Geology Optional UPSC | The Tale of negative marketing. How to prepare for Optionals? Optional-myths that will blow your mind. 1 Must read Free Article for all

Geology optional UPSC IAS and IFS

Geology is one of the popular optional subjects opted in Indian Forest Services Examination by the UPSC. However, very few candidates opt for it as an optional for UPSC IAS (CSE).

Hello everyone, My name is Krishna. You can read more about me here. Let’s Redefine the Geology Optional for Civil Services Examination.


Reasons for Lesser People Opting Geology as an Optional Subject for UPSC IAS

  • First thing first: Presumptions, biases, and negative marketing.
  • Structured marketing against Science and Technical optional subjects like Geology, Zoology, Botany, Zoology etc.
  • Not marketed via paid talks.
  • Unavailability of good coaching Institutes in the UPSC market which is largely dominated by Humanities subjects. Any good faculty is hardly available.
  • Unavailability of consolidated material. And now a days people have developed a habit of studying the garbage coaching notes.
  • Lesser number of universities providing Geology subject as a Higher Studies Subject.
  • Geology is a highly specialised subject.


Reasons for Most People Opting Geology as an Optional Subject for UPSC Indian Forest Services (IFS)

Unlike IAS, Geology is the most opted optional for Indian Forest Services (IFS). Geology is regarded as a highly scoring optional subject for IFS. This paradox may be explained in this way:

  • Similarity with Geography Optional: Names sound similar.
  • Approx. 1/3rd students write Mains with Geography Optional in UPSC IAS.
  • Due to 2 months time between IAS and IFS Mains, these same students opt for Geology Optional.
  • Hence, all the rules of Optional Selection are violated. eg. I had interest in xyz optional, I can study it for long hours, I can utilise it for the society, blah blah blah.

The tale of Geology Optional explains the scam of the UPSC Optional market. Despite being one of the most ignored optional for IAS, It suddenly becomes favorite optional for UPSC forest Services. 

Reasons are simple: Noone wants to work hard. Everyone wants an unethical shortcut to become the ethical IAS. Irrespective of the results, such people will become a failure in long term.  


Who must consider Geology optional as an optional for UPSC?

  • If Geology is your graduation subject.
  • If you are an Engineering Student.
  • If you are poor at answer writing. The government can not announce a Deen Dayal Yojana to increase the extinction angle in minerology, or to reduce angularity in rock stones.
  • If you want a short syllabus. Once you are done with the syllabus, you can revise it in 1-2 days. This gives
  • If you want to score 300+ in optional with higher probability.
  • If you have opted humanities optional, and you have wasted 3-4-5 attempts.
  • If you are thinking for Indian Forest Services.
  • If you are good at Prelims, Indian Forest Services might be a cakewalk for you with Geology and Forestry Optional Subjects.

If you have opted for Geography optional, and you are not getting good scores. How wise is it to change the Optional with Geology?

  • Geography is opted as optional for UPSC by most of the engineers due to certain presumptions, biases, and extreme marketing.
  • Geomorphology is the major challenge for Geography Optional Students. Another part is human geography, which is not geography as per your initial assumptions which you applied while opting for geography as optional. Nobody even told you that Karl Marx is also present in Geography. And Geography is not a technical optional. Rattafication (mugging up) plays a major role in Geography optional.
  • Geomorphology is the first unit of Geography Optional. Geography Optional has 20 units, and Geomorphology is only one unit of the full geography syllabus. i.e. 1/20th part. (Although not equally distributed)
  • Geology Syllabus is already approx. 40% of that of Geography optional. Geology optional has 12 units. The Geomorphology part of Geography optional covers at least 40% of the Geology Syllabus. Let’s understand how?
    • Unit 1 of Geography Optional (Geomorphology) = Unit 1 of  Geology (General Geology) + 80% of Unit 2 (Geomorphology and remote sensing) + 30% of unit 3 (Structural Geology) + 30% of unit 4 (Indian Stratigraphy) + 20% of unit 6 (Hydrogrology and Engineering Geology) + 10% of unit 8 and 9 (Petrology) + Applied oart in Unit 10 (Economic Geology).


