Check all your individual CAPS tests to make sure at least one item has been attempted. Be sure you have removed and manually scored the Manual Speed and Dexterity (#8) test and have filled in in the resulting score on the name page of the CAPS form in the space titled DO NOT MARK HERE.

Note: After these steps you will need to rescan these sheets.

When you print your results, you receive one COPS, one CAPS, and one COPES printout instead of one combined COPSystem report.
With the file open, go to ‘Scan’ then ‘Select Test’ and make sure COPSystem is the ONLY line with a check mark. For printing, click the ‘Print’ button. Near the top of the ‘Print Options’ box are two tabs: ‘Range’ and ‘Test(s)’. Click on the ‘Test(s)’ tab and be sure that COPSystem is the ONLY line with a check mark. Now you will receive a combined COPSystem printout.

Interpreting Results – Frequently Asked Questions:

When examining the Summary Section there are no Clusters with three pluses that match.
This is not an uncommon result. If there is not a match for all three inventories it is recommended that the examinee look at their COPS scores to determine if a fourth, fifth, or sixth interest area is sufficiently high enough to compare to their ability and values scores. Another option is to compare interest scores to values scores. If there is a match for these two assessments, the next step is to make recommendations to the examinee on how to improve their ability scores.
Relating COPSystem Career Clusters to other cluster systems.
A list of related career areas may be found in the Comprehensive Career Guide for each Career Cluster. These areas are related to the 16 National Career Clusters. In addition, Clusters are related to national Guide to Occupational Exploration (GOE) work trait groups.
Interpretation tutorials for the COPSystem are available:
Why are there separate norms for males and females?
Separate norms are presented for males and females to minimize gender biases in occupational exploration. Raw score means on a number of occupational interest cluster scales are not only significantly different statistically between genders but represent major meaningful differences having great interpretive significance.

The cause of the real current differences between the interest of males and females in certain Occupational Clusters is to a large degree cultural, based on early experiences, expectations and socialization factors.

It is emphasized here that the use of separate male and female norms will tend to reduce perpetuation of existing stereotypes since an equal number of males and females are encouraged to examine occupations in each of the 14 COPSystem Cluster areas.

Note: Additional questions regarding interpretation may be answered by consulting the Examiner’s Manual for each assessment or by contacting EdITS.