[Strategy] Geography Mains Booklist, Study plan, Answer-writing Tips and Maps Preparation for UPSC

[Strategy] Geography Mains Booklist, Study plan, Answer-writing Tips and Maps Preparation for UPSC

  1. Preface
  2. Overview of Geography (Mains) Preparation
  3. Booklist for Geography Mains
  4. Paper 1
  5. Paper 2 (Indian Geography)
  6. Books for Hindi Medium
  7. Coaching
  8. Review on specific books
  9. Indian Geography By Khullar
  10. Majid Hussain
  11. Physical Geography Savindra Singh
  12. Atlas
  13. Rupa Series
  14. Notes
  15. How to write Answers in Geography (Mains)?
  16. Underlines
  17. Headings
  18. Open Ended Questions
  19. Diagrams in the answers
  20. New places / Current Affairs
  21. Drawing the Maps
  22. State map
  23. World Map
  24. How to handle the maps questions?
  25. Guideline for Geography Map pointing Questions in Mains
  26. Problem with Geography
  27. Four important aspects
  28. What is required to succeed with Geography?
  29. How to Read Geography Books?

Preface
This article is a compilation of tips given by Mr.Abhiram AIR 4/CSE 2010 in Indianofficer forum.

I received some emails & requests from fellow IO members asking me about the strategy I followed for geography. This short article is in response to those requests. I hope this will be of at least some value to future aspirants.

Before that I’ll introduce myself – I’m Abhiram – cleared CSE 2010 in my first attempt. My rank is mainly due to my marks in geography (385 marks – 196+189 in papers 1 & 2).

Overview of Geography (Mains) Preparation

1. I think it is better to read the minimum possible number of books, but it should be revised regularly. For eg: I followed only savindra singh for physical geography, and did not buy separate books for geomorphology, climatology or oceanography. (i’ve attached the list of books I followed at the end).

2. I did not prepare notes from standard text books, as I felt it was redundant. Instead I wrote tips & headings on the margins of the book for easier reference. I concentrated on my class notes for proper structuring of answers.

3. Use diagrams, maps, flowcharts & other innovative illustrations in your answers. Diagrams simplify the detail & improve the presentation also. I followed the thumb-rule of one diagram for a paragraph (i.e. Approx. 1 or 2 figures per page.) Even in questions where the need of a diagram may not be apparent, try to draw at least one. Eg: for the question on occidental culture realm, I just drew a rough map & marked the corresponding area, which might have caught the examiner’s eye. Eg: for a question on world trade pattern, I drew a world map with arrows pointing out the nature & flow of commodities between developed & developing nations. This, I believe, leads to a better expression of an idea which is either difficult or lengthy to express in words.

4. As far as mapping is concerned, try to identify places that appeared in the news for some reason (eg: jaitapur, sanand, krishnapatanam etc.). Frankly speaking, luck was a major factor that helped me in india map & I notched up 11 correct locations out of 15 given in the question. My interest in wildlife/travel & my location in south india helped me identify 6 locations.

5. I followed the deadline of (number of marks/2) minutes for answer completion & did not take into account the number of words. Eg: I put aside 10 minutes for a 20 marker. Even this strategy failed me in Geo paper 1 as I was not able attempt around 15-20 marks.

6. For answering less specific questions (eg: problems & prospects of agro-based industries in bihar), use intelligent correlation to write comparatively good answers. For eg: problems of agro industries are related to geomorphology, climate, transportation, quality of manpower etc. You can opt for either a bright or dull prospect, but substantiate the stand. If you are positive, then suggest the advantages of bihar with respect to agri production, large pool of manpower, flat land suitable for road/rail etc. Along with the conditionality like bridges, better education & skill development of workforce etc.

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