How to approach Geography (Mains)?

Just like my earlier article – “How to approach History?”, I’m going to talk about ‘how’ to study Geography without studying too many books.

Geography, to a large extent, is about maps. So one must practice drawing maps – India map and World map, so that they can be drawn in the exam within a few seconds. For example, I can draw India map in 15 seconds and the World map in 45 seconds. The advantages of drawing maps in the exam are that it shows that you have a greater grip on the subject, it doesn’t come under the word limit and can also explain things better in fewer words. I tried to draw as many maps as possible in the exam and if practised well, then time will not be a constraint.

Just like I’ve mentioned in the post – “How to approach History?“, one must be prepared to face the questions to be asked in the “reverse” direction. That is “Whenever, a term (can be a feature too) is repeating at several places, learn about that term in its entirety. For example, when you read about Indian Monsoons, you must have read about Tibetan Plateau, when you read about rivers like Brahmaputra, Indus and Satluj, you must have read that they all originate in Tibetan Plateau. Few months ago there was a news article on China trying to exploit the mineral resources of Tibet. Then the aspirant must read about Tibetan Plateau in its entirety – not just from Geography point of view, but also from geopolitical and International Relations point of view. I have written an article earlier on Tibetan Plateau which can be found here.


  • NCERTs
  • Goh Cheng Leong
  • IMD Website – click here and here for important links
  • Down to Earth magazine – I used to read it online
  • Internet – indispensable

Besides these sources, one must also keep an active eye on current affairs and relevant related topics while studying the above mentioned sources. For example, reading about the types of waterfalls, lakes, hot water springs (Geothermal potential) etc., and at places like these the internet comes handy.


9 thoughts on “How to approach Geography (Mains)?

  1. That was very insightful. Please share your strategy for other topics as well. Looking forward to your future posts.


    • Society questions are general in nature and thus they also need to be answered in a general way. I never studied anything in particular for society part. I believe someone who has been studying the newspapers for the last one year will be able to answer them. Writing test series would provide insights into it.


      • Like you said, enriching the geo answers with maps etc.will help, likewise since the questions from Society are very generic in nature, how did you write these answers to make sure they stand out? The presentation seems to matter a lot, all of us more or less are okay with content. The blog is very helpful, thanks a lot 🙂


        • I usually write several examples from current affairs in my answers related to society. I also find that society related questions can be answered in a more coherent manner. And for any social problem, I would usually write a multi-pronged strategy. For example, in the case of rape the solution would be:
          – strict enforcement of laws
          – increasing the number of women in police forces
          – bringing a change in attitude of men through various campaigns on social media, tv etc.
          – bringing a change in the children through schooling as a platform
          – improving women safety and security through tech initiatives
          – offering self defense trainings


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