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UPSC IFoS 2021- Mains 2020(DAF to be released), Exam date, Eligibility, Application Process, Admit Card, Syllabus

Updated On -

Jan 20, 2021

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UPSC conducts the Indian Forest Service or IFoS every year to recruit officers for the different departments in the Forest department. This is a very coveted position and a number of aspirants every year apply for this position. These positions are the apex of the Indian civil service and every year there are a handful of vacancies which makes the competition very tough. The exam is conducted in three phases- the prelims, mains and the interview round. Only by acquiring the minimum cut-off marks, you will be able to qualify every step of the exam.

Get FREE UPSC IFoS 2021 Mock Tests, Sectional Quiz, Previous Years Papers. Click Here

Important updates

  • the DAF for IFOS Mains will be out soon. Read more here
  • IFoS Mains 2019 written exam result is out along with the names of qualified candidates. Check details here 
  • UPSC has announced IFoS 2020 Prelims Result, conducted on October 4, at its official website – on October 23, 2020. The result is published as a PDF file having the roll numbers of qualified candidates. Download Result PDF
  • CGPSC Forest Guard/ Assistant Forest Ranger exam is scheduled for September 20, 2020. Check the detailed news here
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exam dates had been postponed. The new exam dates for the Prelims exam is October 4, 2020.
  • Those who qualify the screening round will be eligible for the Mains exam which will be conducted from February 28, 2020.
IFoS Important Dates

UPSC IFoS 2020- Important Facts

The UPSC IFoS 2020 exam date was postponed and after the new date has been declared, aspirants should keep in mind a few important factors. The following table has all the important and relevant dates as well as data which you should know about-

UPSC IFoS 2020- Important facts and dates
Organized by Union Public Service Commission
Number of attempts 6
Number of vacancies 90 approximately
Exam centers 80 cities approx.

Important Dates of UPSC IFoS 2020

Start date of IFoS application form February 12, 2020
End date of IFoS 2020 application form March 3, 2020
IFoS Prelims admit card September 2020
Prelims exam date October 4, 2020
IFoS Prelims Result October 23, 2020
IFoS Mains Application Process November 16-27, 2020
IFoS Mains Exam February 28, 2021 onwards
IFoS Mains Result March 2021
IFoS Interview April 2021
IFoS Final Result May 2021

The UPSC IFoS exam being postponed to October is a very good opportunity for aspirants as they will be getting more time for preparation. However, this is only feasible when you have a proper preparation plan and dedicatedly follow a routine.

IFoS Eligibility Criteria

UPSC IFoS 2020- Eligibility Criteria

Before you go to fill up the forms, you must check whether you meet all the requirements for the eligibility criteria. All the criteria is mentioned in the notification PDF that is shared by the conducting body. We have listed them in a gist for your reference and you can always check the entire details from the official notification-

UPSC IFoS eligibility criteria- nationality

The first criteria that is considered is the nationality of the aspirant.

  • The aspirant should be citizen of India, or
  • They must be a subject of Nepal and Bhopal, or
  • Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962 and had the intention of permanently settling in the country.
  • Persons of Indian origin who have migrated from countries like Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, United republic of Tanzania, Vietnam etc. and have the intention to settle in the country permanently.
  • All candidates expect citizens of India to produce a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India during recruitment.

UPSC IFoS 2020 eligibility criteria- Age limit

The candidates can be minimum of 21 years and maximum of 32 years on August 1, 2020 on the year of examination. This means the candidate should not be born before August 2, 1988 and not after August 1, 1999.

However, there is age relaxation for the reserved categories to a certain extent which are discussed below:

  • For SC/ST- up to 5 years
  • OBC gets age relaxation up to 3 years
  • Those belonging to Jammu and Kashmir and Domiciled from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 1989 gets age relaxation up to 5 years
  • Defence service personnel- up to 5 years
  • Ex-servicemen and commissioned officers, ECOs/SSCOs who have rendered a minimum of 5 years of military service. The Ministry of Defence issues a certificate that they can apply for civil employment and will be released on three months’ notice from the date of receipt of the offer of appointment. They will all get 5 years of age relaxation.
  • PWD candidates- 10 years of age relaxation
  • SC/ST who are also covered by the other clauses of age limit will be eligible for cumulative age relaxation

UPSC IFoS 2020- Educational Criteria

Unlike IAS, when you are applying for IFoS, the educational criteria is very specific. Only graduates in the following subjects are eligible to apply-

  • Botany,
  • Chemistry,
  • Geology,
  • Mathematics,
  • Physics,
  • Statistics
  • Zoology or a
  • Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture or Forestry or engineering

Candidates who are appearing in their degree exam for any of the prescribed subjects are also eligible to apply for the exam. However, if they qualify the prelims, they have to submit the details of passing the exam in the application form for the next stage to be eligible.

