IFS Exam Pattern (IFos)

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IFS Exam Pattern

“The study of nature has no beginning and it has no end” – Jim Corbett. Forests are an integral part of our ecosystem and their management is an important aspect of keeping the ecosystem balanced. Every year the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Union Civil Service exams for recruitment to the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Forest Services (IFoS), Indian Police Services (IPS), and other central services and posts in various departments and personnel in the Gazette of India extraordinary. If you have an ability to serve the country, preparing for civil services can be the right opportunity for you. IFoS is an integral part of the Civil Administration. Every year thousands of students appear for the UPSC exam and few lucky ones secure their jobs in IFoS. Here’s a comprehensive blog for civil service aspirants to understand the key aspects of IFoS/IFS exam pattern.

Understanding IFoS/IFS Exam Pattern

UPSC conducts annual examination for recruitment of candidates to the Indian Forest Services (IFS). The IFoS/IFS exam is a civil service examination conducted for the recruitment of officers at the all India level by the Government of India. The preliminary exam is common with the CSE prelim on the basis of which candidates qualify for the IFS mains exams.

IFS officers are allocated between various states cadres and joint cadres under the mandate to serve under both state and central government. The objective of the IFSoS is the implementation of the National Forest Policy which seeks to ensure the scientific management of forests.  As per the announcement by the Government of India, Forest Service examination will be a 2 tier examination similar to the pattern of Civil Services examination. 

The IFoS/IFS exam consists of the following examinations:

Examination Exam Pattern Examination Month
Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination Objective-type Questions May 
Indian Forest Services (Mains) Examination Written Examination and Personal Interview September

Let’s understand each of these examinations in details:

Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination Pattern

The Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination acts as a screening test to select candidates for the next stage of the IFoS/IFS Exam. Here’s a table to understand the CSE exam pattern for the preliminary stage:

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Paper Subject Marks  Duration
Paper 1 General Studies 200 2 Hours
Paper 2 Aptitude Test – qualifying exam and students are required to score a 33% to qualify the first preliminary step. However, the marks obtained are not counted to determine the final order of merit of a candidate, if they qualify for the main exam as well.  200 2 Hours
Total  400

The medium of the question paper in both English and Hindi. And, the language comprehension skills of class 10th level are tested through a passage writing. 

Note: There is a negative marking for every incorrect answer, but no negative marking for unanswered questions. Also, special time slots are available for blind candidates with an extra 20 minutes given for each paper. 

Indian Forest Services (Mains) Examination Pattern 

Candidates who have successfully cleared their CSE are called for the Mains exam which comprises of a series of written papers. Here’s a table to understand the IFoS/IFS exam pattern for the mains stage:

Paper Subject Marks Duration
Paper 1 General Knowledge 300 3 Hours
Paper 2 General English 300 3 Hours
Paper 3 Section A of 1st Optional subject  200 3 Hours
Paper 4 Section B of 1st Optional subject 200 3 Hours
Paper 5 Section A of 2nd Optional subject 200 3 Hours
Paper 6 Section B of 2nd Optional subject 200 3 Hours
Total 1400

General Knowledge and General English papers are common for all candidates. However, for the latter part students are offered with an option to pick 2 subjects of their choice. Each optional subject will have 2 papers and each paper comprises of 8 descriptive-type questions. These will come under section “A” and section “B” – each section consisting of 4 questions. 

IFS Exam Pattern – Eligibility Criteria

Below are the eligibility requirements one has to fulfil in order to appear for the entrance exam:

Minimum Educational Qualification

The candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree in any of the following disciplines (or included as one of the subjects) from a recognised board of education.

  • Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  • Agriculture
  • Botany 
  • Chemistry 
  • Engineering 
  • Forestry 
  • Geology 
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics 
  • Physics
  • Zoology

Also Read:

IFS Exam Pattern – Age Limit

The candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not exceed 32 years of age limit on 1st August of the respective year of the preliminary exam. 

Relaxable Age Limit

  • Up to a maximum of 5 years for SC/ST candidates
  • Up to a maximum of 3 years for OBC candidates
  • Up to a maximum of 5 years for candidates from Jammu and Kashmir 
  • Up to  a maximum of 5 years for Defence Services Personnel


The nationality of the candidate must be either of the following:

  • Citizen of India
  • Subject of Nepal
  • Subject of Bhutan
  • Tibetan refugees who have entered India before January 1962 are eligible to appear for the exam 

Also Read: AILET Exam

We hope that you’re now equipped with detailed information related to the IFoS/IFS exam pattern. IFS officers efficiently working towards the welfare of the forest and natural resource to ensure environmental stability and maintenance of ecological balance. People tend to admire these officers and see them as a role model. If you’re aspiring to take such administrative role in the society and pursue a career in Environmental Sciences and Agriculture, get in touch with our experts at Leverage Edu who can help you identify the right university to kickstart your career.

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    1. Hi,
      Here are some of the optional subjects for IFoS exam- Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, Botany, Chemical Engineering and Mathematics.

  1. This information of IFS Indian forset service was very helpful for me.I have read it compeletely but,i am not able to choose a better clg for bsc agriculture i am seeking help from the experts who has been in this field to stood me a right path ib this field.I to access more information about this specifc field from the officers or experts who has been in this field for many years and i am thankful to this website for giving me the information which i wanted the most thank you

    1. Hello Ismail,
      You can reach out to our experts at 1800572000. They will surely help you to know better about this exam and can even help you study abroad at the best-fit university.

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