Geography Notes for UPSC: Why you Should Choose Geography for your Optional?


Are you planning on taking UPSC CSE in 2021? Have you been wondering what kind of subjects you should opt for the Mains exams? What are the subjects that would be appropriate for your study and get you good scores also? Have you thought about opting for Geography as your Optional subject? Where are you going to look for Geography notes for UPSC?

In this article, you will find out how the said subject is a good choice if you’re looking for an ideal subject for UPSC. Also read about how you can make notes for the exam, and find notes for the exam based on this year’s syllabus. Also, find Geography notes for UPSC. Read on to find your key to clearing the exam in your first attempt.

Indian Geography Notes for UPSC

While looking at the UPSC syllabus, you might have noticed that Geography is one subject that is included in IAS Prelims as well as the Mains examination. It is beneficial if you take up subjects that can be studied in both stages of the exam. This way, you can save up time as well as the number of efforts you put into the preparation. Before we get to the notes for the exam, take a look at how you can work on your note-making for the subject.

Also Read: A Complete Guide to Score Better in Geography for UPSC: UPSC Exam Strategy

How to Make Notes for Geography

Take a look at the steps you can follow to make the right kind of notes for the exam.

Make Diagrams

One of the most important aspects of this exam is the diagrams. While practising for the exam, make sure you make diagrams for each and every question you study. Whenever you read a topic in a book, find a diagram related to it. These diagrams help you understand and memorise the concepts you come across. You will come across maps, and diagrams on topics such as geomorphology, climatology, oceanography, etc.

Find the Latest Data

You have to keep following current affairs and be updated with the latest discoveries, inventions and achievements in the fields of agriculture, climate change, transport, biogeography, human geography, and so on. The idea behind this is that the exam changes with respect to the changing ways of the world and you have to be aware of the latest developments to pass the exam.

Mastering the Subject

Instead of looking for several kinds of materials for the subject, try looking for concise information that can be useful for the exam. Make sure that you focus on the complete syllabus and don’t just master one aspect or one paper for the exam. You can try to focus on aspects that are more important for the exam, and give less time for concepts that might not be important. You should also try and find connections between the different subjects in the exam.


The kind of examples you give in the exam is important. You need to ensure that the kind of examples you have for the concepts should be credible and correct. You need not find a lot of examples for every topic, as long as your examples are good.

Also Read: A Guide to Scoring Better in the Geography Optional Exam 

Geography Notes for UPSC

Before you start your preparation for UPSC, find a copy of the syllabus for every exam and keep a copy of it with you at every step of your preparation. Here are some of the sources that you can refer to find notes and materials for your exam.

Paper 1


Climatology and Oceanography

  • Physical Geography by Savinder Singh
  • Physical Geography by Majid Husain
  • Lecture Notes on Oceanography by Matthias Tomczak

Biogeography and Environment Geography

  • Environmental Geography by Savinder Singh
  • NCERT book Class 11-12
  • World Maps

Human Geography

  • Human Geography by Majid Husain
  • Evolution of Geographical Thought by Majid Husain
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography by GC Leong

Economic Geography and Regional Planning

  • NCERT Books Class 11-12
  • World Maps
  • Physical, Human, and Economic Geography by D.R. Khullar
  • Cities Urbanization and Urban Systems by K. Siddhartha

Population and Settlement Geography

  • Models in Geography by Majid Husain
  • India: A Comprehensive Geography by D.R. Khullar
  • Cities Urbanisations and Urban Systems by K. Siddhartha

Also Read: The Syllabus for IAS Prelims and Mains for Geography

Paper 2

Some of the important books you can refer to for Paper 2 are:

  • Yojana Magazines
  • Economic and Social Geography Made Simple by Rupa Publications
  • Down to Earth Magazine
  • India: A Comprehensive Geography by D.R. Khullar
  • Models in Geography by Majid Husain
  • Indian Geography by D.R. Kullar

Also Read: A Youtube Playlist of Lectures on Geography 


Now that you are familiar with a list of books that can be helpful for the exam, you should keep in mind that the key for clearing the exam is not reading extensive books. You can instead find lecture notes and papers on the concepts provided in the syllabus and prepare your own notes on them. Don’t forget to find concepts repeated in the previous years’ question papers and work on them.

Also Read: A Guide to Making Notes for UPSC Preparation

Geography Notes for UPSC: Why you Should Choose Geography for your Optional?
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Geography Notes for UPSC: Why you Should Choose Geography for your Optional?
Why is Geography an ideal subject for your Mains Optional? Worried about the lack of study material? Find important topics and study notes here.
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UPSC Pathshala
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