UPSC IFoS 2020- restriction on attempts

This is another criteria that one should keep in mind before applying. The number of times you are applying for the exam is restricted which means, every time you are unable to crack the exam, one attempt is lost. The maximum number of attempts that candidates may have are as follows-

Category Number of attempts
General candidates 6
SC/ST No restrictions
PWD 9 for OBC/general, unlimited for SC/ST

UPSC IFoS 2020- Physical Fitness criteria

There are some basic height, weight requirements for the candidates and they all have to undergo a physical fitness test who have to be qualified to make it to the final merit list.

Parameters Men  Women 
Height 163 cm minimum with 5cm relaxation for reserved categories. 150 cm with 5cm relaxation for reserved categories
Chest expansion Chest expansion- minimum 84 cm with expansion of 5 cm. Minimum of 79 cm with 5 cm expansion
Eyesight  6/6 or 6/9 distant vision for good eyes and 6/12 or 6/9 for worst eyes.
Ears Good listening with normal ear cavity- 1000-4000 hearing frequency. Impairment should not be more than 30 decibels.
Nasal  Candidates should not have stammering issues while talking
Blood pressure Age 22-34- 122- 127 
  • Women should not be pregnant during the medical test
  • Lastly, there is a walking test of 25 km in 4 hours for men, and 15 km in 4 hours for women.
IFoS Application Process

UPSC IFoS 2020- Application Process

There is a common application for UPSC IAS and IFoS Prelims. If you qualify the prelims exam, you will have to apply once more for the mains exam for which the application procedure is separate for both the exams. The prelims application procedure for IFoS 2020 exam started from February 12, 2020 and ended on March 3, 2020.

How to apply for UPSC IFoS 2020?

The application procedure is easy but you must make sure that there is no mistake while entering the required data in the fields as they are unchangeable once the form is submitted. Before you start filling the application form, keep the following handy-

  • Voter ID/Adhaar Card/PAN card
  • Scanned copy of photograph and signature as per the size and dimension required for the exam
  • Bank details and your credit/debit cards
  • Active mobile number and Email ID
  • All your Mark sheets from class 10, 12, Bachelor’s degree and Masters, if applicable
  • ST/SC/PWD certification, if applicable


  • Visit the official website of UPSC and find the link to register for UPSC Civil Services. Click on the “apply here” button.
  • Enter all the credentials which you are asked for in the first stage correctly, especially the contact details.
  • Once you have filled up the form, you will be asked to verify the information before final submission. After final submission it cannot be changed. Once you submit, your registration ID and password for UPSC website login will be sent to your registered mail and mobile number.


  • Using the new login ID, re-login and start filling up the second step of the form. The second step includes all your educational background, category, and preference of the exam centre.
  • You can choose up to 3 exam centres. Remember that there is no guarantee that you will be allotted your first preference and the decision of the conducting body is full and final about the exam centre allotment. The centre allotment is done on a first-come-first serve basis and hence, the earlier you apply, the better chance you have to get your preferred centre location.
  • Make sure all the information provided is correct before you finally submit the form in this step as well as they are unchangeable later.


  • In the next part of the form, you have to upload your photo and signature.
  • Both should be in JPG or PNG format.
  • The photo should be between 20-50 kb and passport size in dimension. The signature should be between 10 and 30KB and 1.5x3.5 cm in dimension.


  • The last step is to pay the fees.
  • The fees for the application is INR 100 for general category male candidates and OBC.
  • SC/ST/PWD/ex-servicemen and women are exempted from fees payment.
  • The payment can be done through net banking, debit and credit card, or by submitting cash to the respective and authorised bank branch along with the print-out of the e-challan.

