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UPSC IFS Exam Pattern 2019

The UPSC IFS exam consists of two stages. The first one is the Civil Services Preliminary Exam which is an objective type test. The second one is the Indian Forest Service Main Examination which consists of Written and an Interview test. As per the UPSC IFS exam pattern, the Preliminary exam is conducted for a total of  400 marks, while the Main written exam for 1400 marks and the Interview for 300 marks. There will be negative marking only in the preliminary exam.

Indian Forest Services Exam is conducted every year to select candidates for the post in the department of Ministry of Environment and Climate Change

Name of the exam Indian Forest Service (IFS)
Conducting body Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Negative Marking Yes in Prelims, No in Mains
Total Marks Prelims – 400 marks, Mains – 1400 marks
Total Duration Prelims – 4 hours, Mains – 3 hours
Total Number of Questions Prelims – 400 marks, Mains – 1400 marks


PSC IFS Exam Pattern | Eligibility Criteria

The candidate must be an Indian citizen.

  • — Age Limit:
    Candidate’s age must be between 21 years to 32 years i.e. born between 2nd August 1987 to 1st August 1998. However, there is some relaxation in the upper age limit for the reserved category. For OBC candidates, it is 3 years while for SC and ST candidates, it is 5 years.
  • — Educational Qualification:
    You must hold a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, Botany, Geology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Statistics and Zoology, Agriculture or Forestry or in Engineering from a recognized university or Institute.
  • — Number of Attempts:
    For General candidates, they can attempt the paper 6 times.
    For General Category candidates who fall under the Person with Disability, they can attempt the paper 9 times.
    For OBC candidates, they can attempt the paper 9 times.
    For SC/ST candidates, there is no limit on the number of attempts.

UPSC IFS Exam Pattern | Civil Services Preliminary Exam

The Preliminary exam is an objective type paper. There will be two compulsory papers: Paper 1 and Paper 2. Both the papers comprise of 200 marks each and a 2-hour duration will be assigned for each paper (For Blind candidates, extra 20 minutes will be provided). That means a total of 400 marks is there in the Preliminary Exam as per the UPSC IFS exam pattern.

Civil Services Preliminary exam act as a screening test for both the Indian Forest Service Examination as well as the Civil Services Examination. Since this is a screening test, the marks scored in this exam will not be considered for consideration of a candidate for the final merit list.

According to the UPSC IFS exam pattern, the medium of the question paper would be English and Hindi. However, the English Language Comprehension section will be in English no matter whether the medium is English or Hindi.

  1. There will be negative marking of 1/3rd marks. However, there will be a few questions, where if the answer is not correct however it is near to the correct answer or not the appropriate answer, some marks will be rewarded for it.
  2. If more that one answer is selected, it will be considered as false attempt and 1/3rd marks will be deducted.
  3. If the question is left unattempted then no marks will be reduced.

UPSC IFS Exam Pattern | Main Exam

There will be a total of 4 papers where you need to write essays. The first two paper comprises of 300 marks while the remaining papers are of 200 marks. There is an option between Paper III and Paper IV as well as the option between Paper V and Paper VI. Duration of 3 hours will be given for every paper. Each of the question paper will be in the English language. Only blind candidates can take the help of a scribe to write the exam and also they will be given an extra of 30 minutes.

Paper Subject Marks
Paper I General English 300
Paper II General Knowledge 300
Paper III Optional Subject 1 200
Paper IV Optional Subject 2 200
Paper V Optional Subject 3 200
Paper VI Optional Subject 4 200
 Total 1400

According to the UPSC IFS exam pattern, marks will be deducted if the candidate’s handwriting is not clear and easy to read. It is advisable that a candidate maintains orderly, effective and exact expression combined with due economy of words in all subjects of the examination. Candidate must use only the international form of Indian Numerals (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.) while answering question papers. SI units should be used wherever required. Scientific calculators should be used only at the conventional type examination of UPSC. Programmable calculators are not allowed.

UPSC IFS exam pattern – List of Optional Subjects :

  1. Agriculture
  2. Forestry
  3. Agriculture Engineering
  4. Geology
  5. Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  6. Mathematics
  7. Botany
  8. Mechanical Engineering
  9. Chemistry
  10. Physics
  11. Chemical Engineering
  12. Statistics
  13. Civil Engineering
  14. Zoology

Please note that the candidates can’t take the following combination of subjects:

  1. Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  2. Agriculture and Forestry.
  3. Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
  4. Mathematics and Statistics
  5. Combination of two engineering subjects.

UPSC IFS Exam Pattern | Personality Test/ Interview

Candidate will be interviewed by the board and will be tested whether they are the right person for this service or not. The board will asses the personality of the candidates by asking some questions which can be difficult or easy (depending on the individual). The candidate from their answer should be able to impress the board irrespective of his/her academic or past achievements.

An ideal candidate should have these following traits. However, if you don’t have these traits then you should not let yourself down. Try to be natural. Don’t try to become somebody else in an interview.

  1. Intellectual Curiosity
  2. Critical Powers of Observation and Assimilation
  3. Balance of Judgment
  4. Alertness of Mind
  5. Tact
  6. Capacity for Leadership
  7. Ability for Social Cohesion
  8. Mental and Physical Energy
  9. Powers of Practical Application
  10. Integrity of Character
  11. Topographical Sense
  12. Love for Outdoor Life
  13. Desire to explore unknown and out of way places

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