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UPSC IFS Exam Pattern


The competitive examination comprises two successive stages :

  (i) Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (Objective Type) for the screening & selection of candidates for Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination; and

  (ii) Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates against the vacancies identified and reported for the Indian Forest Service Examination.

2. The preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks in the subjects set out in sub-section (A) of Section II. This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit.

The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year through this examination. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission, to the Main Examination.

Note I : Since there may be common candidates for Civil Services Examination and the Indian Forest Service Examination, after the common Screening Test done through Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, separate lists will be prepared for the candidates eligible to appear in the Civil Service (Main) Examination and Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination, based on the criterion of minimum qualifying marks of 33% in General Studies Paper-II of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination as determined by the Commission on the number of vacancies to be filled through the Civil Services Examination and Indian Forest Service Examination.

Note II : There will be negative marking for incorrect answers (as detailed below) for all questions except some of the questions where the negative marking will be inbuilt in the form of different marks being awarded to the most appropriate and not so appropriate answer for such questions.

  (i) There are four alternatives for the answers to every question. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.

  (ii) If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happen to be correct and there will be same penalty as above for that question.

  (iii) If a question is left blank i.e. no answer is given by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question."

3. The Main Examination will consist of written examination and an interview test. The written examination will consist of 6 papers of conventional essay type in the subjects set out in sub-section (B) of Section II. Also see Note (ii) under para I of Section II(B).

4. Candidates who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written part of the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for an interview for a Personality Test vide sub-section 'C' of Section II. The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled. The interview will carry 300 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks). Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) would determine their final ranking.

Scheme and subjects for the Preliminary and Main Examination.


The Examination shall comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each.

Note :

   (i) Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions).

  (ii) The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

  (iii) The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.

  (iv) Details of the syllabi are indicated in Part A of Section III.

  (v) Candidates must write the papers in their own hand. In no circumstances will they be allowed the help of a scribe to write the answers for them. However, Low Vision candidates (minimum 40% impairment) will be allowed to write the examination with the help of a scribe. Low Vision candidates will also be allowed an extra time of forty minutes for each paper @ twenty minutes per hour. Each paper will be of two hours duration.


The written examination consisting of the following papers :

Paper I   General English   300 Marks

Paper II   General Knowledge   300 Marks

Paper III Any two subjects 200 marks to be selected for

Paper IV from the list of each the optional paper

Paper V subjects set out in para 2 below.

Paper VI Each subject will have two papers.

(C) Interview for Personality Test (See (C) of Section II of this Appendix) of such candidates as may be called by the Commission - Maximum Marks : 300 Marks

2. List of Optional Subjects

  (i) Agriculture

  (ii.) Agricultural Engineering

  (iii) Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science

  (iv) Botany

  (v) Chemistry

  (vi) Chemical Engineering

  (vii) Civil Engineering

  (viii) Forestry

  (ix) Geology

  (x) Mathematics

  (xi) Mechanical Engineering

  (xii) Physics

  (xiii) Statistics

  (xiv) Zoology

  Provided that the candidates will not be allowed to offer the following combination of subjects :

  (a) Agriculture and Agricultural Engg.

  (b) Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science.

  (c) Agriculture and Forestry.

  (d) Chemistry and Chemical Engg.

  (e) Mathematics and Statistics.

  (f) Of the Engineering subjects viz. Agricultural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering- not more than one subject;

NOTE - The standard and syllabi of the subjects mentioned above are given in Section III. to this appendix

General :

  1. All the question papers for the examination will be of conventional (essay) type.


  3. The duration of each of the papers referred to above will be three hours.

  4. Candidates must write the papers in their own hand. In no circumstances will they be allowed the help of a scribe to write the answers for them. However, Low Vision candidates (minimum 40% impariment) will be allowed to write the examination with the help of a scribe. Low Vision candidates will also be allowed an extra time of fourty minutes for each paper @ twenty minutes per hour. Each paper will be of two hours duration.

  Note (1) : The eligibility conditions of a scribe, his/her conduct inside the examination hall and the manner in which and extent to which he/she can help the Low Vision candidate in writing the Indian Forest Service Examination shall be governed by the instructions issued by the UPSC in this regard. Violation of all or any of the said instructions shall entail the cancellation of the candidature of the Low Vision candidate in addition to any other action that the UPSC may take against the scribe.

  Note (2) : For purpose of these rules the candidate shall be deemed to be a Low Vision candidate if the percentage of visual impairment is forty per cent (40%) or more. However, the extent of visual impairment should have to be corroborated by a certificate in the prescribed proforma from a Medical Board constituted by the Central/State Government along with their Detailed Application Form.

  Note (3) : The concession admissible to Low Vision candidates shall not be admissible to those suffering from Myopia.

5. The Commission have discretion to fix qualifying marks in any or all the papers of the examination.

6. If a candidate's handwriting is not easily legible, deduction will be made on this account from the total marks otherwise accruing to him/her.

7. Marks will not be allotted for mere superficial knowledge.

8. Credit will be given for orderly, effective and exact expression combined with due economy of words in all subjects of the examination.

9. In the question papers, wherever required, SI units will be used.

10. Candidates should use only international form of Indian numerals (e.g. I, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.) while answering question papers.

11. Candidates will be allowed the use of Scientific (Non-programmable type) calculators at the conventional type examinations of UPSC. Programmable type calculators will however not be allowed and the use of such calculators shall tantamount to resorting to unfair means by the candidates. Loaning and interchanging of calculators in the Examination Hall is not permitted.


  The candidate will be interviewed by a Board of competent and unbiased observers who will have before them a record of his/her career. The object of the Interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for the Service. The candidate will be expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in his/her subjects of academic study but also in events which are happening around him/her both within and outside his/her own state or country, as well as in modem currents of thoughts and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.

   The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross examination, but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation, intended to reveal mental qualities of the candidate. The Board will pay special attention to assessing the intellectual curiosity, critical powers of observation and assimilation, balance of judgment and alertness of mind, initiative, tact, capacity for leadership; the ability for social cohesion, mental and physical energy and powers of practical application; integrity of character; and other qualities such as topographical sense, love for out-door life and the desire to explore unknown and out of way places.



NOTE : Candidates are advised to go through the Syllabus published in this Section for the Preliminary Examination and the Main Examination.

Part A-Preliminary Examination

Paper I - (200 marks) Duration : Two hours

  • Current events of national and international importance
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography- Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance- Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development- Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization
  • General Science.

Paper II-(200 marks) Duration : Two hours

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision making and problem solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. - Class X level)

Note 1: Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

Note 2: The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.

Note 3: It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.

Part B-Main Examination

The standard of papers in General English and General Knowledge will be such as may be expected of a Science or Engineering graduate of an Indian University.


There will be no practical examination in any of the subjects.

Syllabus of Indian Forest Service