Comprehensive Self Study Plan for Physical Geography | IAS Prelims & Mains

How to use this study plan?

  1. This study plan limits itself to Physical Geography
  2. We have kept 5 sources for completing the entire syllabus and we urge our students to follow only what’s been prescribed. Try not to go overboard
Sources
Source Source type Why this one?
1. 11th NCERT – Fundamentals of Physical Geography
2. 12th NCERT – Fundamentals of Human Geography
Primary source: To be revised multiple times. Students should highlight or make notes from these to keep their revision times anageable • NCERT’s form the treasure trove of exam worthy information.
• Many direct questions have previously appeared in prelims from NCERT.
• The language is easy to understand and fundamental to conceptual clarity
• Especially concentrate on Indian Geography for Prelims as almost 75% questions are related to India
3. GC Leong Primary source: To be revised multiple times. Students should highlight or make notes from these to keep their revision times anageable • It is a brilliant book for physical geography and covers great depth in concepts which will help in Main exam
4. NCERT 6th-10th Geography • Preliminary reading source to gather a wider understanding of the subject.
• Readings in the cumulative revisions would suffice.
• Caution: Ignore the maths part in this book
• Important for foundational understanding.
5. Orient Blackswan Atlas • Note!!: Important to view maps daily and try and mark places which one finds during their reading of books or current affairs • Most of Geography questions in prelims are are map based
• Maps make the subject easier to grasp and fun

Daywise plan + Feedback questions with Explanations & Tikdams where applicable

 

 Day

 1

Rapid basics build up
 

India map – States, their capitals and their neighbours

• NCERT Class 6th – Full
 2 • India map – Major rivers of the Indus basin • NCERT Class 7th – Full
 3 • India map – Major rivers of Ganga Basin • NCERT Class 8th – Full
 4 + 5 • India map – Major rivers of Brahmaputra basin • NCERT Class 9th – Full
 6 + 7 • India map – Major rivers of the peninsular region • NCERT Class 10th – Full

Focus Area : 

• Concentrate on acquiring a basic understanding of topics

• Locate the places mentioned eg Palk Strait, states through which Tropic of cancer passes, etc

• For maps, mark the features with a pencil on your atlas and revise often

Previous year’s MCQs to judge one’s level of understanding + Tikdams:

Q. In India, How many States Share the coastline ?

A. 7
B. 8
C. 9
D. 10

Answer – C

Standard Explanation + Tikdams for MCQs : Map awareness is crucial for such questions


Day 8 : Revision


 

Day

 9 + 10

Physical Geography – Basics and Earth’s crust Revison of India maps already covered above  

• 11th NCERT – Fundamentals of Physical Geography – Chapter – 1, 2, 3
• GC Leong – Chapter 1, 2, 4

Focus Area : 

Develop an understanding of

• Motion of the Earth – Rotation and Revolution – it’s impact on Day and Night and other phenomena

• Inclination of the Earth’s Axis – it’s effect on seasons

• Latitude and Longitude • Important Parallels and Meridians – the countries they pass through eg Equator, Prime meridian, etc

• General understanding of Solar Eclipse, Lunar Eclipse and Tides and their significance

• Earth’s crust

• The Structure of the Earth – different layers, their arrangement vertically, different discontinuities

• Rocks Classification– Igneous, Sedimentary, Metamorphic with examples.

Previous year’s MCQs to judge one’s level of understanding + Tikdams:

Consider the following factors:

1. Rotation of the Earth

2. Air pressure and wind

3. Density of ocean water

4. Revolution of the Earth

Which of the above factors influence the ocean currents?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 1, 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 4

(d) 2, 3 and 4

Answer – B

Tikdam – Revolution doesn’t affect ocean currents but rotation does. Eliminate 4. Desnity also affects since denser water sinks. Therefore the answer has to be B

Day

 

11 + 12

Physical Geography – Climate  

• World Map – Major physical features of Australia

 

• 11th NCERT – Fundamentals of Physical Geography – Chapter – 4
• GC Leong – Chapter 13, 14

13 + 14 Physical Geography – Climate types • World Map – Major physical features of Europe and Northern Asia • 11th NCERT – Fundamentals of Physical Geography – Chapter – 6
• GC Leong – Chapter 15 – 18
15 + 16 Physical Geography – Climate types • World Map – Major physical features of rest of Asia • GC Leong – Chapter 19 – 22
17 Physical Geography – Climate types • World Map – Major physical features of Africa • GC Leong – Chapter 23 – 25

Focus Area:

Build conceptual clarity on

• Composition and Structure of Atmosphere various layers of atmosphere significance of each layer

• Heat Budget

• Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming & Ozone hole.