After the fees have been successfully paid, you can download the copy of the application form and keep a print-out. It will be useful later in case there is any dispute with the admit card.

UPSC IFoS Exam Centres

Exam Centres

There are 80 cities from all over the countries which have exam centres for IFS prelims 2020.

UPSC IFoS Exam Centres
Agartala Ghaziabad Panaji (goa)
Agra Gorakhpur Patna
Ajmer Gurgaon Port Blair
Ahmedabad Gwalior Prayagraj (allahabad)
Aizawl Hyderabad Puducherry
Aligarh Imphal Pune
Ananthapuru Indore Raipur
Aurangabad Itanagar Rajkot
Bengaluru Jabalpur Ranchi
Bareilly Jaipur Sambalpur
Bhopal Jammu Shillong
Bilaspur Jodhpur Shimla
Chandigarh Jorhat Siliguri
Chennai Kochi Srinagar
Coimbatore Kohima Thane
Cuttack Kolkata Thiruvananthapuram
Dehradun Kozhikode (calicut) Tiruchirapalli
Delhi Lucknow Tirupati
Dharwar Ludhiana Udaipur
Dispur Madurai Varanasi
Faridabad Mumbai Vellore
Gangtok Mysuru Vijayawada
Gautam Buddh Nagar Nagpur Visakhapatnam
Gaya Navi Mumbai Warang

Owing to the unique situation this year, UPSC has taken the decision to reconsider appeals for change in exam centres. Candidates will get an opportunity to select a new exam centre for the postponed IFoS prelims. The following are few things that the notice mentions:

  • The opportunity to select new exam centres will be available through two phases- July 7-13, 2020 and July 20-24, 2020 at 6pm.
  • The allocation for new exam centres will be done on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • In case the capacity of a specific exam centre is full, then it will be frozen and the candidates have to make a choice from the remaining exam centres.
  • From August 1-8, 2020, candidates will also be able to withdraw their application. However, do note that once withdrawn, the candidate can appeal for its revival in the future under any circumstances.
IFoS Admit Card

UPSC IFoS 2020- Admit Card

The admit card is the key to entering the exam hall and without it, no candidates will be allowed. Generally, it is published 3weeks before the exam date. This time, the IFoS 2020 admit card is expected to be released in September 2020. Once you get the admit card, make sure to check whether all the information is correct. In case there is any mistake, you have to contact the exam conducting body at the earliest and get it corrected. You will have to share a proof of submitting the right information which is the copy of your application form to get the correction done at the earliest. During the exam, apart from the admit card, you must also have a valid photo ID proof like the adhaar card or voter card or Pan Card. Without it, even if you have the admit card, you will be denied entry.

How to download the UPSC IFoS 2020 Admit Card?

  • Visit the official website of
  • The link to download admit cards will be live on the right side of the screen.
  • Click the link and a new window will open.
  • A set of instructions will come and you have to click on “read” to go to your admit card page.
  • Enter your registration ID and birthdate and you will be redirected to your admit card.
  • Download the admit card and get a print out of it.

Do note that the allotted centre cannot be changed and no appeal for reconsidering and changing the exam centre will be entertained. If you turn up at a different exam centre, you will not be allowed. Candidates can only appear for the exam from the designated centre that has been allotted to them.

IFoS Exam Pattern

UPSC IFoS 2020- Exam Pattern

The UPSC IFoS have three stages of the exam. There are the prelims, mains and the interview round. You have to qualify each stage to be eligible for the next. The final merit list is however prepared based on the marks acquired in the mains along with the marks from the interview. The prelims marks is not considered though it is an important determinant on whether you qualify for Mains at all.

UPSC IFoS Prelims Exam Pattern

  • The UPSC IFoS prelims have two papers- general studies 1, and general studies 2.
  • Each paper has 200 marks and the total marks of prelims is 400.
  • Both papers have objective type questions.
  • Each question carries 1 mark and there is a negative marking of 0.33 marks if the answer is wrong. There is no negative marking if you leave a question un-attempted.
  • The candidates will get two hours for each paper which means a total of 4 hours is allotted for the prelims exam.