Despite scoring 306 in Geography optional, I myself switched to Geology.

If I can score 306 in Geography Optional, I could have scored 360 in Geology with the same efforts. If not bragging, at least 320+.

Reason: I had only 130 in Paper 2 in Geography optional. I hope you have the answer.

Opting Geology Optional UPSC might change your results.


Geology Optional UPSC


Pros of Geology as an Optional

  • It is a scientific and technical subject.
  • There is very little to interpretation unlike humanities optionals.
  • It is a highly scoring subject. The marks could be as high as 80% in one question.
  • The competition is very less. Only about 50-100 people appear with this optional in UPSC IAS.
  • The success ratio is high. At least people do not fail due to this optional. Once prepared, 270+ is very easy to score, which is a challenge in humanities optionals.
  • Your copies will be checked by IIT Professors or by Geologists or by a GSI Scientist, who are generally far away from the leftist-rightist politics and biases.


Who must avoid Geology optional as an optional for UPSC?

  • If you want to do some more experiments on yourself. (even after opting for engineering as your graduation).
  • If you have already completed other optional and you are comfortable with that.
  • If you are not thinking for Indian Forest Services.
  • If you are a humanities student.


Role of previous year questions in Geology Optional

Geology Optional coaching


Geology optional UPSC syllabus: Combined for IAS and IFS

  • Geology syllabus is a little bit different for IAS and Indian Forest Services. I have made a combined syllabus.
  • I would suggest covering all the topics for both exams. Here is the combined Geology optional UPSC Syllabus. The IFS only topics are mentioned in italic characters.


Geology Optional UPSC Coaching Online


Geology Optional UPSC coaching in Delhi

  • Only some institutes are available all over India. eg. Evolution IAS, AA Shah, Shankar IAS etc.
  • Synopsis IAS has provided the best content based coaching for preparing UPSC with Geology optional.


Strategy for Geology optional UPSC

  • Krishna Sir has made extensive videos on Geology Optional.
  • This is that Paper-II sees questions from igneous and metamorphic petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry, etc.
  • Environmental geology has questions from current affairs as well.
  • It is recommended that you focus on mineral revelation, ore genesis, Indian mineral silt, etc.
  • You can expect questions from mineral trading and lending, the geology of energies, designing topography, groundwater science, underground water examination, issues and administration, incident and designation of water.
  • In this optional, no topic should be left.


Geology Optional UPSC Notes

  • Xerox material is available for this subject. However, that content is just 10% of the real requirement. That is just a shortcut, which you will follow to find Geology Optional a tough subject for UPSC.
  • If you are a serious candidate, you must not rely on xerox market notes for Geology optional. If you have access to ISM Dhanbad notes or IIR Roorkee Notes, those can serve as a basis.
  • At least you must read the first two books mentioned in the next section. (K.M. Bangar, and G.B. Mahapatra)
  • Questions are asked by directly picking the lines of standard books.
  • There is no replacement of books for preparing UPSC with Geology Optional. However, You can rely on Synopsis IAS notes, as we’ve incorporated the content from all the recommended books. The content is prepared by IIT scholars and technical background faculties.

Here is a demo


Here is one video for one of the most complex topics in Geomorphology


Here is the full Free playlist for Geology Optional UPSC:



Geology Optional UPSC Books:

These two books can be considered as NCERT of Geology Optional.

Topic Wise Books for Geology Optional UPSC

1. General Geology:

  • Geomorphology by Savindra Singh
  • Principles of Geomorphology by WD Thornbury: For advanced knowledge


2. Geomorphology and Remote Sensing:

  • Geomorphology by Savindra Singh
  • Remote Sensing: Physical Geography  by Strahler and Strahler. Synopsis IAS Notes.

Economic Geology:

Economic Geology by Umeshwar Prasad

  • Text Book of Geology – P.K. Mukherjee