• Temperature Zones – Tropical, Temperate, Frigid ; their characteristics

• Global Pressure Belts- Low Pressure, High Pressure, Doldrums, Horse Latitudes

• The various Planetary Winds and their role in influencing climate

• Various atmospheric phenomenta like cyclones and anticyclones, jet streams, air-masses, their occurence and formation, properties and impact

• Concepts like Temperature Inversion, Albedo.

• Have a basic idea about major Climate Types – Tropical, Desert, Mediterranean, Taiga, Arctic (or Polar type)

• Their Distribution, climate and economic importance

Previous year’s MCQs to judge one’s level of understanding + Tikdams:

Consider the following

1. The winds which blow between 30° N and 60° S latitudes throughout the year are known as westerlies.

2 The moist air masses that cause winter rains in North-Western region of India are part of westerlies.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer – b

2. During a thunderstorm, the thunder in the skies is produced by the: (2013)

1. meeting of cumulonimbus clouds in the sky

2. lightning that separates the nimbus clouds

3. violent upward movement of air and water particles

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(C) 1 and 3

(d) None of the above produces the thunder

Answer – d

3. Each day is more or less the same, the morning is clear and bright with a sea breeze; as the Sun climbs high in the sky, heat mounts up, dark clouds form, then rain comes with thunder and lightning. But rain is soon over.

Which of the following regions is described in the above passage?

a) Savannah

b) Equatorial

c) Monsoon

d) Mediterranean

Answer – b

Explanation-

1. Westerlies flow between latitudes 30-60 degrees North and 30-60 degrees South. The statement mentions 30N-60S. So it is wrong.
The western cyclonic disturbances are weather phenomena of the winter months brought in by the westerly flow from the Mediterranean region. They usually influence the weather of the north and north-western regions of India. They are a non-monsoonal precipitation pattern driven by the Westerlies.

Tikdam: read clearly – n to n , s to s noth N to S,

2. Self explanatory

3. Equatorial climate is characterized by consistently high temperatures (around 30 °C), with plentiful precipitation (150–1,000 cm), heavy cloud cover, and high humidity, with very little annual temperature variation. Wet equatorial regions lie within about 12° latitude of the Equator.

Tikdam: classical equatorial climate – no season (each day same), afternoon thudestrorm


Day 18 : Cumulative Revision


 

Day

 

19

Physical Geography – Oceans  

• World map – Major Rivers & physical features of North America

• 11th NCERT – Fundamentals of Physical Geography – Chapter – 5
• GC Leong – Chapter 12

Focus Area: 

Carefully note

• Configuration of Ocean Floor – Continental Shelf, Slope, Rise, Abyssal Plan, Trenches.

• Ocean Currents (important) and factors influencing their movement – eg Winds, Temperatures, Salinity, Earth’s Rotation,

• Types- Warm and Cold Currents and their direction

• Their influence on the climate and vegetation as well as benefits and problems caused eg mixing of Warm and Cold currents helps fisheries but produce intense fogs

Previous year’s MCQs to judge one’s level of understanding + Tikdams:

What explains the eastward flow of the equatorial counter-current?

a) The Earth’s rotation on its own axis

b) Convergence of the two equatorial currents

c) Difference is salinity of water

d) Occurance of the belt of calm near the equator

What explains the eastward flow of the equatorial counter-current?

Answer – b

Explanation – The equatorial countercurrents are driven by a distinct surface wind pattern in the tropics. Strong westward trade winds result in westward surface flow in most of the tropical Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. However, several hundred mi. (km.) north of the equator the winds are much weaker, in comparison.

The stronger winds to the south pile up water where the winds are weak. As a result, the surface of the ocean can be up to 6 in. (15 cm.) higher and the thermocline (region of strongest decrease of temperature with increasing depth) as much as 328 ft. (100 m.) deeper than it is directly to the north.

