UPSC IFS Exam Pattern

UPSC IFS Exam Pattern for Prelims

  • Mode of examination: Civil services exam is an offline examination.
  • A number of papers: 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).
  • Language: Available in bilingual language (Hindi and English).
  • Type of questions: Both the Papers comprises Multiple choice questions (MCQs).
  • Maximum Marks: 400 marks (200 marks for each section)
  • Mode of Examination: Offline (pen and paper).
  • Marking Scheme: 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.





Paper 1

General Studies

2 Hrs.

200 Marks

Paper 2

Civil Services Aptitude Test

2 Hrs.

200 Marks

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UPSC IFS Exam Pattern For Mains

  • Mode of examination: Offline exam.
  • Language: Paper is set only in the English language. Candidates have to answer in the English language only.
  • Duration: 3 hours for each paper
  • The number of papers: There are 6 different papers.
  • Type of questions: All the questions asked are in essay (conventional) type
  • Maximum Marks: 1400 marks (300 marks for Paper I and Paper-II respectively and for the rest 200 marks each.)

The UPSC IFS Mains exam pattern is given below - 




Paper I

General English



General Knowledge


Paper III

Optional Subject 1


Paper IV

Optional Subject 2


Paper V

Optional Subject 3


Paper VI

Optional Subject 4





Note: For Paper III, IV, V, and VI, two optional subjects are to be selected from the list given below. Each subject will have two papers based on it. The maximum time duration is 3 hours for each paper.

List of Optional Subjects:



Agriculture Engineering


Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science



Mechanical Engineering



Chemical Engineering


Civil Engineering


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

1. Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering

2. Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science

3. Agriculture and Forestry.

4. Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

5. Mathematics and Statistics

6. Of the Engineering subjects viz. Agricultural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering - not more than one subject.

Personality Test/ Interview

The maximum marks for the interview are 300 marks. 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 modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should arouse 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 the mental qualities of the candidate. The Board will pay special attention to assessing the intellectual curiosity, critical powers of observation and assimilation, the 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.· 

UPSC IFS Exam Syllabus

Part A-Preliminary Examination 

Paper I - 200 marks, 2 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, Biodiversity, and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.

Paper-II - 200 marks, 2 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)
  • English Language Comprehension skills (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. 

Part B-Main Examination 

Paper-I General English - (300 Marks)

  • Essay and Passages
  • General understanding of English and everyday use of words.

Paper-II General Knowledge - (300 Marks)

  • The syllabus of Paper 2 involves information on current events happening around the world.
  • This paper includes questions based on topics such as Indian Polity, Constitution of India, History of India, and Geography of Nature.

Paper-III, Paper-IV, Paper-V, and Paper-VI - (200 Marks for each paper)

Note: Paper 3, 4, 5, 6 of UPSC IFS is an optional subject as opted by the candidates.

Candidates have to choose any optional the subjects like Chemistry, Agriculture, Botany, Geology, Agricultural Engineering, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, Civil Engineering, Forestry, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Statistics, Zoology.

UPSC IFS Officer Salary Details


Position in the State or Central Government

Pay Scale

Director General Of Forests Grade

Director-General of Forests

Rs.80,000/- (fixed) with grade pay as Nil

Apex Scale

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests 

Rs.80,000/- (fixed) with grade pay as Nil

Above Super Time Scale

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests 

Rs. 37,400/- to Rs. 67,000/- plus grade pay of Rs. 12,000/-

Super Time Scale

Chief Conservator of Forests 

Rs. 37,400/- to Rs. 67,000/- plus grade pay of Rs. 10,000/-

Selection Grade

Conservator of Forests or Conservator of Forests

RS. 37,400/- to Rs. 39,100/- plus grade pay of Rs. 8,700/-

Junior Administrative Grade

Deputy Conservator of Forests or Divisional Forest Officers

Rs. 15,600/- to Rs. 67,000/- plus grade pay of Rs. 7,600/-

Senior Time Scale

Deputy Conservator of Forests or Divisional Forest Officers

Rs. 15,600/- to Rs. 67,000/- plus grade pay of Rs. 6,600/-

Junior Time Scale

Assistant Conservator Of Forests

Rs. 15,600/- to Rs. 67,000/- plus grade pay of Rs. 5,400/-

UPSC IFS Allowances

  • House Rent Allowances
  • DA
  • Driver Allowances
  • Transportation
  • Security Guard & Household Helpers
  • Medical Expenses
  • Electricity & Water Bill
  • Free Phone Call
  • Abroad Study Options
  • Pension & Retirement Benefits

Job Roles & Responsibilities of UPSC IFS

The different Job roles in Indian Forest Service Officer ranges are shared in the below section

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest: This post is the head of the forest force. The major roles of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest are to manage the forests, environment, and wildlife issues of a state of India. 

Additional Chief Conservator of Forest: The additional conservator of forest plays an important role in assisting the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest. 

Deputy Conservator of Forest: A deputy conservator of the forest is also considered a Divisional Forest Officer. The main responsibility of these officials is to manage the forest, environment, and wildlife-related issues of a state.

Assistant Conservator of Forest: The main responsibility of these officers is to complete the tasks assigned by higher authority. 

Forest Range Officer (FRO): A forest range officer is responsible for the efficient management of the respective forest range.

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