Indian Forest Service Examination – Details of the test

In the previous article on the Indian Forest Service Examination, we discussed the test in brief. In this article, let us understand the scheme, standard and structure of the examination in detail.

As we already know, this examination has two stages:

(i) Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination (objective type) for the selection of candidates for the Indian Forest Service Main Examination.

(ii) Indian Forest Service Main Examination (written exam followed by an interview) for the selection of candidates for the Indian Forest Service. 

The Main examination (written) consists of the following papers:

Paper I          General English                     300 Marks

Paper II         General Knowledge              300 Marks

Paper III, IV,  Any two subjects to 

V, VI              be selected from the

                      list of  optional Papers.          200 Marks each                                 (Each subject will have two papers)

Total (of the written Examination)               1400 Marks

Interview                                                       300 Marks

Syllabus of the Preliminary (Objective type) Examination:

The preliminary examination consists of two papers – General Studies I and General Studies II. 

For General Studies I, the syllabus consists of current events of national and international importance, History of India and Indian National Movement; Indian Polity, Governance, Constitution of India, Political System, Panchayat Raj, Public Policy, etc.; Economic and Social development, poverty, inclusion, demographics, social sector initiatives, etc.; General Science, Indian and World Geography.

For General Studies II, the syllabus consists of Comprehension, Interpersonal skills including communication skills; Logical reasoning and analytical ability, Decision making and problem solving, General mental ability, Basic numeracy, Data interpretation, etc.

Those candidates who clear the cut-off declared by the UPSC qualify to attempt the Main (written) examination. 

Syllabus of the Main (written) Examination

General English

This paper will include essay writing, précis writing, letter or report writing. Other questions will be designed to test their understanding of English Language and Grammar. Such questions will come from areas like Reading comprehension, synonyms, and antonyms, sentence correction, etc. 

General Knowledge

In this paper, questions can be expected from areas like Indian History, Polity including the political system and the Constitution of India, recent government schemes and its objectives, topics in the news, etc.

Optional Subject Papers

Each of the question papers of optional subjects will have eight questions. Candidates are required to attempt any five of these questions. 

List of optional subjects that can be selected by the candidate:


Agricultural Engineering

Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science



Chemical Engineering

Civil Engineering




Mechanical Engineering




Please refer to the UPSC notification to get the subject-wise syllabus of each of these subjects.

Personality Test

Such candidates who clear the cut-off in the written examination would be called by the commission for an interview. The interview would carry 300 marks. 

Standard of the Papers:

The standard of papers in General English and General Knowledge would be such as may be expected of a Science or Engineering graduate of an Indian University. The scope of the syllabus of the optional subject papers for the examination is broadly of Honours degree level. For engineering subjects, the level corresponds to the Bachelor’s degree.

For additional information, refer to the UPSC Indian Forest Service Examination 2014:

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