Sep 02, 2021
The UPSC syllabus has comprehensive coverage of all essential areas of a state such as Economy, History, Polity, Geography, Science & Technology, Environment & Ecology, etc.
Among them, Geography is one such subject that has a significant weightage in the Civil Services Examination.
As a Civil Servant, you are expected to have a sound knowledge of Indian and World Geography.
For instance, if you are posted as a Deputy Commissioner of a district in a hill state, it becomes imperative to know everything about the district. You should be well aware of the characteristics of that region, such as the soil of the area, agricultural activities of the region and the major crops grown in it, rivers flowing through it, morphology, etc.
Hence, studying Geography and gaining an in-depth understanding at the Prelims level is indispensable. There is no denying that Geography is a scoring subject with a limited syllabus, and one can easily fetch good marks in it with consistent efforts. It is also included in General Studies Paper I of the Mains exam.
This article will address the most common question of the IAS aspirants, "How to study Geography for UPSC" and throw light on some tips that will assist you in effectively preparing for the UPSC Prelims Geography exam. But before that, let’s have a look at its syllabus.
Also read: How to Prepare for UPSC Prelims CSAT?
At the Prelims level, the Geography syllabus is divided into the following topics:
1. Indian Geography: Physical, Social, and Economic Geography
2. World Geography: Physical, Social, and Economic Geography
Moreover, it has overlapping topics such as Economics (like Iron Steel industries), Agriculture (Soils, Irrigation), Environment (Types of Vegetation, National Parks), Demography with Map and Current affairs.
You can also expect a question on Geography in the Final Interview round. Hence, you should study it holistically.
|Basics of India||Location, latitude, longitude, time zone, etc. Neighbours|
States and their position
States with international boundaries
|Physical Features||The Himalayas – geological formation, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, physiographic divisions, major passes, significance.|
The Great North Indian Plains – geological formation, physiographic divisions, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, significance
Peninsular Plateau – geological formation, Central Highlands, Deccan Plateau, Western Ghats,
Coastal plains and islands
|River Systems||Himalayan rivers|
Regional development and planning
Hydropower projects, Major dams
West-flowing and East-flowing rivers
Interlinking of rivers
|Climate||Monsoons – driving mechanism, El Nino, La Nina|
|Minerals and Industries||Mineral Distribution|
Types of agricultural practices
Soils and crops
|Flora and Fauna||Classification of natural vegetation|
Biosphere reserves, national parks, etc.
|Economic Infrastructure||Transportation (highways, inland waterways, etc.)|
Power and energy sector
Conventional and non-conventional sources of energy
|Human Geography||Demographics (Poverty, Hunger, Literacy Rates, Unemployment, etc)|
Also Read : Nature and Scope of Human Geography
While preparing for world geography, one should study Major natural regions, Regional geography of developed countries, the Regional geography of developing countries, and the Regional geography of South Asia.
|Geomorphology||Origin of the earth|
Interior of the earth
Types and characteristics of rocks
Folding and Faulting
Interior of the earth
Landforms formed by fluvial, aeolian and glacial actions
|Climatology||Atmosphere – structure and composition|
Clouds and types of rainfall
Cyclones and anti-cyclones
Major climatic types
El Nino and La Nina
Waves and tides
|Biogeography||Soil – origin and types|
Major biomes of the world
Ecosystem, food chain
Environmental degradation and conservation
Being one of the primary and essential subjects of the UPSC Civil Services Examination, here are some of the tips that will help you to prepare better for Geography:
To comprehend difficult topics further, it is necessary to lay a strong foundation for Geography by studying Class VIII to Class XII NCERT books. They help to cover all the basics and fundamentals on all topics in a simple and easy language.
Once you have a stronghold on the fundamentals, get an in-depth understanding of Geography by reading the below-mentioned books:
Maps are the vital aspect of Geography, and most of the questions are directly or indirectly linked with Maps. Hence, a thorough knowledge of Maps (India and World) location is crucial to score good marks.
Be a smart candidate and try to connect the static part of the Geography subject with Current Affairs. You will come across many news and editorials that have direct relevance to the subject. Hence, being up to date with current affairs with the help of newspapers (The Hindu/The Indian Express) is inevitable.
Also read: How to Prepare for Current Affairs in UPSC
By doing so, you will get a fair idea of the types of questions asked in the previous year’s examinations. It will further help you focus more on the topics repeatedly asked in the exam.
While preparing, make a habit of jotting down important topics. Having self-prepared notes will save you crucial time during the last few days before the exam. Also, make sure you revise everything you study on a regular basis. It will help you to retain information for a more extended period.
Following the above-stated tips with perseverance will give you an edge in your Geography preparation and help you ace the UPSC Prelims with ease.
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Raminder is a Content Manager at PrepLadder. He has worked in several aspects of the education industry throughout his career and has assisted numerous candidates in cracking major competitive exams.
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