UPSC Civil Services: How To Prepare For The Geography Section In The Preliminary Round

The long wait for the Civil Services examination will end with the preliminary round on June 3, 2018. Over eight lakh candidates will lock their horns on this D-day. Many aspirants feel that the preliminary round is more important than the main examination due to the level of competition.

The general studies paper has earned a lot of attention, because the UPSC has announced that the paper-II (CSAT) will not be considered for shortlisting the candidates for the next round of the selection process. The announcement has pushed all the aspirants to focus more on the general studies paper and find the subjects and topics where they can score well. Geography in the general studies preliminary round is one amongst them.

Tips For Geography In Civil Services


The syllabus of the geography section consists of both Indian and the world geography, including physical, social and economic geography. The question in this subject will be based on both analytics and applications. On an average, one can expect more than 13 questions from this subject out of 100 in general studies paper. As the exam date is approaching, here are the best tips to ace the geography subject.

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Start With The NCERT Textbooks

It is always better to start the preparations with the NCERT textbooks because the concepts will be explained in detail in simple language. For physical geography, read the NCERT class VIII resource and development topic and class XI fundamentals of physical geography topic. Also master the class XI Indian physical environment topic and class XII India people and economy topic.

Be Familiar With Map Pointing

Undeniably, map pointing is important though you may not find a direct question in the exam. In order to answer the questions based on physical and economic geography, one should know map pointing effectively. Pick a good atlas of your choice and start practising map pointing.

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Tips For The Indian Geography

  • It is always suggested to do an in-depth study of physical geography but not at the cost of ignoring the fundamentals.
  • Try to study the environmental topics while simultaneously reading the concepts of physical and economic geography. This will save preparation time.
  • The best way to prepare for physical geography is to start with characteristics of the region, process behind the formation, mineral wealth, climate, vegetation and human activities.
  • While reading the river system, start with the evolution, study the classification, drainage pattern, characteristics of the river system, difference between the river systems and ecological issues.
  • If you want to score well in climatology, do not go beyond the NCERT textbooks.
  • Based on the recent happenings, aspirants should prepare their own notes for geography.
  • Minerals are very important. Make a note of the characteristics of minerals, location of minerals and their uses.

UPSC Civil Services 2018: Important Topics To Read For Environmental Studies

Important Topics In Indian Geography

  • Physical Features: climate, vegetation and biodiversity of the Himalayas, the geological formation of great north Indian plains, the Western and Eastern Ghats in the Peninsular Plateau, Indian desert and coastal plains
  • River System: Hydropower projects, power plants, major dams, river basins and interlining of rivers
  • Climate: Effects of La-Nino and El-Nino, monsoon and cyclones
  • Minerals: Industrial policies and industrial clutters
  • Agriculture: Soils and crops, types of agriculture practises, irrigation projects, government schemes and animal husbandry
  • Economic: power, energy sector, energy conservation, transportation and conventional energy

Civil Service 2018: You Can't Expect A Question Paper Without These Topics

Tips For The World Geography

  • Never ignore the world geography because at least three questions are expected. The world geography is also useful to understand the geopolitics.
  • Be familiar with the fundamental concepts such as theories on solar system, motion of the earth, solar eclipse, lunar eclipse, tides, latitudes and longitudes, etc.
  • Map pointing is also important but focus more on the places that are in the news.
  • Try to read the concepts of geomorphology one after the other. This will make the concepts easy to understand.
  • There is a huge syllabus in the world climatology. Try to focus more on the fundamental concepts.
  • Give special attention to the flora and fauna, conservation of biodiversity and international organisation for biodiversity in the biosphere.
  • The ocean currents, deposits and resources are important under hydrosphere.

Also Read: Tips To Prepare For The Current Affairs Section In UPSC Civil Services l

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