Geography Optional

What is Geography?
Geography Why Geography as an optional?
  • It is a scientific subject where you need to understand the concept. It is not all about rote learning.

  • You will get an extra edge in the preliminary examination (where the number of questions are increasing in Geography and Environment).

  • The mains part is helpful in general studies paper 1 and 3 including Essay.

  • Multiple sources and easy availability of study materials.

Difficulties in Geography optional
  • Students allergic to mapping and remembering lot of places.

  • Every year 2000 candidates appear with Geography as their optional so there is lot of competition.

  • Vast syllabus and lot of things to be remembered.

  • Analytical subject and dynamic in nature.

  • Every year the questions are unpredictable and unconventional.

Strategy for preparing Geography?
  • Go through the complete syllabus thoroughly and make sure you remember all the topics from both the papers.

  • Limit the number of books and make your own notes accordingly to the topics given in syllabus so that you can revise them during examination very easily.

  • Make sure you have previous years question papers and go through the frequently after reading each unit or as you complete your portions.

  • Try to understand the trend of the paper by keenly observing the questions from previous years so that you get to know the focus areas of UPSC.

  • Models, Theories and laws in Geography should be comprehensively read and make notes so that you can compare the theories to the present day. (As the questions are dynamically asked)

  • Try to map important places from the present year’s current affairs as they are the main focus areas of the present years mapping questions.

  • Very important part is the drawing of India and the world map. (Draw it such that it looks like India). Practice innumerable number of times.

  • Prepare and practice regional maps of India (For Ex: Drainage patters, Mineral resource, Physical features and Agricultural patterns).

  • Always try to link the topics from paper 1 and 2 and complete the portions simultaneously in order to compare and analyse.

  • Make notes of current affairs which are very important for the paper 2 (Indian Geography) .

  • Paper 1 is completely different from paper 2 in terms of expectation from the examiner. The things that get appreciated in paper 2 may not work paper 1. You have to use the geography language in paper 1 according to the definitions given in standard books.

Important Books for Reference
Paper 1
Physical Geography by Savindra Singh
Models in Geography by Majid Husain
Fundamental of Geographical Thought by Sudeepta Adhikari
Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Gohcheng Leong
Economic and Social Geography Rupa Made Simple
Orient BlackSwan School Atlas
Paper 2
India A Comprehensive Geography by D.R.Khullar
Oxford Student Atlas
11th and 12th NCERT of new syllabus
Old NCERT – Principles of Geography part – I
Regional Planning in India by Mahesh Chand
Importance of classroom coaching
  • Conceptual clarity of the topics as they are dynamic and need logic and reasoning.

  • You get to know the focus areas. What to study? What not to study? You need not do PhD in optional but restrict it to the examination point of view.

  • What materials to be studied and important relevant sources for both paper 1 and 2?

  • How to prepare notes and the time required to complete your optional to prepare it more comprehensively to fetch maximum marks.

  • How to streamline and structure your answers in both the papers as there are questions carrying different number of marks? (Ex: 5 marker, 10 marker and 20 marker questions)

  • Answer writing practice and evaluation by experts.

Duration: 4 months.