Perhaps no other topic has intrigued the aspirants of Geography optional as much as Geomorphology. In fact, many aspirants have abandoned Geography optional because of Geomorphology. There are mainly two reasons for it. Firstly, the syllabus of Geomorphology is bulky and secondly, the topics are quite technical in nature. However, we believe that one must make this portion of the syllabus his/ her strength and play to the advantages that it has to offer.


Advantages of mastering Geomorphology


  1. You can score a minimum of 30-40 marks in Paper I and through application at least 20-30 marks in Paper II of Geography optional.
  1. You can be assured of 20-40 marks in GS Paper I as well.
  1. Prelims questions from Physical Geography can fetch you 4-6 marks.
  1. Your confidence gets a booster by covering Geomorphology. This confidence alone has a spillover effect of 10-20 marks in the Main examination. Believe us, it happens for real.


So, it is clear that we are determined to master Geomorphology. But how? Let us help you in this regard.

We recommend that you divide the entire syllabus of Geomorphology into two parts: General and Advanced. We have done that already. Kindly go through the following.



  1. Factors controlling land form development
  2. Endogenetic and exogenetic forces
  3. Origin and evolution of the earth’s crust
  4. Physical conditions of the earth’s interior
  5. Continental drift
  6. Isostasy
  7. Plate tectonics
  8. Recent views on mountain building
  9. Vulcanicity
  10. Earthquakes and Tsunamis
  11. Landscape development


Don’t proceed further without learning the aforesaid concepts. The following mind maps would give you a fair idea about the scope of these topics. Follow these mind maps carefully and learn all the associated concepts.

  1. Basic Concepts

Basic concepts



  1. Internal Processes

Internal Processes



  1. Weathering and Mass Wasting

Weathering and Mass Wasting



  1. Fluvial Processes

Fluvial Processes



  1. Topography of Arid Lands

Topography of Arid Lands



  1. Karst and Hyderothermal Processes

Karst and Hyderothermal Processes



  1. Glacial Modification of Terrain

Glacial Modification of Terrain



  1. Coastal Processes and Terrain

Coastal Processes and Terrain





Once you are through with the general concepts, you can proceed to the advanced level. Keep in mind that these topics are technical in nature. If you understand these concepts clearly, they fetch you very high marks. Also note that no other portion of the syllabus requires the amount of revision and answer writing practice as this one. Even if it takes more time to understand these concepts, do invest that time now. If you leave them for later, they become  a liability that accompanies you to the examination hall.

We at IAS Baba are working hard to provide some critical inputs for this portion of the syllabus. As and when we come up with quality modules explaining these concepts, you can have free access to them.


The topics for the advanced portion are as follows:

  1. Fundamentals of geomagnetism
  2. Geosynclines
  3. Concepts of geomorphic cycles and Landscape development
  4. Denudation chronology
  5. Channel morphology
  6. Erosion surfaces
  7. Slope development
  8. Applied Geomorphology : Geohydrology, economic geology and environment


Mind maps and detailed write ups on these topics shall be provided in due course of time.


You can approach the syllabus in two phases. In the first phase, you can spend 5-6 days to master the General part. This reading shall prepare a foundation for the understanding of Advanced portion of the syllabus. You can afford 4-5 days to understand the Advanced part. In this way, within 10 days, one can cover Geomorphology.

In both the phases, there are certain imperatives that have to be kept in mind.

  • Definition of all the terms and terminologies
  • Knowing specific and relevant words that are used frequently for the topic
  • Diagrams,figures and presentation to aid your presentation
  • Examples of the phenomena; both at global and Indian levels
  • Spatial distribution of the phenomena i.e. maps
  • New developments if any
  • Applications and exceptions


You must have noticed that these pointers are common to Climatology and other components of Physical Geography. As already said, the template of preparing Physical Geography is best provided in our write up on Climatology. Do go through that write up if you haven’t yet.


Sources and resources

  • NCERT, Class XI Physical Geography
  • GC Leong
  • Mcknight’s Physical Geography
  • Earth’s Dynamic Surface by K Siddhartha (Best book for Geomorphology)
  • India Physical by K Siddhartha
  • Physical Geography by Savinder Singh
  • India Comprehensive Geography by Khullar
  • Any good reference Geography dictionary
  • Atlas
  • Issues of Geography and You



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