Tricks to Study Geography Well for UPSC Exam

Geography is an essential part of the UPSC syllabus. It is an interesting subject and unavoidable too since it is a vital part of General Studies Paper I and the IAS prelims exam.

Despite being interesting, some people don’t enjoy the prospect of studying Geography because there are a lot of facts and concepts here. You have to remember many things. If you are one of those IAS Exam candidates who find Geography difficult, don’t despair. We bring you many tips and tricks that would surely help you ace this subject while enjoying it!

Best Way to Study Geography for UPSC

How to read UPSC geography effectively:

  1. Know what to learn:

First things first. Read the UPSC syllabus many times so that you know precisely what to learn from your IAS study material. Start with the NCERTs and then graduate to higher-level books.

  1. Know the question paper pattern:

Go through as many past years’ UPSC question papers and internalize the pattern. Understand how the UPSC sets papers so that you don’t get any surprises at the exam hall.

  1. Relate what you read to your surroundings:

You read about Geographical phenomenon almost on a daily basis in the newspapers. When you read about a natural calamity or phenomenon, relate it to what you have read in the textbooks. This way, you are also preparing for the current affairs. Current affairs have a high dose of geography as well.

  1. Relate Geography to history, economics and other topics:

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.

  1. Fun with mnemonics:

We bring you some fun mnemonics to aid your memorization of certain facts in Geography.

Remembering the Central American countries (countries lying 
between North and South America)




El Salvador



Costa Rica


Together, they form the shape of an elephant’s trunk.

My Great Big Elephant Has No CRitical Problems.

Remembering the Himalayan ranges from top to bottom






Kal (Z)Jana Padega Desh Se

Remembering the main passes of the Himalayas

1. Sikkim – Nathu La, Jelep La

Nathuram Sikkim Jail Gaya

2. Himachal Pradesh – Rohtang Pass, Bara-lacha Pass, Shipki Pass

Himesh aur Rohit barah baje shipki gaya

3. Arunachal Pradesh – Diphu Pass, Sela Pass, Bomdi La

Dipu was sent to Bombay.

Remembering the oceans from largest to the smallest

Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean, Arctic Ocean


Remembering the countries through which the Prime Meridian passes

Burkina Faso, Spain, France, Ghana, Algeria, Mali, England, Niger Toto


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