Tips on How to Study Geography Effectively

No matter where on Earth – Singapore, India, the United States, or the United Kingdom – you are from, the ways to effectively study Geography remain the same!

Geography is one of those subjects that are often neglected by students and is left in the dark once the semester is over. It is a subject that not many people find interesting and is often regarded as irrelevant by most individuals.

However, the study of Geography has played a huge role in shaping the world as we know it.  It has helped our ancestors navigate their way through mountains, ridges, and valleys in order to arrive at more bountiful locations. It has also helped countless tourists not get lost in an unfamiliar city they are visiting for the first time.

Geography plays a much bigger role in our lives than what we give it credit for. Yet not many students are paying attention to the subject due to reasons such as the students deeming it irrelevant to the current trend or that they have difficulties studying the subject. Here in this article, we will impart to you a few tips on how to study Geography effectively. 

And if you want to find out more, then continue reading the article.

Tips On Studying Geography Better

1. Start With The Continents

Much like how it is easier to explain Mathematics at the basic level first, Geography is also a whole lot easier at the basic level. And one of the most basic levels of Geography starts with knowledge about each continent. This knowledge doesn’t have to include all the countries that belong to a specific continent. One can start by learning where each continent is situated in the globe and their borders with other continents.

This will help with understanding Geography better as you will have a better understanding of the collective landmasses that divide the earth’s surface. This will also help you better understand other factors such as climate, culture, and history of individual countries later on as they tend to follow the general path that the continent they belong to took.

2. Be Knowledgeable About Large Bodies Of Water

Geography is not only limited to landmasses but can sometimes also include bodies of water. Think of all the great oceans that encompass the very continents you are studying. Think about the rivers that gave birth and life to early civilizations.

Knowledge about bodies of water is just as important as knowledge about the landmasses located in a country as they also serve an important role in shaping the geography of a certain place. Knowledge about large bodies of water and the continents is the basics of geography and will be the foundation for other knowledge you will learn as you continue to study geography.

3. Don’t Be Stuck Up On Memorizing All The Countries

One of the greatest challenges when studying Geography is the vast number of countries and landmarks that need to be memorized. However, what sets the good students from the average ones is the fact that good students know what to memorize.

Instead of trying to memorize the names, landmarks, and people of the 196 countries in the world. That would just be too much to take over a short period of time. Instead, try to study and focus on the big names that keep on popping up now and then in your lectures. These countries are the most relevant ones to your current topic and thus, are what needs to be focused on and memorized.

4. Use History Or Current Events To Remember Better

Geography may seem like a subject that is all about countries and whatnot at first, but as you delve deeper into it, you will find out that it also includes the history and the human activities that contribute to the overall shape of a landmass.

This means that you can utilize news and the history of a place to be able to determine their locations and answer the Geography tests better. You can make connections as to what happened in the past and where it happened in order to make the memory stick better. You can also utilize current events in your study of Geography much like how you would in History.

5. Visualize Locations

Another great way to effectively increase your awareness about the location of certain countries is to visualize them in your mind or to make illustrations of them. Visual information is one of the most powerful methods of learning something, which is why it is recommended that you incorporate visuals when studying Geography.

Once you learn the location of a certain country or landmark, try to imagine their location in your head along with the countries or bodies of water that may surround it. This will strengthen your memory of that country and make it easier to figure out their location the next time you are asked about that country.

6. Make Flashcards

Flashcards are a staple when it comes to studying any subject, and of course, this includes Geography. Flashcards are a great way to increase your memory retention as they will provide the minimal amount of information needed for you to answer a question. This will make memorizing and familiarizing a whole lot easier as there is less complicated information that goes around.

You can start by assigning writing down the names of countries in flashcards along with the continent they belong in at the back of the flashcards. You will then try to determine which continent each country in the flashcards belongs to. You can then determine whether your answer was correct or not by simply turning the flashcard over.

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7. Ask For Help

If one head isn’t enough to wrap around Geography, then you can always ask the help of others that you know. You can organize a study group composed of 3-4 persons to study Geography together.

You can then assign different topics or locations to each individual and ask them, later on, to discuss what they have learned with the group. This will divide the workload of each individual, allowing them to focus better on the assigned topic that was given to them. Geography includes a lot of knowledge, and splitting the work between individuals will do wonders when it comes to digesting this information.

