The Indian Forest Service (IFoS) is one of the All India Services (AIS) of the Government of India (GoI).

The other two All India Services being the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS). The recruitment to this service happens through the Indian Forest Service Examination which is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).


The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conduct the Indian Forest Service (IFoS) Exam every year and the exam is held in three stages and they are:

1. Prelims Exam which conducted through the Civil Services (Preliminary Examination) – Objective Type
2. Mains – Written Exam
3. Interview/Personality Test – Face to face discussion

Indian Forest Service Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination is a screening test only. The marks obtained in the preliminary examination will not be counted in the final ranking or merit.

Sl. No. Papers Nature of the Paper Marks Duration
1. Paper I – General Studies 200 2 hours
2 Paper II – CSAT Qualifying 200 2 hours

The preliminary examination, which is conducted through the civil services prelims examination consists of two papers of objective type (Multiple Choice Questions) and each paper carries 200 marks.

  • Both the question papers (GS I and CSAT GS II) will be of objective type (MCQs).
  • The question papers are set both in Hindi and English.
  • The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  • Since there may be candidates who would have selected for both the Civil Services and Indian Forest Services, after the prelims exam the commission prepares a separate list for the candidates eligible for the Civil Services (Main) Exam and Indian Forest Service (Main) Exam based on the criteria of the CSAT General Studies Paper II with 33% as qualifying score and total qualifying marks of General Studies Paper I of the civil services prelims exam is determined by the commission based on number of vacancies to be filled through the Civil Services Exam and Indian Forest Service Examination.
  • There will be a negative marking for incorrect answers (as detailed below) for all questions but for some questions the negative marking will be inbuilt in the form of different marks is awarded to the most appropriate and not so appropriate answer for such questions.
    • For every incorrect answer, 1/3rd or 0.66 of the marks assigned to that particular question will be deducted as penalty.
    • If more than one answer is given to a question, then it is considered as incorrect and 1/3rd of the marks will be deducted.
    • If a question is not attempted, then there will be no penalty for that question.


The Mains Examination is a written exam and consists of 6 papers (with 4 optional papers having two papers each) as given below.


Sl. No. Papers Subjects Marks Duration
1 Paper I General English 300 3 Hours
2 Paper II General Knowledge 300 3 Hours

Paper III

First Optional Paper I 200 3 Hours
4 First Optional Paper II 200 3 Hours

Paper IV

Second Optional Paper I 200 3 Hours
6 Second Optional Paper II 200 3 Hours
7 Paper v Third Optional Paper I 200 3 Hours
8 Third Optional Paper II 200 3 Hours

Paper VI

Fourth optional Paper I 200 3 Hours
10 Fourth Optional Paper II 200 3 Hours


  • The written examination consists of 6 papers of conventional essay type.
  • The minimum qualifying marks may be fixed by the commission at their discretion and candidates obtaining such minimum qualifying marks will be called for the interview/personality test.
  • Thus marks obtained by the candidates in the main exam and interview will be counted for the final merit.
  • The question papers must be answers in English. Question papers will be set in English only.
  • Candidates should write the answers in their own hand and scribes will allowed for exceptional cases like Low Vision candidates (minimum 40% impairment) along with an extra time of sixty minutes for each paper @ twenty minutes per hour.
  • A deduction will be made from the total marks if the handwriting of the candidate is illegible.
    While answering question papers candidates should use only the international form of Indian numerals (e.g. I, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.).
  • Candidates will be allowed the use of Scientific (Non-programmable type) calculators at the conventional type examinations of UPSC. The use of Programmable type calculators is not allowed and using such calculators will be equal to unfair means of the candidates. Lending and exchanging of calculators are not allowed in the Examination Hall.
  • Candidates are allowed to choose the following combination of optional subjects:
    • Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering
    • Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science.
    • Agriculture and Forestry.
    • Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
    • Mathematics and Statistics
    • Of the Engineering subjects viz. Agricultural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering- not more than one subject