UPSC IFoS Mains Exam Pattern

  • There are six papers to be completed for the mains exam.
  • Paper 1 and 2 have 300 marks each while, paper 3, 4, 5, and 6 carry 200 marks each. The total marks for the mains exam is 1400.
  • The candidates will get 3 hours for each paper.
  • The papers are descriptive in nature.

UPSC IFoS Interview

The interview is conducted for those candidates who qualify the mains exam. The interview carries 300 marks and mainly the candidates’ aptitude in administrative work and subject-wise knowledge is judged here. The IFoS interview is usually generic with trick questions to analyse your ability to make impromptu decisions. The duration can be anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour and the candidate is evaluated by a panel of experts and officers in this field.

IFoS Syllabus

UPSC IFoS 2020- Syllabus

The syllabus for UPSC IFoS is vast and comprises all subjects that you can think of. However, unlike IAS, in the mains, the syllabus gets limited and focused on the knowledge solely required for the job of an IFoS officer. Hence, one can say the syllabus is slightly smaller than that for IAS. However, in prelims, since the exam is common for IAS and IFoS, the syllabus is also the same.

UPSC IFoS Prelims Syllabus

The prelims exam syllabus covers almost everything that you have studied in 10+2 level.

General Paper-1, 200 marks, 2hours

  • Current affairs that are of national as well as international importance
  • Indian history with special emphasis on Indian national movement
  • The world geography with specific focus on India- physical, social and economic geography of India is particularly important
  • Indian polity and governance- thorough knowledge of the constitution, panchayati raj, political system, public policies and schemes, fundamental rights etc.
  • Sustainable development, economic and social development, demographics of poverty, employment, inclusion and social sector initiatives.
  • Environment, biodiversity, social issues related to the environment, climate change, on a generic basis and subject specialization is not required.
  • General science.

General paper-2, 200 marks, 2 hours

  • English comprehension
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Logical and analytical reasoning
  • Problem solving and decision making based questions
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numerical ability- orders of magnitude, number and their relations, charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency
  • Basic English language, grammar and vocabulary

UPSC IFoS Mains Syllabus

The mains exam comprises 6 papers which are dedicated to the knowledge required for IFoS officer job profile. The candidates are allowed to use scientific calculators for papers in which it is required. However programmable calculators are not allowed and using any equivalent device will be considered resorting to unfair means. Exchanging or loaning calculators in the exam halls is also considered violation of the unfair means rule. The papers are set in English only and are conventional written exams in pen and paper mode.

  • Paper 3, 4, 5 and 6 are going to be based on the two subjects that are chosen from the list of optional papers- each subject having two dedicated papers of 200 marks each.
  • The optional subjects that can be chosen are as follows-
Agriculture  Mathematics 
Agricultural engineering Statistics 
Forestry  Zoology 
Geology  Mechanical engineering 
Animal husbandry and veterinary science Physics 
Botany  Chemical engineering 
Chemistry  Civil engineering
  • However, the candidates cannot choose the following as combinations-
    • Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering
    • Agriculture and Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
    • Agriculture and Forestry.
    • Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
    • Mathematics and Statistics
    • Agricultural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering - not more than one of these subjects can be chosen as a part of the combination.

Paper-1, general English, 300 marks

The candidates have to write an essay in English in this paper. The other questions are set to test the candidates’ ability to use the language simply for official purposes. Also their understanding of the language is tested through this paper. Passages are usually set for summary and précis. The syllabus covers basic grammar, vocabulary and knowledge of different topics which have to be written for the essay. The topic of the essay is relevant to the designation of the IFoS officer and has to be practiced accordingly. There is no fixed syllabus for the topics and essays in this paper.

Paper-2, general knowledge, 300 marks

General knowledge papers do not have a fixed syllabus and are based on the current affairs of the present year. Observation of the day to day affairs, experiences and their scientific aspects, are necessary to crack this paper. Often questions from Indian polity and constitution and political system are asked in this paper. The questions are such that the candidates with strong basic knowledge of the country’s history and geography will be able to answer without any specialization in the subjects.