However, if you do not want to bother your friends with studying, then you can always seek the aid of a professional tutor to help you with studying Geography. And if you want to hire a private tutor that is both capable and skilled, engage a Geography home tutor from FamilyTutor today! If you are located in Singapore, you can opt for 1-to-1 home tuition. If you happen to reside in other countries, you can choose to have online Geography lessons with our top Geography tutors in Singapore!

8. Keep A Map Close By

Geography and maps go hand in hand. After all, you are studying the physical features of the earth. This is why it is advisable to keep a map close by whenever you are studying Geography.

Maps allow you to determine where a specific country or landmark is located. This will allow you to be able to remember them better as you will be able to see where they are physically located on the earth as opposed to just knowing which country or continent they belong to. However, you should not be too overly reliant on a physical map and should build up your own world’s map in your head. Most Geography tests do not allow students to bring maps with them, which is why you shouldn’t be too reliant on them.

9. Learn To Mnemonics

A good memory is often required to be able to score well in any subject, this goes for Geography as well. However, not all individuals are born with naturally good memories. So, what do you do? Well, you supplement your shortcomings by learning to use mnemonic techniques.

Mnemonic techniques are techniques used to aid information retention or retrieval. It can take the form of rhymes, songs, abbreviations, or any other technique that helps an individual recall information faster. These are useful for making sure that you will be able to remember the countries, landmarks, or any other physical feature on the Earth.

It may seem strange and awkward at first, but as you continue to practice these techniques, you will be able to get better at not only memorizing information but also incorporating mnemonic techniques to other subjects as well.

10. Watch YouTube Videos To Help You Visualize Geographical Features And Processes

YouTube videos can offer visual aids such as animations, simulations, and real-world footage to clarify intricate geographical features and processes. 

Additionally, viewing these videos can enhance retention of information and make learning more enjoyable. 

Monotonous learning can be tedious, but finding amusing ways to learn can make the process more engaging.

Below is one video example of what volcanoes are and how they are formed. 

It is recommended that you watch the complete video below and determine for yourself whether the availability of visual aids can hasten your learning of Geography.

If it does, you should make full use of videos to help yourself study for Geography effectively!

11. Attempt Geography Test Papers

Using past-year Geography test papers is one of the most effective ways to study for the subject. 

You should first review the content you need to know for the exam. This may involve reading your class notes or textbook, and identifying key concepts and terms. Next, you can use the free test papers provided by FamilyTutor to assess your knowledge and practice applying your understanding.

You may download our free Geography test papers right below: 

Secondary/O-Level Geography Free Test Papers

Junior College/A-Level Geography Free Test Papers

IB Geography Free Test Papers

As you work through the test papers, pay attention to the types of questions that are being asked and the areas where you may be struggling. This will aid in identifying any areas that require further review and practice. Moreover, take advantage of any answer keys or explanations provided with the test papers to gain a better understanding of the correct and incorrect responses. Finally, make an effort to practice regularly and consistently leading up to the exam to build confidence and ensure readiness.

Benefits Of Studying Geography

Studying any subject will have its own unique benefits to a student. Here are benefits one will reap once they study Geography more:

1. Helps With Travel

The first thing that comes to anyone’s mind when they hear the word Geography is not about the study of the Earth’s physical properties but is instead the thought of traveling. And to be honest, this is one of the major benefits of Geography. Studying Geography will allow you to not get lost on your travels and will also give you the ability to read a map properly.

2. Benefits One’s Safety

The first thing that comes to anyone’s mind when they hear the word Geography is not about the study of the Earth’s physical properties but is instead the thought of traveling. And to be honest, this is one of the major benefits of Geography. Studying Geography will allow you to not get lost on your travels and will also give you the ability to read a map properly.

3. Gain Knowledge Of The Unknown

The final benefit of studying Geography is the benefit of gaining knowledge of the unknown. Unless you are someone who has been all around the world, chances are that you only know about the places within or close to your country.

However, with Geography, you will be introduced to the whole world. It will open your eyes to the different landmarks and physical traits of the planet you are born on. Although you have never been to those places, you will know that they are there and you will be able to realize that there is so much out there to discover and experience.

Want To Know How To Study For Geography Exams Effectively (With Little Time Left To Study)?

Check out this video created by a Singaporean Geography teacher.

All the best studying Geography!

Also looking to further advance your skills by passing other certification exams? Check out Examlabs today!

See you in our next article!



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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