UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2021: Check Important Topics for Preparation of World Geography Section

Check the most important topics to study from the World Geography section for the preparation of UPSC (IAS) Prelims Exam 2021. 

Sakshi Saroha
Dec 29, 2020, 11:29 IST
UPSC 2020: World Geography Important Topics
UPSC 2020: World Geography Important Topics

As per the UPSC exam calendar,  the UPSC (IAS) Prelims exam 2021 will be conducted on June 27. UPSC (IAS) Prelims Syllabus for Geography subject is divided into two sections: Indian Geography & World Geography. With the whole wide world to study aspirants need not feel stressed about the syllabus and revision of the subject. In this article, we have provided all the important topics which should be studied from the World Geography Section while preparing for UPSC (IAS) Civil Services Exam 2020. 

World Geography syllabus can be divide into three sections:

  • Physical Geography 
  • Human Geography
  • Economic Geography 

Let’s discuss the important topics from each section:

Physical Geography


  • Latitude, Longitude and Time Zones
  • Structure of the Interior of the Earth
  • Continental Drift & Tectonic Plates
  • Volcanic and Earthquake belts of the World
  • Mountains (Block and Fold)
  • Plateaus & Plains
  • Major Drainage basins

Let’s look at the reference question asked from the topic in Previous Years’ Paper

Ques: On 21st June, the Sun

(a) does not set below the horizon at the Arctic Circle

(b) does not set below the horizon at Antarctic Circle

(c) shines vertically overhead at noon on the Equator

(d) shines vertically overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn

Answer: a

UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020: Subject-Wise Study Material for Preparation/ Revision


  • Oceans, inland lakes, and seas
  • Ocean currents of the Atlantic Ocean
  • Ocean currents of the Pacific Ocean
  • Ocean currents of the Indian Ocean (Winter and Summer)
  • Ocean bottom resources 
  • Tides and related effects
  • Coral reefs
  • Marine Pollution

Let’s look at the reference question asked from the topic in Previous Years’ Paper

Ques: Consider the following pairs:


Bordering country

1. Adriatic Sea


2. Black Sea


3. Caspian Sea


4. Mediterranean Sea


5. Red Sea


Which of the pair given above are correctly matched?

(a) 1, 2 and 4 only

(b) 1, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 5 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Answer: b


  • Structure of the atmosphere
  • Heat budget
  • Planetary and Local winds
  • Types of rainfall 
  • Tropical and temperate cyclones
  • El Nino, La Nina, Walker circulation, Southern oscillation
  • Climatic regions of the world

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Economic Geography

  • Major food resource distribution over the world
  • Energy resource distribution (coal, uranium, thorium, wind, solar, tidal and geothermal)
  • Location of major ports, trading centers, financial centers and other places of economic significance 

Let’s look at the reference question asked from the topic in Previous Years’ Paper

Ques: Among the following, which one is the largest exporter of rice in the world in the last five years?

(a) China

(b) India

(c) Myanmar

(d) Vietnam

Answer: b

Human Geography

Generally, very few questions are asked from this section but aspirations should be abreast with the current events related to the following categories:

  • Migration - voluntary and forced (including refugee issues)
  • Demographic changes
  • Population distribution and future trends
  • Annual publications of the UN Population Fund
  • Review of SDG progress

Let’s look at the reference question asked from the topic in Previous Years’ Paper

Consider the following pairs:

Community sometimes in the affairs of mentioned in the news

  1. Kurd :  Bangladesh
  2. Madhesi   : Nepal
  3. Rohingya   : Myanmar

Ques: Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3

(d) 3 only

Answer: c

Also Check: Important Questions on World Geography from Previous Years' Papers

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