Right way to prepare Geography for UPSC

Geography can be a difficult subject as it requires memorization skills. There are lots of jargon that can be confusing and get mixed-up in your head, especially if geography isn’t your favorite subject. However, while talking about UPSC, Geography cannot be ignored as it is a vital part of General Studies Paper I and the IAS prelims exam. Aspirants often struggle to discover the right way to prepare Geography for UPSC.  So here are some tricks that will help you to enjoy and learn this subject.

  1. Be Clear about the Question-Paper pattern: If you don’t want to get surprises on the day of the exam, go through the previous year’s question papers and get a clear idea about how UPSC sets question papers.
  2. Build your own mnemonics: Mnemonics are the pattern of letters, ideas or associations that assist in remembering something. For instance, while remembering Himalyan ranges from top to bottom, how about this trick-Karakoram
    Kal Zarur Jana Padega Desh Se
  3. Relate with surroundings: Geography is the study of the world around us. Surprisingly, its manifestation can be seen in everyday instances. For instance, when you are planning to shift to a different location. Will you be living near the ocean, a downtown, a farm, a school? Will the area have public transit? Are there pedestrian and bike friendly sidewalks/lanes? These all are questions asked or considered when moving to a new place. When you keep your eyes and ears open, you can relate with geography everywhere.
  4. Gaze at maps: Get yourself a good atlas. Some of the larger bookstore chains offer quality atlases for reasonable prices. Whether you want to memorize the countries or just familiarize yourself with the major mountain chains, maps are a good place to start.
  5. Link with other subjects: The history, culture, economy, socio-political turmoil of a region – all have a strong connection to Geography. For instance, to know which are the oil producing countries, you only have to study the socio-political situation of that region. Geography is related to anthropology also. For instance, the culture, clothes, customs, etc. of a place are direct consequences of its climatic conditions.

It is not just learning that is important. It is learning what to do with what you learn and learning why you learn things that matters!

3 thoughts on “Right way to prepare Geography for UPSC

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