Are you thinking of opting for geography as an optional subject? Want to know is geography optional scoring? Or are you getting confused whether to choose it or not? Then no need to worry. You are the right place. Read this article till the end to get an answer to your every question. In this article, you will get to know how is geography as an optional subject scoring to how to prepare geography optional for UPSC.

Is Geography Optional Scoring?

Yes, it can be a scorning subject if preparation right. There are many reasons why you should choose Geography as an optional subject in UPSC. Few reasons to  choose Geography optional are:

  • Overlap with General Studies

There is a lot of similarities in the portion of Geography prelims as well as Mains. This one of the reasons why candidates choose this subject. Candidates from any science or technical background find this subject very scorning.

  • Nature of the Subject

Many people think that there is a lot of mugging up required in this subject which is not true. Once the concepts are clear and you have a good understanding of the subject then it is very easy to remember things. That is why this subject is preferred by the candidates from any science or technical background who finds this subject very scorning.

  • Unlike subjects like Humanities, there is not any sort of interpretation needed to study this Subject. Drawing diagrams and flow in your answers will fetch you more marks also it easy to remember them.
  • During the time of the interview, many candidates were asked to draw the regional map or thematic maps of areas. Therefore, a decent knowledge of Geography can help you improve your overall score in the exam.

How to Cover Geography Optional for  UPSC?

  • Start by memorizing the syllabus of the syllabus. This will be the base for your syllabus.
  • Study any topics from a maximum of 2-3 sources including the material provided to you by your coaching institute, if any, and the standard reference books. Revise the topic on a consistent basic. The more you are in touch with the topics, the more it will benefit you.
  • After you cover one topic, give tests specifically on that topic. This will help you understand your shortcoming in that topic.
  • Don’t keep making notes on each and every topic, it will consume your time. Make proper notes by just writing down keywords.
  • Practice drawing regional and thematic maps. Draw them wherever it is possible to draw. This will only come by intense practice.

Also Read: World Geography Book for UPSC: A Simple Guide to Help You Tackle UPSC Geography

How to Prepare Geography Optional for UPSC?

  • As you know there are two papers for optional. Divide the optional subject into these two parts as per Paper-I and Paper-II. And prepare accordingly.
  • Set achievable goals while studying. Don’t set a  micro timetable like hour by hour. Set macro timetable like set the aim to complete the XYZ topic in one or two weeks as per your pace. It will take almost two to three months of 12 hours a day of time to complete the syllabus. Therefore start your preparation as early as possible.
  • Practice writing answers daily for at least two-three questions. Try linking different topics with each other.  Writing statistics will be like toppings on the pizza. The statistics need not be accurate, you can write approximate values or range of the value. Make a separate book for making note of regional as well as thematic maps.

Geography Optional Books

There many good books on Geography optional subject. For different levels of understanding different books can be referred to.

  • Books for beginners:
    • NCERT
    • Made Simple Series by Rupa Publication-Vol-I & II
    • A certificate course in geography by Goh Cheng Leong
  • Books for better understanding:
    • Physical Geography– By Savindra Singh
    • Indian Geography by D R Khullar
    • Human Geography by Majid Hussain
    • Models and theories by Majid Hussain
    • Geographical thought by Dixit
    • Geographical thought by Sudipta Adhikary
    • Settlement Geography by K Siddhartha

Current Affairs for Geography Optional

Like for any other subject, you will also have to read magazines to make sure you are updated with the latest news related to the subject. Some of the good magazines to refer to for geography optional subject are:

  • Yojna
  • Kurukshetra
  • Geography and You
  • NITI Aayog reports (particularly, those on Agriculture, Infra, Regional Development, Rural Development, etc)
  • Select UN docs on Population, development & Env. (UNDP is most helpful)

Also Read: Best Geography Books for UPSC in Hindi: Geography UPSC Syllabus and Book List


Geography as an optional subject is a very scoring subject. Many candidates that there is a lot of mugging up required in this subject which is completely false. Geography is more of a conceptual subject. That is why candidates from a science or technical background find it very easy to score in geography.

Content Protection by
Is Geography Optional Scoring? How is Geography as an Optional?
Article Name
Is Geography Optional Scoring? How is Geography as an Optional?
Is Geography optional scoring? Click here to get information on how is geography as an optional? How to prepare geography optional for UPSC? Current affairs for geography and more.
Publisher Name
UPSC Pathshala
Publisher Logo