Geography Syllabus for UPSC: Download Geography Syllabus PDF

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : August 13th, 2022

Geography Syllabus for UPSC is a part of the general studies paper in Prelims, GS Paper 1 in UPSC Mains, as well as it is one of the optional subjects. That is why it is one of the most popular optional subjects in the UPSC mains examination. The topics covered in Geography Syllabus for UPSC establish the relevance of humans’ existence, elements that are conducive and that are not conducive to human life. Hence, covering the Geography syllabus for UPSC would be beneficial for the candidates, and make them better positioned in learning the elements that are required for life.

The UPSC geography optional syllabus is divided into various micro topics, such as Indian Geography, World Geography, Physical Geography, and Human Geography. Below we have mentioned the detailed UPSC geography syllabus for UPSC prelims, mains, and optional.

Table of Content

Geography Syllabus for UPSC Overview

The UPSC geography optional syllabus has two papers namely Paper 1, and Paper 2. Like every optional subject, each paper contains 250 marks and a total of 500 marks. As we have mentioned above geography syllabus is also a part of the general studies of UPSC prelims, and GS paper 1 of UPSC mains. 

So, candidates who have opted for geography as their optional will get an advantage to cover the geography section of both UPSC Prelims and Mains exams simultaneously. Let’s see the structure of the geography syllabus for UPSC below in the table.

Geography Syllabus for UPSC- Prelims

Indian Geography

World Geography

Physical Geography

Human Geography

Geography Syllabus for UPSC- Mains

Distribution of Key natural resources

Geophysical Phenomena

Sailent Features of World’s Physical Geography

UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus

Physical Geography

Human Geography

Geography of India

Geography Syllabus for UPSC- Prelims

As you can see in the above table, most topics of the UPSC Geography optional syllabus overlap with the UPSC prelims syllabus. This is the reason why most candidates prepare for their UPSC prelims along with the Geography syllabus for UPSC. Preparing for geography in the prelims makes it easier to for the mains syllabus completion. Most of the questions from the UPSC geography optional syllabus will be asked in the prelims exam. According to the recent UPSC exam analysis, the difficulty level of geography in the prelims exam will vary from moderate to tough. Below we have mentioned the complete geography syllabus for UPSC prelims, and sub-topics covered in it.

  • Physical Geography - Geomorphology, Oceanography, and Climatology
  • Indian Geography - Physical geography of India, River systems, Climate, Agriculture of India, Natural vegetation and fauna, Minerals and industries 
  • World Geography- Major natural regions, Regional geography of developed and developing countries
  • Human Geography- Man & environment and their interrelationship and the growth and development, Population, tribes, migration, Economic activities – agriculture, manufacturing, industries, tertiary activities, Urbanization.

Geography Syllabus for UPSC- Mains

The topics covered in the geography syllabus for UPSC mains GS paper-1 are the distribution of key natural resources, geophysical phenomena, and salient features of the world’s physical geography. Candidates who have chosen geography as their optional can cover these topics under the UPSC geography optional syllabus and must check out the complete UPSC mains syllabus

UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus

The scoring ability and the ration nature of the UPSC geography optional syllabus make a popular choice among the candidates from both Arts and Science streams. Let’s understand the structure of the geography optional in the UPSC exam.

Geography Syllabus for UPSC 

Topics

Marks

UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus Paper 1

Physical Geography and Human Geography

250

UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus Paper 2

Geography of India

250

UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus- Download PDF

The geography syllabus for UPSC can be downloaded from the official website. However, to make this process simpler we have provided the direct link below

UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus Paper 1

Paper of 1 of the UPSC geography optional syllabus includes Physical Geography and Human Geography. Paper 1 contributes a total of 250 marks.

Geography Syllabus for UPSC

Geography Syllabus for UPSC

Geography Syllabus for UPSC

UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus Paper 2

UPSC geography syllabus Paper 2 talks about the Geography of India, and it is further divided into sub-topics.

Geography Syllabus for UPSCGeography Syllabus for UPSC

Geography Syllabus for UPSC- Preparation Strategy

Before gearing up the preparation for the geography syllabus for UPSC, candidates must take a strategic approach. Questions from the geography will be asked in all stages of the UPSC exam, and that’s why it is crucial to have a solid preparation and study it holistically. Here is a strategy to cover the geography syllabus for UPSC efficiently.

