UPSC Prelims Geography Trend Analysis: Part 1

In the geography portion, you just have to stick to basics. Basics meaning class 11 and class 12 geography esp. Physical geography and geography of India. If you have done that, you would be able to solve 75% of the questions easily.

Study physical geography well, because it is conceptual and therefore will not fail you during the exam. You should be able to solve all the physical geographical questions in the exam if you study the “Fundamentals of Physical Geography” NCERT XI textbook thoroughly.

Solve past year question papers esp conceptual questions of physical geography which will give you good insight into level of your preparation and help you correct your flaws

Imp topics  (just basics)

  • latitudes and longitudes
  • Revolution, rotation and seasons
  • Solar system  
  • layers of the atmosphere pressure belts, global atmospheric wind, cyclones
  • types of rainfall (convection, orographic, frontal)
  • monsoons
  • ocean currents
  • jet streams
  • Elnino la nina modoki ENSO indian ocean dipole maiden jullien oscillation
  • Go through India’s physical geography. NCERT would suffice
  • Rivers and hills, soils given in NCERT most imp
  • Learn geological history of India well which would help you answer questions related to mineral resources
  • Basics of agriculture- again NCERT would suffice
  • Map marking

Prelims 2015

1. In the South Atlantic and South Eastern Pacific regions in tropical latitudes, cyclone does not originate. What is the reason?

(a) Sea Surface temperature are low

(b) Inter Tropical Convergence Zone seldom occurs

(c) Coriolis force is too weak

(d) Absence of land in those regions

  • Option C is wrong. Coriolis force is weak only in the region around 0-5 degrees North or South latitudes.
  • Option D is wrong as land cuts off moisture from the cyclone and a responsible for dissipation of cyclones
  • Confusion b/w a and b
  • UPSC ruled absence of ITCZ would be the answer

Learning – cyclones, naming of cyclones, tropical v/s temperate cyclones (learn from the titbit)

2. Which of the following pairs of States of India indicates the eastern most and Western most State?

(a) Assam and Rajasthan

(b) Arunachal Pradesh and Rajasthan

(c) Assam and Gujarat

(d) Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat

  • Simple question. Map based
  • Has been asked before

3. Which of the following National Parks is unique in being a swamp with floating vegetation that supports a rich biodiversity?

(a) Bhitarkanika National Park

(b) Keibul Lamjao National Park

(c) Keoladeo Ghana National park

(d) Sultanpur National park

  • Floating vegetation points in the direction of floating park, the only floating park in the world, located in Manipur which is a part of Loktak Lake.
  • Bhitarkanika is in Odisha,has been asked before
  • Keoladeo in Rajasthan – was asked last year
  • Sultanpur in Haryana – only option  left would be the answer

4. What can be the impact of excessive/inappropriate use of nitrogenous fertilizers in agriculture?

    1. Proliferation of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms in soil can occur.
    2. Increase in the acidity of soil can take place
    3. Leaching of nitrate to the ground-water can occur.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

  • Statement 1 is absurd. If there is more nitrogen in the soil, less need for nitrogen fixing bacteria. In any case if fertilizer increased bacteria one dose of fertilizer would suffice for eternity  
  • Statement 3: common sense. If something is in increased concentration and also water soluble, would obviously leach
  • Exclude 1, include 3

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

(a) The Earth’s rotation on its axis

(b) Convergence of the two equatorial currents

(c) Difference in salinity of water

(d) Occurrence of the belt of calm near equator

  • Controversial question. Go with what UPSC says
  • C and d are obviously wrong.
  • A that’s earth’s rotation is reponsible for winds and currents changing directions but then what’s special about earth’s rotation that would move counter current in opposite direction
  • B is the last option standing

6. Consider the following pairs:

Place of Pilgrimage  Location

  1. Srisailam : Nallamala Hills
  2. Omkareshwar : Satmala Hills
  3. Pushkar : Mahadeo Hills

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

  • Pushkar is in Ajmer everyone knows that.
  • There’s only aravali in Rajasthan no mahadeo hills
  • Exclude 3

7. The area known as ‘Golan Heights’ sometimes appears in the news in the context of the events related to

  1. a) Central Asia
  2. b) Middle East
  3. c) South-East Asia
  4. d) Central Africa
  • Map based question.
  • Golan height was and is very much in news due to civil war in Syria. Terrorism from Golan heights

8. Consider the following rivers :

    1. Vamsadhara
    2. Indravati
    3. Pranahita
    4. Pennar

Which of the above are tributaries of Godavari?

