Indian Forest Service (IFS) is one of the three All India Services of the government of India. Moreover, the major responsibility of the IFS is to implement the National Forest Policy. The policy aims to ensure the ecological stability of the country. However, this is done through participatory sustainable management and protection of natural resources.

Usually, an IFS officer assumes various positions in state forest departments. Moreover, the highest-ranking IFS official in each state is called as the Head of Forest Forces. Therefore, It is one of the lucrative careers that offer permanent jobs to qualified persons and attractive salary packages.

Read: 10 Must Read UPSC Books for UPSC Prelims 2020

Exam Pattern

UPSC IFS Exam Pattern 2020 for Prelims

  • The preliminary exam consists of two papers, Paper- 1 based on General Studies (GS) and Paper 2 is General Studies based on the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT).
  • However, Both the Papers comprise Multiple choice questions (MCQs).
  • Mode of Examination is offline(pen and paper).
  • Also, UPSC IFS Prelims – Paper 1 and Paper 2 are of 200 marks each.
  • The language mode of UPSC IFS Prelims is English and Hindi.
  • Also, there is a negative marking of 1/3 marks.
  • The preliminary exam serves as a screening test to admit deserving candidates to the Mains exam.

Download: NCERT Books

Type of questionsObjective type
Mode of ExaminationOffline
Duration of exam2 hours for each paper
Total Marks400
Marks Per Question200
LanguageEnglish and Hindi
Number of papersTwo
Negative marking– 1/3 marks for each incorrect response

UPSC IFS Exam Pattern 2020 for Mains

  • ​​Mains exam consists of two parts i.e. Written Exam and Personality Test.
  • The Written exam for IFS Mains consists of six papers. However, all papers are required to be answered in English only.
  • Paper 1 and Paper 2 are on General English and General Knowledge respectively. Furthermore, the exam paper comprises of 300 marks.
  • However, Paper 3, 4, 5 and 6 are set on any two subjects out of the optional subjects as chosen by the candidate. Here, each paper consists of 200 marks. Moreover, the Optional subjects are: Statistics, Zoology, Physics, Mathematics, Geology, Mechanical Engineering, Forestry, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Botany, Agricultural Engineering, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Also, Candidates qualifying in the Mains exam are called to appear for the Personality test/Interview, which comprises of 300 marks.
Number of PapersSix
Mode of ExaminationOffline
Total Marks1400
LanguageEnglish only
Paper IGeneral English (300 marks)
Paper IIGeneral Knowledge (300 marks)
Papers III, IV, V and VICandidates are required to select two optional subjects (200 marks each)

Read: One Year Strategy To Crack UPSC Civil Services Exam

Eligibility to become Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

eligibilty criteri for ifs exam

One must complete graduation in science stream to become an IFS officer. However, a degree in science stream does not guarantee a job in Indian Forest Service. But, One must appear for IFS examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The recruitment process involves three stages, i.e., written exam prelims, written exam mains and interview. Furthermore, one must clear all the rounds of the recruitment process to become an IFS officer. Moreover, the selected candidates will be trained for two years at Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy.

Subjects Combination: The candidates must have at least Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science/ Botany/ Chemistry/ Geology/ Mathematics/ Physics/ Statistics/ Zoology as one of the subjects in Bachelor’s degree to be eligible to appear for IFS exam.

Read: One Year Strategy To Crack UPSC Civil Services Exam


  • Candidates with a minimum bachelor’s degree in the subjects mentioned above are eligible to appear for IFS exam.
  • Candidates with Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture/ Forestry or Engineering from a recognised university or institute are also eligible to appear for the IFS exam.
  • The minimum age required to appear for the IFS exam is 21 years.

Read: Types Of Questions asked in UPSC Interview

Preparation Tips

Preparing for the IFS exam is not going to be easy. Candidates need to pay special attention while getting ready for a critical exam like IFS Main.

  • Firstly, focus on your weak areas.
  • Refer useful books which can help you prepare for the exam in less time
  • Moreover, Study previous year question papers to get better idea about the exam pattern
  • Keep a note on your time while solving previous question papers to check your speed
  • Also, Discuss topics with people who are appearing for the IFS exam
  • If your speed is not good, work on it by setting a fix time to answer a question or solve a question paper
  • Also, Get your doubts clarified by experts
  • Stay positive, relax and stay motivated

Read: 7 Most Common UPSC Doubts Among UPSC Aspirants

Moreover, if you still have any questions. You can ask your doubts in the comments section below



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here