How to Prepare for Geography UPSC Prelims and Mains? Strategies + Important Topics

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How to Prepare Geography for UPSC?

The UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) includes geography as a fundamental subject and it is a major component of the Prelims and Mains (General Studies 1) tests. To do well in the UPSC exam, you must have a solid understanding of this subject. Candidates must comprehend the different aspects of Indian and global geography, civilization, etc., to qualify for this. However because geography is such a broad topic, UPSC CSE candidates frequently struggle with effective strategies on How to Prepare Geography for UPSC. Here are some suggestions on how to tackle this issue when studying geography for the UPSC CSE.

How to Prepare Geography for UPSC?

A planned approach and consistent planning can help make studying geography for the UPSC CSE exam easier. Sort the subjects into manageable chunks, concentrate on the essential concepts, make practice maps and diagrams, and stay up to date on current events. Additional tips to ace geography for upsc are stated below:

How to Prepare
Geography for UPSC
Understand the
Familiarize yourself with the Geography syllabus, covering both Physical and Human Geography. Pay attention to key topics such as physical features, natural resources, industries, geophysical phenomena, and changes in geographical features.
Find Reliable Study Material and ResourcesIdentify trustworthy resources such as NCERT books (from 6th to 12th standard), standard reference books like “Certificate Physical and Human Geography” by Goh Cheng Leong, online resources including government websites and magazines, and ClearIAS Free Geography Notes and Current Affairs.
Divide Topics SystematicallyOrganize your study plan by dividing Geography into Physical Geography and Human Geography. Focus on understanding key concepts and topics systematically, covering aspects such as India’s physical features, landforms, drainage, climate, natural vegetation, wildlife, population, resources, development, manufacturing industries, etc.
Practice Previous
Year’s Papers
Utilize previous year’s question papers to understand the exam pattern, and types of questions, and to assess your preparation level.
Make NotesCreate concise and organized notes while studying, including key points, diagrams, and maps for quick revision.
Revise RegularlyAllocate time for regular revision to reinforce understanding and memory of concepts.
Tips for Effective PreparationMaintain consistency in your study routine, focus on understanding concepts rather than memorization, stay positive, and take care of your physical and mental well-being.

Best Books to Study Geography for UPSC

By adhering to this well-thought-out study strategy, you may strengthen your geography background and raise your chances of passing the UPSC IAS test. Recall to maintain consistency, attention, and self-assurance in your skills. Refer to the following booklist for comprehensive coverage of geography for UPSC:

SubjectAuthor NameDirect LInk to Buy
Physical GeographySavindra SinghBuy Now
Urbanization and Urban SystemsK SiddharthaBuy Now
Geographical ThoughtR D DixitBuy Now
Fundamentals of Geographical ThoughtSudeepta AdhikariBuy Now
Human GeographyMajid HussainBuy Now
Physical and Human GeographyG C LeongBuy Now

Role of Maps in Geography Preparation for UPSC

In the UPSC IAS Prelims, Mains, and Interview, maps play a significant part. It is important to understand the number of countries, their locations, the number of continents, and other related information. There are two types of maps that you need to cover:

Map TypeImportance
Political Map of IndiaEmphasizes major cities and states
Focus on states and neighboring countries
Knowledge of states bordering maximum states
Chronology from north to south, east to west
Importance of states on important parallels
Focus on cities along major riverbanks
Physical Map of IndiaHighlights major rivers, mountains, islands, lakes
Covers rivers, tributaries, cities, dams
Includes natural vegetation, minerals, soil, rainfall
Identifies important mountain ranges and passes
Lists significant islands and neighboring countries
Considers major latitudes and longitudes

It is impossible to study physical geography without maps. One subfield of geography and earth sciences, which is regarded as the largest study field, is physical geography. It describes in detail the spatial properties of the various natural phenomena in conjunction with the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere of Earth. We can better understand subjects like vegetation, climate, ocean currents, mountains, rivers, etc. thanks to the maps. Below we have mentioned how maps help in understanding static as well as current affairs topics for the geography exam.

Static Topics from MapsCurrent Affairs Topics from Maps
Rivers and tributariesPlaces in the news like disputed islands
Important volcanoes, mountainsCountries bordering those in the news
Major landmarks Significant events such as volcanic eruptions
Climatology related mapsAreas of border disputes like Galwan Valley

If you keep following a consistent study plan, you can easily manage to build a very good foundation in Geography and enhance your chances of success in the UPSC exam.

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What is the best way to study geography for UPSC?

The best approach involves understanding the syllabus, using standard textbooks, practicing regularly, solving past papers, and staying updated with current affairs.

How many days to prepare geography for UPSC?

On average, candidates may need 3-6 months to prepare geography thoroughly, but it varies based on individual factors like prior knowledge and study habits.

Is NCERT enough for UPSC geography?

NCERT books provide a foundational understanding, but supplementing them with standard reference books and current affairs is crucial for comprehensive preparation.

Is geography easy for UPSC?

The difficulty varies for each candidate. With proper preparation, including conceptual clarity and consistent practice, geography can be manageable for UPSC.

This was all about the “How to Prepare Geography for UPSC”. For more such informative blogs, check out our UPSC Exams Section, or you can learn more about us by visiting our  Indian exams page.

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