Make-A-Dice Test: Assessing the intersection of mathematical and spatial thinking. Academic Article uri icon


  • Individuals with better spatial thinking have increased interest and greater achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines (Wai, Lubinski, & Benbow in Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 817-835, 2009). This relationship means that STEM education may benefit from leveraging spatial thinking, but measures of spatial thinking as they relate to specific STEM disciplines are needed. The present work presents an assessment of spatial and mathematical reasoning, called Make-A-Dice. In Make-A-Dice, individuals are presented with a cube net (i.e., a flattened cube) with numbers on two sides. Their goal is to "make a dice" by filling in the blank sides using two rules: opposite sides add to 7, and the numbers 1 through 6 should be used once each. Make-A-Dice was given to adults (Study 1) and elementary students (Studies 2 and 3) along with math, spatial, and other measures, across two sessions in all studies. Make-A-Dice had both internal and test-retest reliability, with items ordered by difficulty. Furthermore, performance was related to spatial and mathematical reasoning. In Study 1, adults reported a range of strategies used to complete Make-A-Dice, and one strategy predicted performance. Studies 2 and 3 showed that Make-A-Dice is age-appropriate for elementary students. Make-A-Dice shows promise as an individual-difference measure linking spatial and mathematical thinking and has the potential to identify elementary-aged children who may benefit from spatial training.

published proceedings

  • Behav Res Methods

altmetric score

  • 8.33

author list (cited authors)

  • Burte, H., Gardony, A. L., Hutton, A., & Taylor, H. A.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Burte, Heather||Gardony, Aaron L||Hutton, Allyson||Taylor, Holly A

publication date

  • January 2019