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Discussion on Geography optional and marks in UPSC CS mains 2010 marks

with 7 comments

In the recently declared mark sheet for selected candidates you can see this thread online to find the discussion on how Geography optional has performed. See excerpts and image below:

in my first attempt I was bit selective, but in this attempt I did the whole syllabus……
i had joined Shabbir sir’s test series….. and for human geo i relied totally on his notes….
i practiced in general about writing 40 words on any entry, that helped me in writing on entries in mains….


PAPER I -119
total- 274


Ist paper- 149
2nd Paper-183
Total- 332


does word limit affects———-i wrote all answers but very much to the point —i was happy as i thought i hit the point———–but marks are 275———–i wrote 100 words for 20 markers and 350 for 60 marker——-did this resulted in so low score

word limit is not an issue as far as you are writing what the question has demanded…… i generally write 250 words for 20 markers, 700 words for 60 markers and 350 words for 30 markers……..
add to this there should be atleast 3 neat diagrams/ maps/ illustrations in every 20 marker, similarly 5-6 in 30 markers and 7-8 in 60 markers………
in himalayan answer of paper 2 i had drawn 12 diagrams in a 10 page answer………


-in himalaya question i wrote about miocene eiocene ect period leading to 3 uprisings and three divisions with diagrams-arcuate shape syntexial bend etc—started with plate tectonics —–two diagrams overall and 350 words——————wat u wrote———pls help

I got 198 + 165
Rank 11
Attended coaching from ensemble but it was unsatisfactory, took test series from Neetu singh, it was ok. Finally went to Majid Hussain for test series and was more than satisfied.
Yes map entries and diagrams helped in jump in marks from 281 to 363.
Am not online much so wont be able to give timely replies.


actually the same question Shabbir sir had given in his test series, so had this question by-hearted…… and i reproduced as it is in the paper even in 25-26 min….. balancing 5 min extra that i had put in in the map question…….
as far as 12 diagrams of himalayan question are concerned, i drew—-
1) map of india showing himalayas (karakoram, pir panjal, dhaula dhar etc.) along with the eurasian and peninsular plates….
2) collision of peninsular plate with eurasian plate and its eastward tilt.
3) table showing ages of eocene, miocene and oligocene……..
4) diagram showing isoclinal, nappe strutures, reccumbent folds etc of middle himalayas……..
5) orthoclinal folds of himalayas…….
6) transverse view of himalayas showing suture zones, MCT, MBF, tibet, deosai plains etc…….
7) doons…….
8) syntaxial bends….
9) isostatic force acting on himalayas……… (diag of isostasy)
10) antecedent drainage of the himalayan rivers…….
11) 2 more diagrams i am not able to recall…….


its true that if u r writing lengthy answers then u will run short of time….. try not to give more than 30-35 min in any question, no matter how much u know in that…..
also in any optional paper it happens that 2 questions are from ur area that u have by-hearted, nd u think u can get high marks…. try to save time in those questions by completing them before 30 min,
then 2 questions u need to frame there with ur knowledge of geo, try to complete them in an average manner with good diagrams in 33-35 min,
the extra time that u have gained now from earlier answers, give it in the last question that u are writing there spontaneously……. and try to introduce as many diagrams as possible in this question. at least diagrams can fetch u marks in the question that u don’t know well……
but be careful, do not give more than 35 min in any question that u know well…….
add to this, crack the map question with gud write-ups on entries…..


actually i prepared my own notes on each and every topic of the geography syllabus (paper 1 & 2) in answer form mainly from Shabbir sir’s notes, khullar, savinder singh, some ALS notes, majid sir’s books and internet…. and added as many diagrams as possible to each topic…… this work i completed in 1 month following prelims and then i by-hearted them in next 2-3 months…..
yes prem u r right……. if one knows climo and geomorpho and map he can easily score decent marks in geo…..


plz help me in my strategy……. m not in Delhi, and I have
1. Spectrum book of geography
2. Majid hussain geographical thoughts
3. Sabbhir Sir notes – printout onces, not class notes
4. Goh cheh leong
5. ncert books
how to go forward wid all these materials?


my list of books
– physical geography- savindra singh
– thought – majid husain
– models – majid husain
– india – khullar
– atlas – oxford, blackswan
– any good coaching material(ALS, Alok Ranjan, Ensemlbe)
Yatri u can even manage by reading ur own notes n books that u have…..especially my friends say that spectrum geography is quite gud…..but i haven’t gone through it….u keep in my touch i wud definitely help u wat i can…….