(a) 1,2 and 3

(b) 2,3 and 4

(c) 1,2 and 4

(d) 2 and 3 only

  • Rivers imp but obviously you can’t learn every tributary of every major river so a difficult question
  • Pennar is much to the south, can be excluded

9. Which one of the following regions of India has a combination of mangrove forest, evergreen forest and deciduous forest?

(a) North Coastal Andhra Pradesh

(b) South-West Bengal

(c) Southern Saurashtra

(d) Andaman and Nicobar island

  • Evergreen forest would not be found in other 3 options as not sufficient rainfall there.
  • Andman and nikobar have many Islands so chances of vegetation other than evergreen also thetec

10. Which one of the following National Parks has a climate that varies from tropical to subtropical, temperate and arctic?

(a) Khangchendzonga National park

(b) Nandadevi National Park

(c) Neora Valley National Park

(d) Namdapha National park

  • Difficult question.
  • Go with what UPSC says

11. Consider the following statements

  1. 1. The winds which blow between 30o N and 60o S latitudes throughout the year are known as westerlies.
  2. 2. The moist air masses that cause winter rams in North-Western region of India are part of westerlies.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. (a) 1 only
  2. (b) 2 only
  3. (c) Both 1 and 2
  4. (d) Neither 1 nor 2
  • No winds blow b/w 30 north and 60 south. It should have been between 30 and 60 north
  • 2nd has been asked so many times in both prelims and mains
  • Western disturbances responsible for winter rains in North which is good for wheat and leads to snowfall on hills

12. Tides occur in oceans and seas due to which among the following?

    1. Gravitational Force of the Sun
    2. Gravitational Force of the Moon
    3. Gravitational Force of the Earth

Select the correct answer using the code given below

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2, and 3

  • If 1 is true, 2 has to be true. Sun is also exerting gravitational pull so is moon. Pull is pull, does not matter who pulls
  • Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of gravitational forces exerted by the Moon, Sun, and rotation of the

13. In which of the following activities are Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites used?

    1. Assessment of crop productivity
    2. Locating ground water resources
    3. Mineral exploration
    4. Telecommunications
    5. Traffic studies

Select the correct answer using the code given below

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only

(b) 4 and 5 only

(c) 1 and 2 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and

  • For telecommunications geo-stationary satellites / your INSAT CLASS satellites are used
  • easily eliminate statement 4
  • Now look at statement 3, remote sensing is sensing from a distance so sensing from a distance if minerals are there, 3rd is true

14. Consider the following States:

    1. Arunachal Pradesh
    2. Himachal Pradesh
    3. Mizoram

In which of the following states do ‘Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests’ occur?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

  • Easy
  • typical rain forests in areas with high rains ie north east, islands of Andaman nikobar, western slopes of western ghat- very small area of India
  • Himachal is clearly wrong

15. Which one of the following countries of South-West Asia does not open out to the Mediterranean Sea?

(a) Syria

(b) Jordan

(c) Lebanon

(d) Israel

  • Map based question you could easily solve if you were looking at the maps with the newspaper
  • Was in news due to civil war in Syria and refugees in Jordan

16. In India, in which one of the following types of forests is teak a dominant tree species?

(a) Tropical moist deciduous forest

(b) Tropical rain forest

(c) Tropical thorn scrub forest

(d) Temperate forest with

  • Asked before
  • Teak dominant species of tropical moist deciduous

17. “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, than 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

  • Simple
  • No seasons on equator
  • Rain/ afternoon shower due to convection

P.S. – Everyone is free to point out mistakes. Free to criticize, suggest changes etc. Everything is welcome but do so without insinuating or attributing motives

User Avatar

By Dr V

Doctor by Training | AIIMSONIAN | Factually correct, Politically not so much | Opinionated? Yes!

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥💥[Course]Smash Ethics by AIR 48, Ethics Topper 133 marks.
This is default text for notification bar