Paper-3, 4 and 5, 6- optional subject 1 and 2, 200 x4 marks

There are eight questions in each of the question papers of the optional paper. Furthermore, the papers are divided into two parts- part A and B. among the 8 questions, 5 must be attempted. There will be 1 question in each part which is compulsory. The rest are optional but the candidates must attempt at least another one from each part. This means, 2 questions from each part in the question papers have to be answered. The syllabus for the optional paper varies based on the subject of your choice.

Personality test/interview

There is no fixed syllabus for the interview round and the candidate will have a face to face interview with the board of experts. The technique of the interview is not very strict but rather free flowing and conversational to assess the candidate’s overall personality traits and understanding of the Indian civil services. The candidate will be expected to have a thorough understanding of their academic subject as well as curiosity and awareness about what is happening around them as well as outside their state. Also remember, that the choice of optional paper will play a vital role in the interview round and questions based on your choices can be asked. The following are some of the traits and factors that the board of experts try to assess through the interview round-

  • Alertness of Mind
  • Tact
  • Capacity for Leadership
  • Critical Powers of Observation and Assimilation
  • Balance of Judgment
  • Ability for Social Cohesion
  • Mental and Physical Energy
  • Powers of Practical Application
  • Integrity of Character
  • Topographical Sense
  • Intellectual Curiosity
  • Love for Outdoor Life
  • Desire to explore unknown and out of way places
Best reference books

Best reference books for UPSC IFoS

There are ample of reference books for IFoS exam as the syllabus is so vast. However, for best preparation, you should follow as few reference books as possible. Choose the books which cover the syllabus entirely and have a number of solved examples, practice papers and mocks tests. The following are all the top books which you can follow for prelims and mains exam. Do note, even though the list is big, you need to invest in only a few of those mentioned below that you find easy to follow.

Best books for UPSC IFoS Prelims-

  • NCERT Book - Class XI
  • NCERT: Physical Geography of India for X - XII Std
  • NCERT (+ 2 level) - Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India
  • NCERT Class XI and XII
  • Biology Textbooks (12th grade)
  • Science NCERT Textbooks (10th grade)
  • Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
  • Modern India by Bipin Chandra
  • Modern India from Spectrum Publication by Rajiv Ahir
  • Publication Division: Gazetteer of India (Vol 2: History & Culture)
  • India- A Comprehensive Geography by Khullar
  • School Atlas: Oxford or Orient Blackswan
  • National Journal - Kurukshetra
  • National Journal - Yojana
  • National Journal - Down to earth
  • Indian Economy by Sanjiv Verma
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • The Hindu (Economy sections)
  • Budget: Railway, Annual Financial Statement (AFS)
  • Yojana
  • The Economic Times, Business Standard, India Year Book
  • Economic Survey
  • IIPA Journal
  • Yojana
  • Kurukshetra
  • Social Welfare Magazine - Published by the Ministry of Social Welfare
  • Social Problem by Ram Ahuja
  • Our Constitution by Subhash C. Kashyap
  • P.M. Bakshi by Indian Constitution
  • Our Parliament by Publication Division - Subhash C. Kashyap
  • Indian Constitution by D.D. Basu
  • Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth
  • Reports of the Ministry of Science and Technology
  • CSIR Magazine by Science Reporter
  • General Studies for All Competitive Examinations

Best Books for UPSC Mains-

  • UPSC-IFoS Main Examination Guide: A Complete Book for Paper I and Paper II
  • UPSC: IFoS (Paper I & II) Main Exam Guide
  • UPSC-IFoS Exam – Botany
  • UPSC - IFoS Exam: Mathematics
  • UPSC - IFoS Exam: Zoology
  • UPSC-IFoS Exam Botany (Including Paper I & II) Main Exam Guide 2018 Edition (English, Paperback, RPH Editorial Board)
  • UPSC-IFoS Exam Physics (Including Paper I & II) Main Exam Guide 2018 Edition (English, Paperback, RPH Editorial Board)
  • UPSC: Civil Services Exam & Indian Forest Service Exam (Common Prel. Exam: Paper-I) 2017 Edition (English, Paperback, RPH Editorial Board)
  • UPSC: Civil Services Exam & Indian Forest Service Exam (Common Prel. Exam: Paper-I) (English)
  • UPSC-IFoS Exam Physics (Including Paper I & II) Main Exam Guide (English)
  • UPSC: Civil Services Exam & Indian Forest Service Exam: Previous Years Papers (Solved) 2017 Edition (English, Paperback, RPH Editorial Board)
  • UPSC Civil Services Exam & Indian Forest Service Exam (Comm. Prel. Exam) Paper-II
  • UPSC-IFoS Exam Chemistry (Including Paper I & II) Main Exam Guide (English)
  • UPSC-IFoS Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science Main Exam Guide (English)
  • UPSC-IFoS Exam Agriculture (Including Paper I & II) Main Exam Guide (English)

