How to prepare map-based questions for UPSC Prelims ?

This blog will provide you with some great advice on how to use maps in your study plan to answer geography-related questions. It will assist you in comprehending the significance of maps while responding to questions in the UPSC Exam. The questions are never straightforward, and UPSC will assess your capacity to connect themes.

Although geography may not be everyone's cup of tea, future public servants, particularly those who will work in the forest or foreign services, should brush up on their skills for obvious reasons.

Solve past year UPSC map questions

Solve the map-based questions from the previous ten years to get a sense of the questions asked. When looking at a map, pay attention to such areas.

After that, finish lots of mock papers in which map-based questions are asked. Get a world map and an Indian map taped to a wall or your study desk nearby so you can continuously return to them for improved memory.

Start from the India map

Discover everything there is to know about India's neighbours. Make a list of the many Indian states that have borders with these nearby nations. Give the nations of the Indian Subcontinent a comparatively higher priority.

Analyse the Indian Ocean's islands and the peninsular region of India in detail using the map of India.

Drawing a political map (an outline) of India by hand is necessary for the GS I and GS II Mains Papers. Find out how many and which states have borders with each other.

Study the locations of all the significant cities in India. You should be able to direct them as well as identify the city that is to the west, east, north, or south of a specific city.

Make a note of any significant cities that have lately made headlines. Ex. Kasargod in Kerala gained international attention for using the insecticide Endosulfan excessively.

The eastern, western, northern, and southern boundaries of the states and UTs should be clear to you.

All Indian rivers' origins, sources, flow paths, and tributaries should be noted down.

Locate the left and right bank tributaries of significant rivers. For each significant river drainage basin, you should sketch a crude diagram on a piece of blank paper.

On a political map, you should be able to identify lakes and indicate which states share them.

Additionally, many lakes have distinct characteristics. Make a list of these lakes separately.

Make a note of the size and significant peaks of each mountain range, including the Himalayan and Peninsular ranges. On a political map of India, you should be able to depict the entire mountain range together with its highest peak.

Analyse thoroughly the locations of different glaciers. It's also important to note the numerous rivers that originate in these mountain ranges and glaciers.

Examine the national parks, flora, fauna, states, and other features that are present in the different gaps and passes that these mountain ranges contain.

For the mapping of the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats, use a comparison strategy.

The wide variety of Indian natural plants should be researched in light of the country's diverse climate.

Make a note of the geographic distribution of a specific kind of forest throughout India.

You ought to be able to identify all significant national parks, tiger reserves, wildlife refuges, biosphere reserves, etc., as well as their geographic range across states.

You should be able to name all the significant locations in India, including holy sites, wetlands, nuclear power plants, ports, plateaus, wetlands, mineral-rich areas, etc., as well as other significant physiographic features nearby.

Study World map by separating it region wise

Understand deeply what countries are bordered by the Black Sea or the Caspian Sea. What about major rivers, their boundaries with other countries, and the channels, straits, and navigational routes that pass through them? What passageway or waterway links the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea? Which of these nations does the Strait of Malacca pass through or where is it located? The order of the Yangtze River, Yellow River, etc. on the map? or ocean currents such as the Kuroshio Current, West Drift, and Gulf Stream, among others.

Country borders and whether they are landlocked or not; for instance, which African and Central Asian nations are landlocked? Or what nations are on Syria's border? Are Israel, Jordan, and Syria landlocked or not?

Major newsworthy sites, their positions, and the direction they are arranged in the map (North-South or East-West), for example, where are Tashkent, Almaty, the Gaza Strip, and the Cayman Islands? Alternately, order these European nations—France, Germany, Italy, Greece, etc.—from north to south.

Major geographical features and the areas in which they are found, such as the locations of the Rocky Mountains, Lake Baikal, Alps, Ural Mountains, etc. Which of the following nations is traversed by the Amazon or Nile rivers?

Major lines and the nations that cross them; for example, which nations cross the equator, tropic of Cancer, and tropic of Capricorn?

Important biodiversity hotspots and conversation regions around the world, such as the Indian Ocean Islands, Madagascar, and the Ross Sea in Antarctica

Important international projects and the nations they affect, such as the International North-South Transport Corridor, Ram Setu, Kaladan Multimodal, Chahbahar Port, String of Pearls, etc.



Map research doesn't add to your workload and can be done for fun during study breaks. Understanding will be considerably aided by mind maps of India and the rest of the world, which will make studying many aspects of current affairs, geography, world history, economy, etc. more intuitive. The ability to create decent maps and locate significant locations/features will be highly helpful, especially in GS-1 Geography/History and GS-3 Economy. However, map work is not helpful in getting easy marks in the prelims.