CDS (I) 2018 Exam: Syllabus Analysis & Tips to prepare for Geography Qns. in GK

Not all topics are given equal weightage in the exam. For instance, questions on drainage system, census, location mountains, States, etc are more frequent compared to others.

Created On: Dec 21, 2017 19:08 IST
CDS Geography Syllabus Analysis & Preparation Tips
CDS Geography Syllabus Analysis & Preparation Tips

The UPSC CDS (I) 2018 Exam will be held on 04 February 2018. Compared to English Language and Elementary Mathematics Papers, General Knowledge is a night mire for most of the aspirants, not only  because of its difficulty level, but also due to the vastness of the syllabus involved.

In the GK Paper, a minimum of 15 questions are asked every year from Geography. Questions are also varied and cover a wide array of topics of the subject. Hence, for the benefit of CDS (I) 2018 Exam aspirants, we are providing some useful tips that will help in completing the syllabus in less time. They are as given below.

Previous year questions are the key: The aspirants should realize the fact that the question papers are the only communication between the candidates and the examination authority i.e. the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Previous question papers with answer keys are available on the UPSC website and the CDS Section of the as well. The analysis of these papers will help aspirants in understanding the nature of questions and distribution of questions among various topics.

No. of Geography Questions asked in the previous CDS Exams are given below.


CDS (II) 2017

CDS (I) 2017

CDS (II) 2016





Know the important areas: To crack any competitive exam, understanding the priorities of the examiner is important. This is the similar case with the UPSC CDS Exam also. Not all topics are given equal weightage in the exam. For instance, questions on drainage system, census, location mountains, States, etc are more frequent compared to others. Hene, the aspirants must allot more time to cover these topics to maximize their marks in the CDS Exam.

CDS (II) 2017 Exam: GK Question Paper Analysis & Solution

NCERTs are a must: Majority of the questions from geography seek to test candidate’s conceptual clarity. For this, the Class XI and Class XII Physcial, Human and Economic Geography books of the NCERTs must be read. The questions asked at the end of each chapter must be answered in order to test oneself and rectify the mistakes then and there.

After completion of the NCERTs, aspirants can refer to Goh Cheng Leong’s Certificate Physical and Human Geography. This book will be helpful for world geography portion.

Practice, Practice & Practice: How much ever one studies doesn’t help much. How much one practices matters most. Despite its usefulness, this is the most neglected part of the preparation of a subject. To master geography, aspirants are advised to answer previous questions and attempt practice tests. The aspirants must figure out where they are logging. And, appropriately expand their material base and revise number of times.

For instance, most of the times, the aspirants struggle to answer map-based questions. Questions on important passes, straits, location of States, their latitudes and longitudes are frequent in the CDS GK Papers. For this, aspirants are advised to use Atlas and practice sheets of India and World maps as much as possible.

Geography related GK: Apart from the core GK part, few questions are also asked every year on Geography related GK like tallest mountains in each continent, longest rivers order in the world, railways zones, important ports in India, key waterways, airports,  etc. The aspirants must prepare for these kinds questions only after completion of the basic books suggested above. Besides, aspirants should also prepare for questions on planetary system.

CDS Previous Year Papers: Answer Key & Detailed Solution to Indian Polity Qns.

CDS Exam – Geography Syllabus Analysis

Though the CDS Exam Notification has not mentioned the Geography Syllabus explicitly, by understanding the previous year questions one can understand the extent of topics covered in the exam. Some of the important topics of the Geography for the CDS (I) 2018 Exam are given below.

Important topics of Indian Geography 

- Drainage System

- Soils

- Census, especially 2011 Census

- Mineral resources distribution

- Lakes

- Location of mountains, boundaries of States, passes, etc.

- Important tribal groups, especially those living in hilly areas

Important topics of World Geography

- Atmosphere

- Oceans

- Land forms

- Important industrial regions

- Drainage System

Best wishes from Jagran Josh!!!!

CDS Exam Previous Year Question Papers (2014-2017) with Answers

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