How to Ace Map Based Questions for UPSC Prelims
5th May, 2021
Your UPSC exam prelims preparation will not be complete if you don’t study an atlas. Map-based questions are a regular feature in the UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam. Many maps based questions in UPSC Prelims confuses the aspirants. Many aspirants are confused about where to begin when it comes to maps or atlases. This article gives you a few pointers on how to effectively utilise the maps or atlas for preparing Indian Geography and tackle the map-based questions in UPSC exam. The weightage carried by map based question in UPSC Prelims has been increasing year by year. The questions asked from Geography varies from 8-10 and mapping questions range from 1-2 every year. UPSC often asks two types of map based questions One which is from static part and every aspirant is supposed to know while other being dynamically mapped with current affairs.
Map being an intrinsic part of your entire preparation, aspirants often gets confused where to being.
There are certain books that are needed to carry out your preparation. One can buy Oxford Student Atlas or Orient Blackswan School atlas. The most important material other than atlas is your National Daily (The Hindu, Indian Express etc.). This will help you to guess important geographical region in news and prepare accordingly. Before discussing the strategy to prepare the map based questions let’s devide the portion into two parts for tha sake of convenience :
How to Prepare Questions based on World Map:
In this section it is advisable to start studying continent wise. The following points needed to remember while preparing the world map:
- Try to cover those countries which have remained in news recently. For an example Israel so try see its neighboring countries and border.
- Try to arrange major cites again in north-south and east-west alignment
- Pay special focus to regional groupings such as ASEAN group of nations, BRICS, SCO, QUAD, SAARC,and Europian Union. Try to focus on those grouping whose meet or summit has been organized recently
- Physical features of continents should be prepared such as Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea.Important mountains of continents, volcanoes of continents, important rivers forming boundaries of countries etc.
- The featured tribes of continents and their countries, local grasslands and their regional names, minerals found in different continents etc.
- Sometimes ocean currents, storms, winds, deserts are also asked in the exam so try to make a list of them in maps.
How to Prepare Questions based on India:
- We recommend you to start with political map of India.
- Try to remember the location of all states and Union territories, major cities, which state borders maximum no of states, which states share international borders.
- Try arranging the major cities north to south, east to west, which states have tropic of cancer passing through it etc.
- Which major rivers passing through the major cities, capitals etc for example Sabarmati from Ahmedabad, tapi from surat.
- Once thorough with political locations move on to the most important physical map.
Try to segregate your preparation in different physical regions and reliefs.
- Go through the Himalayas geographical extent, its division (lesser , middle. Greater), which passes connect which cities or region and lies in which state, any rivers which originates from these mountains and flows through these passes for example river Satluj enters india through Shipkila pass.
- Be thorough with major rivers-their origin, tributaries, states and cities which they flow through, are they east flowing or west flowing rivers etc.
- Northeast is very much important from prelims point of view. Go through the rivers, various hills (arrange them from north to south, east to west) important national parks in these physical relief. For example Government has announced Sela pass in previous budget, try locate in which state it lies, similarly on which river Bhupen Hazaraika bridge is built etc.
- The peninsular India study should be focused on Western and Eastern Ghats, regional hills, national parks located.
- National Parks and reserves. UPSC off late have starte asking question from this area. There are more than 100 national parks so it is impossible to remember them all. Best strategy would be to read about the most important and in news ones. Try to know about their location statewise, rivers which flow through them, do they share any border with other state or neighboring countries.
However the entire process of preparation is a time consuming process and it takes almost a year to prepare such vast scale information. However it can be minimized through Prelims Sampoorna Map Based Questions which has been brought by GS Score . This unique compilation helps you to ace map based questions.