UPSC IFoS 2020- Vacancy

The vacancy available every year is declared by UPSC before the examination. For IFoS 2020 there are only 90 vacancies nation-wide and 3 reserved category vacancies. The total is 93 vacancies hence. This means only those within the top 100 rank in the exam will hold a chance for being recruited.

UPSC IFoS Job and responsibilities

The role of the IFoS officer is very lucrative and challenging at the same time. It is adventurous too to some extent. If you love travelling, being an IFoS officer can give you many opportunities to travel all over the country in some of the most beautiful and remote locations that are not accessible to the general tourists. The following are some of the job responsibilities that are expected of an IFoS officer.

  • One of the primary roles of the IFoS officer is to protect and conserve the forest and working towards devising new ways in which forest conservation can be maximized.
  • Afforestation and preserving the forest and wildlife is a key role of the IFoS Officers. They have to work toward planting more tress and supervising such activities as well as initiate them.
  • They have to prevent any kind of illegal activities that can harm the forest and wildlife like illegal deforestation, poaching etc.
  • They also have to spread awareness among the locals and remote villages against killing and hunting of stray wildlife and initiate rescue programs as and when needed.
  • The IFoS officers are responsible for implementing the National Forest Policies.
  • They also have to chalk out plans for legal commercial use of timber from forests in a sustainable manner.
  • All kinds of paper works and reports related to the forest department are the responsibilities of these officers and have to be completed carefully.
  • The officers have to conduct regular surveys of the forests and wildlife and this also includes frequent travelling to remote locations which they have to comply with.
Salary and Benefits

UPSC IFoS Salary and Benefits

The salary and benefits enjoyed by the IFoS officers is lucrative and there are many opportunities of growth. But what makes the job role most lucrative is the option to travel all over the country to some of the most spectacular locations.

Job Profile Annual pay package
Assistant Inspector General of Forest Rs. 10,00,000
Deputy Inspector General of Forest (Deputy Conservator of Forest) Rs. 12,00,000
Inspector General of Forest (Chief Conservator of Forest) Rs. 13,00,000
Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Rs. 14,00,000
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Rs. 15,00,000

Some perks associated with these positions are as follows-

  • Travel allowances are high and lucrative.
  • Personal and well-furnished bungalows and quarters in some of the best locations of the country, wherever you are posted.
  • As an IFS officer, you will always be a first priority when it comes to booking government bungalows in remote locations and the expense is nominal. Such is the power of the IFS officer that existing and pre-bookings of such bungalows are cancelled or shortened in a very short notice to accommodate the IFoS officers.

UPSC IFoS Career Prospects

The IFoS officers can get promoted based on their years of service as well as experience and skill developed in their tenure. There are posts like the forest range officer which is an entry level post in this department. After this, the next level of promotion is to that of an assistant conservator of the forest which is followed by the role of deputy conservator of Forest. The top most positions are additional principal chief conservator of Forest and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest.

Result, Selection Process, Merit List

UPSC IFoS 2020- Result, Selection Process, Merit List

The UPSC IFoS 2020 prelims results are likely to be declared in November 2020. Only those who have qualified for the Mains, their roll numbers will be declared in the PDF format. After the mains is conducted and its result has been declared, the cut-off list is published. The final merit list is prepared based on the total marks of mains and Interview round. You can check the result from the official website once it is declared. The answer key for the exams-prelims and mains is published after the selection process is over. However, the candidates cannot challenge the answer key as per the UPSC rules.

To view the UPSC IFoS results-

  • Visit the and look for the notification of the Prelims result.
  • Once you find the active link, click on it and you will be redirected to the verification page.
  • Enter your registration number and birth date or the roll number and birthdate- whichever is have.
  • Next, you will be redirected to the PDF of all the roll numbers that have qualified the exam. Download the pdf and search for your roll number. No score card is published for the prelims exam.
  • In case, your roll number is there on the list, you have to again fill the application form for the mains exam.

