• Written By Ravikant_Yadav
  • Last Modified 20-07-2022

UPSC IFS Exam Pattern: Marking Scheme for Prelims & Mains


UPSC IFS Exam Pattern 2020-21: The Union Public Service Commission is conducting Indian Forest Service Examination 2020 for the candidates aspiring to mark their career in government sector. According to the UPSC Calendar, UPSC IFS Mains exam is scheduled to be held from February 28, 2021-to March 7, 2021. The IFS is considered to be the most coveted exam in India. Therefore, candidates need to focus on effective preparation for the upcoming exam. For this, it is important to have thorough knowledge about UPSC IFS Exam pattern.

The UPSC IFS exam consists of three stages namely, Preliminary Exam and Mains Examination and Interview. Understanding UPSC IFS Exam Pattern and UPSC IFS Syllabus will help candidates to develop right strategies for the exam. With this knowledge, candidates will have clear idea about the number of questions asked, marking scheme, total marks, time duration, mode of exam etc. We have provided detailed information on UPSC IFS Exam Pattern 2020-21 in this article. Read on to find out.

UPSC IFS Exam Pattern 2020-21

Before getting into details of UPSC IFS Exam Pattern, let us have a look at the overview of the UPSC IFS exam mentioned below:

Name of the ExamIndian Forest Service (IFS)
Conducting BodyUnion Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Number of Stages Prelims
Negative MarkingPrelims: 1/3rd marks deducted for every wrong answer
Total MarksPrelims – 400 marks
Mains – 1400 marks
Time DurationPrelims – 2 hour for each paper
Mains – 3 hours for each paper

UPSC IFS Exam Pattern 2020-21: Stages

The UPSC IFS Selection Procedure involving three stages are as follows:

  1. Prelims
  2. Main
  3. Personality Test/Interview

UPSC IFS Prelims Exam Pattern 2020-21

The Preliminary exam is an objective type exam. There will be two compulsory papers: Paper 1 and Paper 2. Each of the two papers comprises 200 questions carrying 200 marks. The maximum time duration for each paper is 2 hours (for blind candidates, an extra 20 minutes will be provided).

PaperSubjectsMaximum MarksTime Duration
Paper 1General Studies2002 hours
Paper 2Civil Services Aptitude Test2002 hours
Total 400

UPSC Civil Sevice Preliminary exam acts 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 the final merit list.

According to the UPSC IFS exam pattern, the medium of the question paper would be English and Hindi (except for the English Language section).

  1. The Paper 2 is qualifying in nature. Candidate should score 33 percent to qualify the Prelims
  2. There are 100 questions carrying 2 marks for each.
  3. There is a negative marking of 1/3rd marks for every incorrect answer.
  4. If more that one answer is selected, it will be considered as a false attempt, and 1/3rd marks will be deducted.
  5. If the question is left un-attempted then no marks will be deducted.

UPSC IFS Exam Pattern For Mains

The UPSC IFS Mains exam pattern – subjects and marks – are as under:

Paper IGeneral English300
Paper IIGeneral Knowledge300
Paper IIIOptional I200
Paper IVOptional I200
Paper VOptional II200
Paper VIOptional II200
  1. Out of Paper III, IV, V, and VI, two optional subjects are to be selected from the list given below.
  2. Each subject will have two papers based on it. The maximum time duration is 3 hours for each paper.
  3. Main exam will be conducted only in English.
  4. Candidate must use only the international form of Indian Numerals (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.) while answering question papers.
  5. SI units should be used wherever required.
  6.  Scientific calculators should be used only at the conventional type examination of UPSC. Programmable calculators are not allowed.
  7. 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.

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

UPSC IFS Personality Test/Interview Exam Pattern 2020-21

  1. The candidates interviewed by a board of competent and unbiased observers. The record of the candidate’s career will be present before the interviewers.
  2. The object of the interview is to assess the suitability of the candidate for the service. The candidate is expected to have an all-around personality.
  3. Candidates should have an intelligent interest not only in his academics but also should be aware of his cultural, political and social surroundings.
  4. Candidates should be aware of current affairs, modern current of thoughts and new discoveries happening around him both within and outside his own State or country.
  5. The technique of the interview will not be a strict cross-examination like a question and answer session.
  6. It would be more like a natural, though directed and purposive conversation, intended to reveal the personal qualities of the candidate.
  7. The board will pay special attention to the following qualities mentioned below:
  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. The 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

UPSC IFS Mains Exam Time Table

Candidates appearing for UPSC IFS Main exam can check the following Time Table mentioned below:

Exam DateForenoon Session
(9.00 AM -12.00 PM)
Afternoon Session
(2.00 PM-5.00 PM)
February 28, 2021 General English General Knowledge
March 2, 2021 Mathematics Paper-I/Statistics Paper-I Mathematics Paper-II/Statistics Paper-II
March 3, 2021 Physics Paper- I/Zoology Paper -I Physics Paper- II/Zoology Paper –II
March 4, 2021 Chemistry Paper- I
Geology Paper- I
Chemistry Paper- II
Geology Paper -II  
March 5, 2021 Agriculture Paper- I/ Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science Paper- I Agriculture Paper- II/Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science Paper- II
March 6, 2021 Forestry Paper- I Forestry Paper -II
March 7, 2021 Agricultural Engineering Paper –I / Civil Engineering Paper –I / Chemical Engineering Paper –I / Mechanical Engineering Paper –I/ Botany Paper- I/ Agricultural Engineering Paper –II/ Civil Engineering Paper –II/ Chemical Engineering Paper –II/ Mechanical Engineering -Paper II Botany Paper- II/

FAQs regarding UPSC IFS Exam Pattern

The frequently asked questions on UPSC IFS exam pattern are given below:

Q. When is the UPSC IFS Main Exam Scheduled?
A. The UPSC Main Exam is scheduled from February 28 2021 to March 7, 2021.
Q. What is the total marks allotted for Prelims?
A. The total marks allotted for Prelims is 400.
Q. Is there any negative marking in UPSC IFS Exam?
A. Yes, there is negative marking of 1/3rd marks deducted for every wrong answer in Prelims.
Q. What is the selection process of UPSC IFS Exam?
A.UPSC IFS exam consists of three stages namely; Prelims, Mains and Interview. The Preliminary exam is conducted for a total of 400 marks, while the Main exam is for 1400 marks followed by Interview for 300 marks.

The Candidates must be serious right from the beginning and prepare in a smart manner to crack this examination. They must cultivate reading and writing habits, and be thorough with every single topic of UPSC IFS Exam Pattern.

We hope this article on the UPSC IFS Exam Pattern 2020 helps you. If you have any queries regarding UPSC IFS Exam Pattern, then you can post your questions in the comment section below. We will get back to you at the earliest.

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