in my first attempt i was able to do only 6 entries of out of 15 entries that we were supposed to do out of 22 given entries……
but after that debacle, i did maps thoroughly from 3 atlas. one blue atlas (i am not able to recall the name, by some indian authors) is available in market, it is very good.
then i compiled my own list of entries from these 3 atlas and plotted them on a map sheet.
add to this i mantained a list of current affair’s entries (from pre till mains) from 3 newspapers (esp an eco paper as they generally give the names of newly proposed heps, power plants etc.), chroncile, cst, yojana etc……
thankfully i knew 12 out of 15 entries in this year paper confidently….
sirpur we study under paper industry topic, while gahirmatha was in news because of olive ridley turtle national park…….. pariccha i did not know…


regarding write-ups for entries, try to recall and introduce the geomorpho, climato of the region apart from the special point for which the place is known for……
like gahirmatha – it is partly on the wheeler island, partly on the east coast of orissa…… it houses bhittarkanika sanctuary that is known for olive ridley turtles….. island is in bay of bengal……. it is prone to tropical cyclones from bay of bengal…… was in news because of proposed Tata’s plant that was going to interfere with the habitat of turtles…….


syllabus of geogrpahy is bit lenghtier than any other course. it takes bit more time to go through the whole. but it is bit easier in scoring in paper-II. Map practice is a must. book recommendations of the members is ok.
but u must go through NCERT books at the initial level.


bhai examiner mercator ya robinson nahi hai jo uske exact coordinates chahiye ……. roughly 1mm ki accuracy pe mark ker do…….
sorry saurabh, ab selection ke baad answers type kerne ka mann nahi hai…… itni mushkil se in sab se mukti mili hai……… aur vaise my answers are not that gud, i got only 174 in paper 1 while my 6-7 frnds have got 180-190 in paper 1, i have got 365 because of map section in paper 2……. and even i have observed in last 2 years that if u crack ur map question in paper 2 u get more marks in other questions of paper……


my marks in geo are
paper 1-155
paper 2 – 179


u r doing right thing by opting for Geography. Time is sufficient to complete the paper. 2nd paper requires comparatively less time bcoz of the MAP factor. in first paper u be thorough in Section-A. Map practice is a must.

orkut - Geography marks_1305823357658


orkut - Geography marks_1305823380062

Written by upsc aspirants

May 19th, 2011 at 10:14 pm

7 Responses to 'Discussion on Geography optional and marks in UPSC CS mains 2010 marks'

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  1. i totally agree. i too had done the same and got rank 34in 2005.
    reently, i heard mr shabbir is a brilliant teacher. I had his notes procured and seeing it, i was convinced to send my brother to his coaching classes. he is excellent and his coverage is very thorough. The best is that he constantly into making students work and to be honest, no teacher can actually finish the entire syllabus. But if u rely on mr shabbir’s notes, which are very organised and updated, you can aim for 350+ marks.
    inidently, mr brother also qualified last year , though with not a very good rank.

    So for geography, i can safely and honestly recommend mr shabbir classes. go for it. he is a honest man with lot of energy and sincerity


    24 May 11 at 4:19 pm

  2. may i know the institute name in which sir shabbir sir will teach . and can u plz guide me the best institute for public administration …..
    thank you in advance


    26 Apr 12 at 2:38 pm

  3. Sir suggest me good book for geogrphy in hindi mediam

    Rajendra yadav

    7 May 12 at 11:01 am

  4. I wanted to know about which one is better for geography: neetu singh, alok ranjan, shabbir sir? I am quite confused right now and seriously want to know. I talked to neetu singh ma’am but was not much satisfied. Please reply soon. Plus is there going to be a change in UPSE mains exam pattern from 2013 onwards??

    Ankit Jain

    20 Sep 12 at 7:18 pm

  5. how is majid husain classes ?? shuld i join it or not ?? plz help


    23 Nov 12 at 3:03 pm

  6. sir can you please guide me from where i can get shabbir sir notes.

    thank you


    25 Jan 13 at 9:42 pm

  7. Shabbir sir teaches in Vajiram…His notes can be availed from Kumar Book Centre ,Rajindar Nagar.But notes will be of no use if you are not attending his classes.


    17 Jun 13 at 11:37 pm

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