Tips to Prepare Geography for UPSC Exam


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The UPSC Examination is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. UPSC is said to be one of the toughest exams for recruiting various Civil Services for the Government of India.

Tips to Prepare Geography for UPSC Exam

The Civil Services includes the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, and Indian Police Service and several other administrative jobs offered on the basis of eligibility and expertise. However, it needs a lot of hard work and patience if you want to crack this exam.

Stages of UPSC examination

The exam is conducted in three stages. The three stages are:

  • The preliminary examination consists of 2 objective-type papers, the General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper-II, also known as Civil Service Aptitude Test.
  • The main examination – If you successfully pass the first stage, you will become eligible for the main examination. The main examination consists of questions that are mostly written and descriptive types.
  • Final Interview – This is the last stage that is conducted in a verbal form.

Importance of Geography and GK in UPSC exam

Geography is an important subject for clearing the UPSC civil services exam. It is a part of both the preliminary and the mains exams of UPSC. It is also an optional subject offered by the commission for students in UPSC. However, if you are a candidate who belongs to both a science and art background, it will be easy for you to score in this subject because of its rational nature.

Make sure you have enough knowledge about current affairs and the GK Quiz. You need to go through all previous year’s information and remember all of it. However, the sources from where you’ll get all this information are:

  • Indian Geography books
  • Current affairs books or magazines
  • Indian GK books
  • Newspapers
  • Radio
  • Television

How to prepare yourself for Geography?

If you want to clear the UPSC examination, you will have to prepare for Geography and gather all the information about current affairs and the GK question answers.

A holistic view of geography covers a major part of the UPSC syllabus. The Indian physical geography for general studies paper 1 and economic and environment Indian geography for general studies paper 3.

If you have a good understanding of standard books of Geography, you may find it easier to approach the general studies paper 1. However, you will have to follow all the four new NCERTs of class 11th and 12th are the most primary source for geography. These books have a mixed set of both static and dynamic questions within the same topic.

On the other hand, if you have good fundamental knowledge about India’s Environmental and Human Geography, it will help you in the general studies paper 3.

Most of the syllabus comprises of the basics from Geography, especially Agricultural Geography. However, the questions asked from the environment and disaster management are mainly application-based. Therefore, you should be prepared in coherence with Indian geography studies like cropping patterns and irrigation patterns.

Tips for preparation of Geography for UPSC

Listed below are some things that you need to follow while preparing yourself for Geography to clear the UPSC exam:

Concentrate on the subject matter; all of your questions will be written either in English or in Hindi. Make sure you gather all the information about World Geography in Hindi. Also, start by covering the Geography NCERTs from class VIII to XII. This will help you to answer the opinion-based questions.

However, paper 1 and paper 3 of general studies mostly comprises Indian Geography. So, make sure you prepare yourself and know everything about Indian Geography in Hindi as well as in English.

You can furthermore follow these steps to improve your Geography preparation:

  • Thoroughly, study the basic books of geography, which includes Physical and Human Geography by GC Leong and Geography of India by Majid Husain.
  • Start solving the previous years’ question papers. This will help you to identify the question paper pattern and the important topics that need to be revised.
  • Next, attend the mock tests, which will allow you to assess your preparation and identify the weak areas of your preparation that need more work.

On the other hand, GK is an important part to clear the UPSC exam. You need to have enough knowledge about the current affairs and Indian GK in Hindi as well as English.

However, you can also avail knowledge from other sources like Indian political GK, MP GK in Hindi, and Rajasthan GK in Hindi books. This will help you to understand the current scenarios of India better.

Focus on the keywords

Keywords are a really important factor while you’re preparing for the UPSC examination. This helps you to memorize a topic just by looking at the keyword.

But make sure you prepare a note of the topic and then point out or mark the keywords. Once you have pointed out the main keywords, you can find all news and information about that particular topic.

For example, if you’re reading World Geography in Hindi, you will find many keywords that will help you further to do your research accordingly.

Do your research better

When you’re preparing for Geography for the UPSC exams, do not read or follow a topic from one single source. Instead, make sure you visit other sites and follow other Indian Geography books published by different authors.

Always remember that the more information you collect and the more research you do, your knowledge will get much better. In other words, you cannot follow one single source if you want to gather knowledge and the best quality of information.

Don’t start mugging up the information

Mugging is the most common thing we do while preparing for an exam. However, when it comes to UPSC exams, mugging up won’t work. You need to have a good knowledge and your own opinion about India’s environmental and human geography.

You need to understand the topics and situations properly by putting yourself in that scenario. For example, you are reading Rajasthan Geography in Hindi; then, you have to understand the current scenarios of Rajasthan and gather all the detailed information.

Pick one topic at a time

When you’re preparing for Geography, make sure to pick one topic at a time. For example, if you’re studying disaster management, it has a total of three parts in the syllabus. So start focussing on Geophysical topics such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone, and Security and Disaster Management.

Therefore, if you focus on one topic at a time, it will help you better understand the topics. A clear concept is very important if you want to prepare for the UPSC examination. This process will help you to have a clear concept on every topic.

Make separate notes of the vital topics

Make a list of the most important topics from economic and Indian geography from general studies paper 3. Topics like Indian Agriculture, Indian industries, population, and settlements are to be given more importance.

However, don’t forget to prepare separate notes on important current affairs related to geographical phenomena like El-Niño, polar vertex, etc. It will help you to improve your answers in the main exams.

Practice more

The more you will practice, the more you will improve. Start with solving the previous year’s question papers. This will help you to get an idea about the question pattern and will strengthen your knowledge.

Moreover, you should also practice the General Science MCQ as most of the UPSC questions are of this type. Also, there are current affairs that include world history, GK, Indian geography, and state news.

You need to study and give this subject some extra time to gather all the knowledge about Indian Geography in Hindi. So try to read this vastly and read the daily newspaper to get the information of the current events.

Furthermore, you can get more common questions and can remember them quickly.

Attend the Mock tests

There are several online Mock tests on the subject of Geography for the preparation for the UPSC exam lot. To increase your chances of qualifying the prelims exam, you should revise a lot and attend the online mock tests.

Mock tests help you to attain a clear understanding of the pattern and format of the question paper. However, you can also know about the guidelines of the exam. The Indian Geography in Hindi needs a lot of revision and practice to understand the chapters step by step.


Geography is the most stable and scoring subject in the UPSC exams. However, the vast portion of the general studies papers consists of the Indian Geography about prelims.

Make sure you read the NCERTs during preliminary exam preparation. Then, just remember the guidelines of the preliminary exams and focus on the vital concept and opinion-based questions in 200 words.

However, to prepare for your mains exam after prelims, it is advisable to finish all the overlapping syllabus of geography. Finish preparing the human and economic Indian geography along with the preparation of the prelims. Prepare and maintain separate notes for current social and geographical scenarios impacting the economy of India.


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