UPSC IFoS cut-off trends

The cut-off marks are determined by a number of factors and every year it is different. The cut-off is declared by UPSC after the publication of the Mains result. It is determined based on the total number of candidates appearing for the exam, the overall difficulty of the papers, the previous year cut-off trends and the overall performance of the aspirants in the present year and the available vacancies. We have shared the cut-off trends from the past three years to help you estimate an average cut-off for IFoS 2020. The cut-off for the reserved categories is always lower than that for the general category and hence, you should aim for preparing such that you are able to score more than what is required for the general category. This way, you can make sure you qualify the exam with flying colours.

UPSC IFoS Mains Cut-off for 2018


Category Marks out of 1400
General 667
OBC 596
SC 595
ST 587
PwBD-2 541
PwBD-3 447

UPSC IFoS Mains+interview cut-off for 2019

Category Marks out of 1700
General 904
OBC 858
SC 798
ST 815
PwBD-2 787
PwBD-3 693

UPSC IFoS Cut-off for 2017

Exam General OBC SC ST PH2 PH3 Maximum
Prelims  121.34 119.34 106.00 105.34 77.34 43.34 400
IFoS (Main) 652 606 555 530 551 386 1400
IFoS (Final) 889 836 800 807 861 680 1700

UPSC IFoS Selection Process

The three-tier exam of IFoS is a long-drawn process and even though there are three stages, there are also eight papers in all that have to be done.

  • To qualify the prelims you have to secure the minimum cut-off marks. Approximately candidates 10 to 15 times the number of available vacancies are qualified for the Mains.
  • In mains, not only do you have to acquire the total cut-off marks, but you must also make sure that you secure 33% marks at least in all the papers including the optional papers.
  • Even if you qualify the mains, if your performance in the interview round is not up to the mark, there is still a chance of disqualification. The interview round has 300 marks and usually the final merit list is made based on 80:20 marks weightage from mains and interview respectively.
  • After the final merit list is published, you will get a mail regarding the time and venue for the physical and medical tests. You have to qualify these as well for selection. Document verifications are also done in this stage.
  • When you qualify all these hurdles, you will get the final appointment letter.

IFoS officers are some of the highest rank holders in the Indian Government and it is not only a very prestigious work but also one of the most unconventional services that belong to the public sector. If you want to become a part of this service, your preparation should start right after your 10+2 and your graduation subject should be accordingly chosen.



Ques. Can I bring the digital copy of the admit card to the exam centre?

Ans. No, you cannot bring your admit or Photo ID proof in digital form to the exam centre as no electronic device will be allowed inside.

Ques. If you undergo Lasik treatment, are you eligible for IFoS exam?

Ans. For IFoS, Lasik treatment is not a problem and you will still be eligible for the post.

Ques. Is the prelims exam common for IAS and IFS aspirants?

Ans. Yes, the Prelims is common for IFoS and IAS. The exams get separated for Mains.

Ques. Will I be eligible for the IFoS exam if I hold a diploma degree in any of the prescribed subjects?

Ans. No, 3-year graduation or its equivalent is elemental for IFoS and diploma is not considered equivalent to graduation and hence will not be eligible.

Ques. Are IFS officers transferred frequently?

Ans. Yes, IFoS officers will witness frequent transfers throughout their lifetime usually in remote and forest areas. However, often they are also posted in urban or semi-urban locations depending on the requirements.

Ques. What is the salary and benefits enjoyed by IFoS officers?

Ans. The salary package is lucrative for IFoS officers and depends primarily on the position that you hold. It can be anywhere between 7LPA to 15 LPA.

Ques. If I fill up the form but cannot attend the prelims exam, will it be considered as a chance lost?

Ans. No, in case you do not appear for the exam at all even after filling up the form, it will not be counted as an attempt.

Ques. Can I withdraw my application for the exam?

Ans. No, there is no option for withdrawal of the application form once it is submitted and paid for.

Ques. Is the IAS and IFoS mains exam the same?