The excess water flows eastward under the influence of the Earth’s rotation, giving rise to the equatorial countercurrents

20 Physical Geography – Volcanism and fluvial landforms • World map – Major Rivers & physical features of South America • GC Leong – Chapter 3, 5
21 Physical Geography – Glacial, Arid and Limestone landforms • World Map – Major oceans and seas of the world
• their coastal countries
• warm and cold currents and their direction of flow
• GC Leong – Chapter 6, 7, 8
22 Physical Geography – Lakes, Coastal, Islands • World map – Major volcanoes of the world; major river deltas • GC Leong – Chapter 9, 10, 11

Focus Area:

Concentrate on

• Landforms associated with each exogenetic agent eg barchans in arid regions due to wind

• For map activity one should learn to recognise major physical features with a particluar continent/country. Eg Missisippi should spring USA to mind, Selvas should bring South America to mind

Previous year’s MCQs to judge one’s level of understanding + Tikdams:

Which one of the following pairs is correctly matched?  Geographical Feature                              Region

(a) Abyssinian Plateau :                         Arabia

(b) Atlas Mountains :                           North-Western Africa

(c) Guiana Highlands :                       South-Western Africa

(d) Okavango Basin :                           Patagonia

Answer – b

Atlas mountain ranges are situated in the north western part of Africa. They extend almost 2000 km. They pass through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

Tikdam: Abyssinia is the old name of Ethiopia.


Day 23+24 : Cumulative Revision


Day

 

25 + 26

Human Geography • World Map – straits, isthumus, gulfs and bays  

• 12th NCERT – Fundamentals of Human Geography – Chapters – 1-4
• 12th NCERT – India – People and Economy –

Chapter – 1-3

Focus Area:

Note: For Human Geography, the relevant data should be taken from current affairs and not from books as they are outdated

• Population problems, human development related issues and migration. Focus on India but be aware of world scenario

• This part is very dynamic so be abreast of current affairs

Previous year’s MCQs to judge one’s level of understanding + Tikdams:

Consider the following pairs :

Tribe                                         State

1. Limboo (Limbu) :          Sikkim

2. Karbi :                                 Himachal Pradesh

3. Dongaria :                         Odisha

4. Bonda :                               Tamil Nadu

Which of the above pairs are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 4 only

(c) 1, 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer – A

Consider the following pairs: Community sometimes mentioned in the news In the affairs of 

1. Kurd : Bangladesh

2. Madhesi : Nepal

3. Rohingya : Myanmar

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

a) 1 and 2

b) 2 only

c) 2 and 3

d) 3 only Answer – C

Factual and current affairs related. You know or you don’t

Day

 

 

27 + 28

Human Geography  

 

• World Map – major islands and their marginal seas of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean

– Pay attention to the North-South and East-West alignment of countries/islands/seas

• 12th NCERT – Fundamentals of Human Geography – Chapters – 5-7
• 12th NCERT – India – People and Economy – Chapter – 7-9

Focus Area:

Pay special attention to

• The classification of activities

• India’s resource wealth – India’s position globally in terms of production,

• Mineral resources and major mining/extraction areas

• Industrial regions, centres and advantages and problems in each sector

Previous year’s MCQs to judge one’s level of understanding + Tikdams:

In which of the following regions of India are shale gas resources found?

1. Cambay Basin

2. Cauvery Basin

3. Krishna-Godavari Basin

Select the correct answer using the code given below

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 3 only

c) 2 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer – D

Explanation – Shale gas is the natural gas that is trapped within shale formations. ONGC sought permission for drilling 11 exploratory wells for shale oil and shale gas in Cambay basin at Mehsana, Ahmedabad and Bharuch districts of Gujarat, one well in Cauvery basin at Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and five wells in KG Basin at East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. Other regions in India where shale gas resources are found – Cauvery, Ganga & Assam and Assam – Arakan ; Gondwana basin (including Damodar )

Day

 

29 + 30

Human Geography  

 

• World Map – major islands and their marginal seas of the Pacific Ocean + Antactica

– Pay attention to the North-South and East-West alignment of countries/islands/seas

• 12th NCERT – Fundamentals of Human Geography – Chapters – 8-10
• 12th NCERT – India – People and Economy – Chapter – 10-12, 4

Focus Area : 

Pay special attention to • Issues related to transport sector – the ranks of various types in usage, infrastructure and their specific problems

Previous year’s MCQs to judge one’s level of understanding + Tikdams:

What is the correct sequence of occurrence of the following cities in South-East Asia as one proceeds from south to north?

1.Bangkok

2.Hanoi

3.Jakarta

4.Singapore

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A.     4-2-1-3

B.     3-2-4-1

C.     3-4-1-2

D.     4-3-2-1

Answer – C

Explanation : See map.

Tikdam – Basic awareess tells that Jakarta (Indonesia) has to be the southernmost. Leaves us with 2 options B & C


Day 31 + 32+ 33 – Revision of Human Geography



Day 34+35+36 – Cumulative Revision from day 9 except Human Geography + Maps full revision



Day 38 – Test


 

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