Category Archives: Geography optional

Guidance for Geography as an optional in UPSC Mains

(This article is written by Chanchal Rana, Rank 7, UPSC CSE 2013. He is currently undergoing training as an IPS and shall be joining IAS soon)

Disclaimer: All that the esteemed reader is to find below are based solely on my experiences with the subject for 3 consecutive attempts. The tips or the sources are not full or final and hence not prescriptive in nature and the reader is expected to use his own wisdom in the course of preparation for the subject.

[I plan to answer/ help all my dear aspirants (HEREINAFTER ADDRESSED as SIR) in the form of FAQs]

My Credibility (if at all it is !!!)  for scribbling in this blog::

Attempt Paper-1 Paper-II
1st (CSE 2011) /600 marks 120 145
2nd (CSE 2012)/600 marks 95 170
3rd (CSE 2013)/500 marks 88 130

1.  Why should SIR choose Geography as an optional?

Ans: The importance of optional although is in a decline, has still been one of the major deciding factor for being recommended by UPSC at the end of years of patience. I choose the optional not by any rational decision but because some of my friends opted for it and because I had heard that it fetched good marks. I swear, I knew nothing more than that earth has 3 layers and that tsunami was a giant wave and had seen India and world map. But I would suggest it as an optional because :-

  • It is scientific in nature unlike other Arts optional. Hence, logical and rational. Good for engineers like me.
  • It is heavily covered directly in GS Paper-1 and also indirectly in many areas of GS Paper-3
  • Sufficient material is available in the form of books by Indian Authors as well as coaching institute materials.
  • Ample scope for diagrammatic representation.
  • Helps a great deal in interview.

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