Ans. No, IAS and IFoS Mains exams are conducted separately. For IAS there are 8 papers in the Mains while for IFoS there are 6 papers. Furthermore, the IAS 2020 Mains exam will be conducted January 8, 2021 onwards while the IFoS mains will be conducted February 28, 2021 onwards.

Ques. Can you choose the location of posting for the IFoS exam?

Ans. Yes, you can choose a list of preferred locations of posting, but the final decision lies with the board. Though the decision will be made keeping your preferences in mind.

Ques. Is the admit card for IFoS exam different from IAS?

Ans. For the prelims, the admit card for IFoS and IAS will be available from the same link but for mains it will be different.

Ques. Is IFS and IFoS the same?

Ans. No, IFS is Indian Foreign Service while IFoS is the Indian Forest Service. However, Indian forest service is also referred to as IFS at times which is not wrong either.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.


lakshay kakkar
How is the Reserve List in a particular recruitment case drawn up?
kavita rani

Hi Lakshay. The maximum number of names to be kept in the Reserve List is half of the total number of posts/vacancies in each category to which recruitment will be being made. It is subject to a minimum of 02 (two) names in each category, based on the availability of candidates who meet the minimum cut-off marks for each category.

lakshay kakkar
Who verifies the documents, character and antecedents of candidates recommended by the UPSC?
kavita rani

Hi Lakshay. The Ministries/Departments concerned and the Cadre Controlling Authorities are responsible for verifying the character and antecedents of the candidates recommended by the UPSC.

koyena biswas
What are the minimum suitability marks in the interview?
kavita rani

Hi Koyena. Interview or the Personality Test is the final level of Civil Services selection process. Interview round carries 275 marks (with no minimum qualifying marks). Marks obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written examination) as well as Interview will help in deciding their final ranking. Check out detailed selection procedure here.

koyena biswas
What documents should I carry at the time of interview?
kavita rani

Hi Koyena. Documents that needs to be carried include Matriculation certificate, Degree certificate, Print-out of the e-Summon Letter, Government-issued Photo-id card, 2 recent passport size photographs, etc. Check out more details related to the same here.

avinash sahu
How is the seniority of candidates recommended by the UPSC determined?
kavita rani

Hi Avinash. Seniority of an officer is decided as per order of merit given by UPSC or selecting authority or panel of promotion given by DPC.

koyena biswas
Can I know the details like designation, academic qualifications etc. regarding Interview Board Members?
kavita rani

Hi Koyena. The interview Board members have nine members including the chairman, who are highly experienced in their field.

Can I carry my mobile, laptop or any other communication devices, with me for the Interview or Recruitment Test?
kavita rani

Hi Pradeepraj. These gadgets are strictly prohibited during interviews or for Recruitment Tests.

lakshay kakkar
How can I get information regarding the syllabus for the Recruitment Test (RT)?
kavita rani

Hi Lakshay. The syllabus for UPSC IFoS is vast and include all several subjects. Detailed syllabus is mentioned here.

ibashisha mukhim
How are candidates shortlisted for being called for interview for a Particular post?
kavita rani

Hi Ibashisha. This exam is taken in 3 successive stages, Prelims, Main, and Interview test. Prelims is qualifying in nature while the candidates who have cleared the main test will be called for an interview round.

puja sao
How are the candidates recommended – whether through interviews or through recruitment test followed by interview?
kavita rani

Hi Puja. A lot of factors are considered while shortlisting the candidates including their performance in the Mains Exam, interview round, fitness criteria, etc.

divakar sharma
Which are the Universities, Courses and Degrees recognized by the UPSC?
kavita rani

Hi Divakar. List of universities that have received recognition by the UPSC are mentioned on its official website.

arushi thankur
Can candidates make changes in their applications after they have submitted them?
kavita rani

Hi Arushi. Candidates who have submitted the application form can’t make changes later. Check other details here.

sadim ansari
How can I know the status of my application submitted for a particular post?
kavita rani

Hi Sadim. You have to refer to the official website of the same and log in using your credentials to get detailed information about your status.

sheetal chib
For how many different posts can a candidate apply in one recruitment advertisement ?
kavita rani

Hi Sheetal. It entirely depends on the kind of post you are applying for.