  • Read NCERTs- candidates should start by covering the geography NCERTs from class VIII to XII. these NCERTs cover most of the geography syllabus for UPSC and help you to build a strong foundation.
  • Basic Books- apart from reading NCERTs, candidates also need basic books to complete the geography syllabus for UPSC. these basic books include Geography of India by Majid Husain, and Certificate Physical and Human Geography by GC Leong.
  • Previous year’s Question paper- glancing through the previous year’s paper would help you to understand the difficulty level of the exam, and identify the crucial topics that need to be revised.
  • Current Affairs- along with the books, candidates should focus on the trending topics as it is also a part of the geography syllabus for UPSC.

Geography Syllabus for UPSC- Booklist

Following are the best books to complete the geography syllabus for UPSC

  • India: A Comprehensive Geography by D R Khullar
  • Human Geography by Majid Husain
  • Models in Geography by Majid Husain
  • Physical Geography by Savindra Singh
  • Geographical Thought by R D Dixit
  • Fundamentals of Geographical Thought by Sudeepta Adhikari
  • Cities, Urbanisation & Urban Systems (Settlement Geography) by K Siddhartha

 

List of UPSC Optional Subjects Syllabus
UPSC Agriculture SyllabusUPSC Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Syllabus
UPSC Anthropology SyllabusUPSC Botany Syllabus
UPSC Chemistry SyllabusUPSC Civil Engineering Syllabus
UPSC Commerce and Accountancy SyllabusUPSC Economics Syllabus
UPSC Electrical Engineering SyllabusUPSC English Literature Syllabus
UPSC CSAT SyllabusUPSC Geology Syllabus
UPSC Hindi Literature SyllabusUPSC History Syllabus
UPSC Law SyllabusUPSC Management Syllabus
UPSC Maths Optional SyllabusUPSC Mechanical Engineering Syllabus
UPSC Medical Science SyllabusUPSC Philosophy Syllabus
UPSC Physics SyllabusUPSC Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) Optional Syllabus
UPSC Psychology SyllabusUPSC Public Administration Syllabus
UPSC Science and Technology SyllabusUPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus
UPSC Statistics SyllabusUPSC Zoology Syllabus

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Geography Syllabus for UPSC FAQs

  • Geography is a part of all stages of the UPSC exam i.e. Prelims and Mains. It is also a part of the UPSC optional subject list. The geography syllabus for UPSC includes topics like world geography, Indian geography, physical geography, human geography, etc. The difficulty level of the questions asked from the geography syllabus in Mains exam will be higher than that of Prelims.

  • Geography is also included in the UPSC prelims syllabus, and a large part of the UPSC geography optional syllabus overlaps with the general studies paper in prelims. It covers Indian Geography, World Geography, Physical Geography, and Human Geography.

  • The world geography section of the geography syllabus for UPSC takes students on a journey to explore the physical and human geography of various regions in the world. Students will get to know about the history of each region and examine the political, economic, and cultural characteristics of the world.

  • Yes, the optional paper of the UPSC exams demands in-depth knowledge of that particular subject. Due to this, the vastness of the UPSC geography optional syllabus can be justified. It includes Indian geography, Physical Geography, and Human geography. But the geography section in the UPSC syllabus for both Prelims and Mains can be easily covered.

  • There are tons of books available in the market, especially for the geography syllabus for UPSC. some of the best books from that collection are

    • NCERTs-VIII-XII
    • Human Geography by Majid Husain
    • India: A Comprehensive Geography by D R Khullar
    • Models in Geography by Majid Husain
  • As we all know, the geography section in the UPSC mains syllabus is vast in nature, covering it within 6 months would be a tough task. It will require dedication, focus, and hard work. Candidates should strengthen their foundation with NCERTs, read newspapers, attempt mock tests, and glance through the previous year’s question paper to complete the geography syllabus for UPSC efficiently. 

  • Questions from geography will be asked at all stages of the UPSC exam. So the topics covered under the geography syllabus for UPSC in prelims, mains, and optional are Indian Geography, Physical Geography, Human Geography, World Geography, etc. 

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