Geography is one of the most popular optional subjects in the UPSC civil services exam. There have
been toppers with this optional in the previous years.
Selecting the optional subject for the UPSC civil service mains exam is a personal decision. Every individual has unique strengths and weaknesses; they also have different educational and professional backgrounds. A candidate must weigh the pros and cons of a particular optional subject But there are many advantages if aspirant choose Geography as an Optional subject for UPSC.
Why to choose Geography optional:
Geography is a scientific subject. Due to this, it is preferred by many aspirants from science, medical and engineering backgrounds.
There is not much mugging up required. Only concepts need to be understood.
There is no dearth of material available for Geography.
It has tremendous overlap with General Studies both in prelims and the mains.
With the questions becoming more dynamic and less static, Geography also has a lot of overlap with subjects like economics, environment, ecology and conservation.
Candidates can also use what they learn in Geography in their essay paper on various topics.
Even in the UPSC personality test, Geography will be useful as the board can ask questions on the local geography of a candidate’s home town like soil, vegetation, minerals, etc.
Geography is a scoring subject because unlike humanities subjects, there is not much scope for interpretation. Also, diagrams, flowchart, etc. can be used to get more marks.
The map-based questions are also scoring.